In our Best Reads of 2022 I want to talk about my favorite series or sequels read in 2022!
The first series is an “old” one that I discovered this year thanks to a buddy read and was instantly in awe! I am speaking of the Red Rising by Pierce Brown series! I have read the first trilogy this year.
What to write about that series that hasn’t been written over and over again?
-First, Pierce Brown is a plotter!!!
I am usually more of a character driven reader but the plot in that series is simply incredible!
It’s filled with twists and turns, some I had seen coming but the majority I had never expected!
-Second, it’s history repeating itself.
By that I mean the Pierce Brown made me think of ancient Rome and ancient Greece with the slaves, the gods etc. This is certainly exacerbated with the names of the Golds like Augustus, Caius etc. Add to it “Olympus” where the “teacher” at the institution live and you get the idea.
-Third, this is also the altar of moral values.
Darrow, our hero, represents values like courage, loyalty, empathy, mercy, bravery etc.
-Fourth, it’s a spectacle!
That book is filled with action, acts of bravery, last minute escape, 180° turn, rebirth of the hero when everything is lost. It’s flamboyant and it’s gritty at the same time!
When you think that everything is “in the pocket”, someone just pulls the rug under our hero and he stumbles very hard! And when you think all hope is lost, there is an unexpected ally or opportunity that will save our hero’s butt and spin the story in a new direction!
You never have a respite, always panting and gripping the edge of your seat!
That’s why I breezed through these books!
-Fifth, the characters are amazing!
The second series is The Black Witch Chronicle by Laurie Forest and more precisely the sequel: The Demon Tide! I truly wished more persons would read that amazing series!
I am amazed how Laurie Forest succeeded in showing us that following your beliefs blindly, howling with the wolves that are your friends and family, can not always be what is right to do. But rather what you should do is follow your moral compass and always be kind with other people, whatever their beliefs, sexual preferences, races and religion.
This truly is the central trope in this series.
It also shows that swimming against the tide, even if it’s the right thing to do, is an act of bravery and courage.
That’s what several characters did throughout the series, Voth being one of them.
Third series here is The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni! The sequel and conclusion The Blood Traitor was absolutely worthy of its previous instalments!
Just know that I adored all the characters in the book, past and new ones, except the evil villains of course! Because these are not morally grey characters but plain bad people that our heroes will have to face if they hope to save their kingdom!
It’s fast paced, inventive, a mix of quest, redemption, twists and turns, love, action, magic with well, just unforgettable characters.
Lynette Noni is indeed a master story teller and she did the impossible: maintain the quality throughout the three books!
It won’t be the last stories that I’ll read from her.
If you love fantasy, you simply just HAVE to read that trilogy!
Then we have a big favorite on social media: The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber! Sequel of the excellent Once Upon a Broken Heart.
That book is a race against the clock with plot twists aplenty and shocking revelations.
It’s still filled with magic, beautiful gowns, enchanted inns and tiny dragons. The universe is really a one of a kind, very imaginative , vivid with colors and characters coming in all shades of grey! From white to light grey, medium, dark grey to…no one is really black in fact! And that’s what I love in Stephanie’s stories: the nuances and the layers of her characters! Their flaws, hopes, dreams and mistakes!
I am still fervently fan of Evangeline, the girl who can’t help but hope for happy endings and who is so in love with stories. The girl who just wants to find her true love.
And Jacks, side character from Caraval, finally gets his story with this series! He is my favorite “villain” and I wish he could have his happy ending.
I really hope that these two will end together, one day, maybe, if there is a third book… Because they do are made for each other!
“In the morning, you can forget it. You can go back to pretending you don’t like me, and I can pretend that I don’t care. But for tonight, let me pretend you’re mine.”
Talking about ending… that ends!!!!!! It’s dramatic and inhuman! I hope there will be a third book so it’s a cliffhanger otherwise it would be a bitter ending!
Stephanie Garber once again succeeded in dazzling and enchanting me! This was read in record time!
Now comes The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik. This is the conclusion to the excellent Deadly Education series with one of the most sarcastic and grumpy heroine: Galadriel or El.
That story was amazing!
One of the major assets is still El!
In The Last Graduate, I wrote:
“One thing that I got back with great pleasure was El’s grumpy attitude. El has been predicted to be the doom of the sorcerer’s world being insanely powerful yada, yada. She has been rejected by other sorcerers all her life because of that.
BUT under her piss poor attitude (who wouldn’t be prickly really if he or she has been shunned all his/her life?) El hides a heart of gold.
She CHOOSES to do good all the time!
Following her mom’s example, she is choosing the high path whereas going bad would be so easy for her.”
And that’s still true! I so love grumpy grouchy El who hides a golden heart.
She always seems to reluctantly believe that others might in fact like her and her band of friends, growing by the minute in this book, was also essential to my reading enjoyment!
In this last instalment, El discovered her true purpose, her true power and simply the truth. About her and about Orion.
And last but certainly not least: Cursed by Marissa Meyer, sequel and conclusion to Gilded!
All the stars!
Marissa Meyer must be a descendent of the Grimm Brothers because she is a master storyteller.
In my review of Gilded, the first book of this duology, I wrote:
“That book was light and dark, brutal and mischievous, sad and funny.
And it was so imaginative!
The world building with all the lore and tales of gods and monsters and dark ones was sublime!
I was swept off my feet, transported into that world of dark fairytales, praying that Serilda would stay alive, hoping that she would find a way to break the curse, dreaming that all would be well in the end, wishing that her father was alive and that everyone she loved would be safe, wanting…
Oh I wanted so many things!
I was enthralled, enraptured by Marissa Meyer’s story!”
As you can see, I had many favorites!
Thanks for reading!