As is usual for this time of year, i feel its time for me to try and pull apart all the books i have read this year and say which for me was the best… or rather the most impacting.
This is actually something i hate, you know when you get asked whats your favorite movie of all time, or favorite book of all time… i’m the annoying person who prevaricates and says “which genre”… etc. because there is no one answer.
And yet….. i will try. This is an utterly personal choice, every book i have reviewed on Parmenion Books Blog this year has been excellent, anyone who reads my blog knows i only write reviews for the books that i think truly deserve it.
So….There will be a winner per Genre…. and i will take the plunge and choose my fav book this year…. might need a coin toss…(so keep going to the end)
So my main passion Historical Fiction….. these are the 10 most deserving titles (and believe me the ones i don’t mention, are also stunningly good… and for those i have not mentioned it was such a hard cut off)
In no order:
Ben Kane: Hunting the Eagles
Giles Kristian: Wings of the Storm
Robert Fabbri: The Furies of Rome
Christian Cameron: Rage of Ares
Justin Hill: Viking Fire
Douglas Jackson: Saviour of Rome
Toby Clements: Kingmaker Divided Souls
Paul Fraser Collard: The Last Legionnaire
Giles Kristian: Winters Fire
Anthony Riches: Altar of Blood
And the winner is…….(drum roll)……..
Viking Fire by Justin Hill
There were so many books that could have won this year, the standard of writing just gets higher every year. Robert Fabbri weaves a tale that gets more intense every year, Toby Clements takes you from the palaces into the muck and mire and reality of the times, Tony Riches still manages to surprise and make me laugh out loud in every book, Douglas Jackson has me on the edge of the page for every chapter. Ben Kane writes the most indepth exciting plots, Giles Krsitian has you in the moment every stroke of the oar every clash of the blade, Paul Collard takes you to the heart of danger and balances you on the precipice with his very real Jack Lark. The simply incredible Christian Cameron who can wring every emotion from you across the chapter, leaving you worn out, spent, at the end of the book, and most of all every one of these authors leaves you entertained and educated. The most amazing thing about each and every one on this list and beyond this list is just how kind and giving they are with their time, knowledge and talent, go visit their worlds on the page, and their virtual worlds on FB and Twitter and in some cases their web sites.
Justin won because of all of the above, and because he picked a character that just astounded me, added his undoubted skill as a writer and had me spell bound for every page.
So this category is where i started many moons ago, The writer who took me down the road to serious reading was the great David Gemmell (art work above by Geoff Taylor, for the cover of Lion of Macedon) It was Lion of Macedon that placed the seeds for my love of Historical fiction (read Christian / Miles Camerons Blog on the convergence of the two genres and writing them ). 2017 will see a return to the other world that really hooked me to fantasy and that’s Tad Williams and Osten Ard with The Heart of what was Lost
So again in no particular order….
Miles Cameron/ Christian Cameron
Mark De Jager
Sebastian De Castell
Aaaaannnnnnd… the Winner is……………………. (Drum Roll)
Miles Cameron/ Christian Cameron
Again the standard of books in this genre has been amazing, choosing a winner was hard because there were four stand out books for me in Saints Blood, Plague of Swords and Heart of Granite and Wheel of Oshiem. Plague of Swords won it because im a cheap book whore… and There is a character in the book called Capt Parmenio…. All three stories are truly stunning, Saints blood and Plague of Swords part of simply amazing series and Heart of Granite the first in what will i know be another winning series from the fantastic James Barclay, Mark Lawrence… do i need to say more… the culmination of an awesome series. It at the end of the day came down to how selfish i am…sorry.
And the winner is…
Ok it was a give away with only one name entered, but if you know me you will be suprised to see the category, i really do not get SCIFI, but this series i just love. Since book one it has had me hooked, i cannot get enough, its page to page action, drama, twists, turns and thrills. Love it, if you put 20 other books in the genre it would still win it.
Urban Fantasy/ Horror
Aaaand the winner is……(Drum roll)…..
Ok, so (sorry ezekiel) This isn’t the best written of the books above (although it is still excellently written… he says backtracking fast)… The Fireman would wins hands down on that count, its a wonderful and deep story with many many layers, and i enjoyed, devoured every page. BUT… The Hatching was the book equivalent of seeing die hard for the first time, its just action packed massive fun, well for a story about everyone being eaten by spiders. Weeks after reading the book i still get that crawly feeling thinking about it. I’ve just finished the sequel “Skitter” and it was even better… it has all the hallmarks of a classic disaster movie, and really really needs to be made into a movie, and it was that fast pace and all out action that won me over.
Thrillers / Action Adventure
And the winner is……. (Drum roll)
In this head to head of the titans it was a difficult choice, it almost came down to the coin toss…. but…
This is a man who lives his character, and it shows in the books, its this that brings me back to read about Jack Howard year after year.
I have read a few books this year that collect together short stories of a similar theme or subject, but there was one clear winner and that was
A novel by Christian Cameron, Libby Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, S J A Turney and Russell Whitfield
This wasn’t so much a collection of stories, but more a blending of talent, one novel told with with many talented voices. It worked so exceptionally well.
Special Mention: (Historical Fiction)
Bernard Cornwell: The Flame Bearer ** SPOILER** don’t read below if you have not read the book
This is awarded because finally… finally Uhtred takes bebbanburg…
The Winner of the Parmenion Book of the Year award
For cover art
Paul Fraser Collard: The Last Legionnaire
I went back and forth over this decision a few times. So many of the covers i have seen are fantastic, and this choice came down to Paul Collard and Sebastian De Castell, With Paul Collard winning because of the continuity of the soldier, the tease that we may see the face of Jack lark, with every book showing a little more. Something in that spoke to me, that extra effort on the slow tease of the character.
The Winner of the Parmenion 2016 Book of the Year award
Ok so im cheating this is 2 books, but these books were both written and released this year, and both made the list of the top 10 for the year which gives you an idea of the quality. Wings of the Storm was close behind in the category for Hist Fic book of the year. The two tales combined have an amazing power and lyrical quality. The depth of immersion in the viking world is beyond compare… so many times the phrase has been used “Grab an Oar…” and thats how you feel, you want to, you need to, and when you are immersed in the book you do. as a series its one of the best out there.
Coming soon…. Anticipated Books of 2017