Best of 2020 | Blogmas Day 21

Best of 2020

Blogmas Day 21

Welcome to Day 21 of Blogmas 2020! This has to be the post I look forward to writing the most every year, where I share the books that made my best of shelf for the year. My regular readers will know that I don’t rarely rate a book above 4 stars and even fewer of those make this list. This year, of the 200+ books I’ve read this year, I’ve chosen 8 for this list. As a reminder of the criteria I use for this list, the book has to be published in the same year, I should have given it a rating of 4 stars or higher, with something that I felt made it stand out over the other books – and for once, yes, the books are in order this year. Without further ado, let’s check out my favourite books of 2020!

1. House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) – Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I had my doubts about this book initially, skeptical if it could live up to the explosive finale that was Maas’ previous book, Kingdom of Ash, especially since this is urban fantasy, a genre I’ve always had trouble with. But while it does take a while for the story to really get going, there is no doubt how amazing this book is. The world-building is excellent and the intricate plot is no less than a roller-coaster with unexpected twists that make for the most addicting read. House of Earth and Blood went straight to the top spot on this list when I read it back in April and hasn’t moved since!

2. Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1) – Cassandra Clare

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Chain of Gold was a book I’d been looking forward to for several years now. The way The Infernal Devices ended was lovely, but I’ve always wanted to know what happened during the years in between. It was wonderful getting to know this new generation of Shadowhunters, and while this book may not have been as explosively good as say, Queen of Air and Darkness, it’s laid a very strong foundation for the story ahead, plunging the reader into a new adventure.

3. Code Name Hélène – Ariel Lawhon

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

When it comes to historical fiction, I have a few eras I stick to, such as England during the Wars of the Roses and the Tudors, or the French Revolution. It’s pretty rare that I read any historical fiction novels set later than 1900 because they tend to be a little too close to present day for my taste, and I find that the unique magic of the genre is often lost. However, I found a new favourite to add to this list this year: World War II era novels. Code Name Hélène was a book that wasn’t initially on my TBR for 2020, but sounded too interesting to pass up. This was a beautiful story and it was wonderful to learn about one of the most decorated women of World War II.

4. The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo #5) – Rick Riordan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There was no doubt at all that The Tower of Nero would be on this list this year. Apollo’s character arc over the past couple of books has been phenomenal, and he has not only understood the value of being human, but has finally grown into a true hero to an extent that frankly, had me in awe. The Percy Jackson books have been a constant reading companion for nearly fifteen years, and hard to believe that this adventure has finally come to an end – but it was in the best way possible, with such a satisfying conclusion.

5. The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2) – Roshani Chokshi

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

That The Silvered Serpents managed to not only live up to, but exceed the sky high expectations set by The Gilded Wolves was more than enough reason for it to be on this list. This was a spectacular read and the strength of this story remains in its amazing characters, so much so that my attention was more on their arcs than the quest at hand. This is what a sequel done right looks like!

6. As the Shadow Rises (The Age of Darkness #2) – Katy Rose Pool

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The first book nearly made my best of shelf last year, but I decided to wait and see if book 2 would live up to the very high expectations that There Will Come A Darkness set – and it did! I start fangirling anytime I talk about this series, so I’ll just say this: this series continues to be everything I adore about the fantasy genre and I have no doubt the finale will be even better.

7. Lightbringer (Empirium #3) – Claire Legrand

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Kingsbane remains my favourite in this series, but Lightbringer was a true delight to read with its action-packed plot and many unexpected twists and turns and I suggest setting aside atleast a couple of hours, because you will not want to put this down. The Empirium series has always, since book one, given me that grand epic fantasy feel which is something I’ve really missed in this genre, and it’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye to yet another fantastic series this year.

8. The Light in Hidden Places – Sharon Cameron

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The second WWII book on the list this year, and what a read it was! It truly brings to life not only the horrors of the time and how it affected the people who lived through it, but also how the circumstances led to the rise of some very unlikely heroes who risked their lives to save others.

Special Mentions

How has your reading year been? Did any of these books make it onto your favourites this year? Let me know in the comments below!

12 thoughts on “Best of 2020 | Blogmas Day 21

  1. Marta the Monogamist Reader December 21, 2020 / 4:29 am

    I read the first one of The Age of Darkness and I loooove it.
    I finished recently The Infernal Devices but I wasn’t too crazy about that Epilogue. So I don’t know if I want to continue to read more of Shadowhunters series…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) December 26, 2020 / 7:31 pm

      The Dark Artifices is a masterpiece, and The Last Hours, which takes place some years after Clockwork Princess is also really good so far, so I’d definitely say give it another chance! I’m not the biggest fan of The Mortal Instruments though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marta the Monogamist Reader December 27, 2020 / 6:09 am

        Thank you Raji. Every Cassandra Clare’s fan told me pretty much the same thing – The Moral Instruments is just meh and weird, but the other series are worth it. Uhm… my dilemma continue or not to read Clare’s book is not solved yet.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Georgia Husselbee December 21, 2020 / 4:34 pm

    Some of these books are on my favourite list too! And also I’m the opposite I almost always give books 5 stars for different reasons!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alynn98 December 22, 2020 / 2:20 pm

    Wow nice list! I loved Chain of Gold and Crescent City, and I really need to read Inheritance Games!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. itsareadlief December 30, 2020 / 11:07 pm

    Wow. I am definitely adding these books to my tbr. The stand-alone ones sound very interesting to me!

    Liked by 1 person

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