Top 5: 2021 Reads

Surprisingly 2021 was a great reading year for me. I topped my Goodreads challenge from 2020 by six to finish with 62 books read. Not too bad if you ask me. 

The reason why I am so surprised that I read more than the previous year is because 2021 was the year I started working full-time. It baffles me that I’ve read more whilst working five days a week than I did during the year we had three national lockdowns. Anyway, I’m super impressed with myself and maybe I will be able to read even more in 2022. 

Without further ado here are my top five reads of 2021. 

A Trial of Sorcerers (A Trial of Sorcerers #1) by Elise Kova

*I received an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review*

A Trial of Sorcerers was my first five-star read of 2021 and I still think about it to this day. I am impatiently awaiting the release of the next instalment, sadly nothing has been announced yet. 

This is set in the world of Air Awakens; a previous series from Elise, which I adore. Air Awakens is one of my favourite series and it holds a very special place in my heart. Because of this, I was instantly invested in this book as it had some reoccurring characters. 

Eira is a super interesting main character and she really goes through a lot of development during the book. I can’t wait to see where the next book will take her and how the plot will shape who she is as both a sorcerer and person. 

Book Review: A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova

Goodreads synopsis: Ice is in her blood.

Eighteen-year-old Waterrunner Eira Landan lives her life in the shadows — the shadow of her older brother, of her magic’s whispers, and of the person she accidentally killed. She’s the most unwanted apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers until the day she decides to step out and compete for a spot in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.

Pitted against the best sorcerers in the Empire, Eira fights to be one of four champions. Excelling in the trials has its rewards. She’s invited to the royal court with the “Prince of the Tower,” discovers her rare talent for forbidden magic, and at midnight, Eira meets with a handsome elfin ambassador.

But, Eira soon learns, no reward is without risk. As she comes into the spotlight, so too do the skeletons of a past she hadn’t even realized was haunting her.

Eira went into the trials ready for a fight. Ready to win. She wasn’t ready for what it would cost her. No one expected the candidates might not make it out with their lives.

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) by Cassandra Clare

This one probably comes as no surprise to a lot of you. Of course I am mentioning a Cassandra Clare book, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. 

Chain of Iron was my most anticipated read of the year and I wasn’t in the least bit shocked when it was a 5 star read. I know there is a bit of controversy surrounding Cassandra Clare and her books, but I don’t really pay attention to that kind of stuff unless it’s super bad.

Cordelia is one of my all-time favourite characters and I just can’t get enough of her. Well, I love all of the characters in this series, so I can’t get enough of all of them really. 

The Last Hours has the potential to be my favourite series of hers so far, but it’s going to take a lot to beat The Dark Artifices because Julian Blackthorn. 

Book Review: Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

Goodreads synopsis: Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Well if it isn’t the book I’ve been putting off since 2016 becoming one of my favourite reads of 2021. I knew I would love Six of Crows and I’m honestly so annoyed with myself for putting it off for so long. I am an idiot. 

Words cannot explain just how much I loved this book and its characters. It’s so hard to pick a favourite character when you adore every single one of them. 

I did also read Crooked Kingdom and I loved that also but not as much as Six of Crows. 

Goodreads synopsis: Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim

*I received an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review*

This was another five-star read which I did really love, but now I’m not sure if I rated it too high. After reading the second instalment I lost a little love for the series, however, I do still really like Spin the Dawn. 

Maia was really cool and interesting and her tailoring skills were incredible to read about. She was very strong-willed and often stubborn but that made her a great main character. 

The descriptions were magical and the romance was just a joy. I want to recommend this book because I really did love it, but the second instalment was a bit of a disappointment. 

Book Review: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Goodreads synopsis: Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

This Poison Heart (This Poison Heart #1) by Kalynn Bayron

*I received an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review*

So this wasn’t a five-star read however I only had four five star reads and this was definitely close. 

I really liked the concept of this book, even if it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. Call me stupid but from the cover and based on Kalynn Bayron’s previous book I thought this was going to be a Snow White retelling. I think it is a retelling but I can’t remember what of, don’t quote me on that though. 

Everything about this was fun and interesting. I really liked the characters and the plot had enough mystery surrounding it that I am now anticipating the release of the second instalment. 

Book Review: This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

Goodreads synopsis: Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.

When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.

When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.


Like this post? Why not read this one too: Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2021

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