Writing and reading in a genre that don't seem to sit on best seller list makes me aware that there are some awesome books out there that should have more acclaim than they currently do. This list is my top ten books that should be on everyone's shelf.
!. Tinker by Wen Spencer
Okay, so it did get some acclaim as it did win some awards (2004 Sapphire Award for the Best Science Fiction Romance novel) but it is still a little known novel. I found it on a shelf in a second hand store about 8 years ago and was hooked.
Tinker is clever and uses her brains to get out of issues while her love interest is a mysterious Elf who is the viceroy. I like the mixture of science and fantasy. Wen is a meticulous writer and it does take awhile between novels.
Keep an eye on Baen.com as they often sell E-ARCs. She does have another series before this Tinker (Elfhome) series that is just as interesting.
I've read this book several times and you know a book has to be good if it can handle a few re-reads.
2. Written in red by Anne Bishop
Yeah, she has some really good series out there that have hit the best seller's list. Like the blood jewels series which I literally read in one sitting. I watched the sun rise while I finished up the second book. But her other series wasn't so good so I was reluctant to try her new series. It was aimed at YA as well. But man, was I wrong. It is set in an alternative world where half of the world is inhabited by earths other children. So, they are called Others. A blood prophet who is running away from some pretty cruel benevolent ownership. A love story that will easily take several books to develop.
I've read the whole series a few times over it is that good. With speculative fiction getting some momentum with alternative timelines this book really turns it on its head.
Bishop is good at writing dark stories without getting too graphic.
3. Winter of fire by Sherryl Jordan
This is an author I've actually met. But this was the novel that brought her to my attention. And can I just say she is bloody awesome. Set in what could be another world or our own in the distant future. This is an YA book with some very deep themes. A slave girl who gets brought to prominence when a person of power notices her. She then goes from being a slave to the handmaiden of the most powerful person on the planet. She also has some pretty funky powers and there is some serious tension between some of the characters.
This book needs to be read a few times as there are so many layers.
4. Magic bites by Ilona Andrews
This is the first book in the Kate Daniels series. It is just bloody fantastic. I can't say enough how awesome the series is.
We have vampires, a world falling apart because the return of magic, a shapeshifter and then Kate. Her father is someone important and if he ever finds out where she is he will kill her. In the mean time Kate has a dead stepfather to avenge and decides to live her life a little bit even if that is scary. And man is she scary. She has been trained by the second scariest person alive and she can take a beating.
There is a love interest in this story but it takes a while to develop. I like those the best. Strictly speaking I've only read this book twice. Mainly because this writer puts out other books in the series pretty fast and it is hard to keep up.
5. Charmed sphere by Catherine Asaro
So, I picked the first book in the series but I reckon these books only get better and better as they go along. Asaro is better known for writing Science Fiction. This is an island that is set in our world but it has magic. In this book the king is to marry to strongest mage regardless of whether they are noble or not. Things get complicated when the long lost heir is found and the would be king who had fallen in love with his mage has to step aside for his cousin. Of course there are evil invading tyrants and some kidnapping and some really cool magic.
I've read this whole series a few times. I rather like Nightbird and fire Opal. Though Misted Cliffs is actually the first one in the series I read and what hooked me.
6. Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede
Wrede is more famous for her YA novels and this is one as well but so beautifully written.
We start off with a girl in London who stumbles onto a real magician. He is working as a spy for the British Government. This is a life changing event for her. The next book in the series is very good and takes the relationship to the next level.
Wrede is a great writer and I can happily recommend all of her novels. If you want something a little more adult then I would suggest the Enchanted chocolate pot. Set in the style of a Jane Austin novel.
7. Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Kenyon is an amazing writer and I think this series is probably her best. And that is even better than the dark hunter series.
An assassin saves a princess and all it really brings is trouble. We have a Universe where everyone has given power over to the league only they have become corrupt. Mostly they are there for the highest bidder. We have some serious bad asses in this novel which is always enjoyable to read.
This series is split into different generations and still going strong.
8. The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker
I have only recently discovered this author and I've read pretty much everything she has written. This book has the added bonus of being free which is always appreciated.
I started with her other series (Again because the first book was free) and read her blog and she talked about her first successful series. I was a little dubious. The cover wasn't that spectacular. Man, am I glad I read it.
A policewoman in a male dominated Empire is sent on a mission she isn't meant to survive all because the Emperor has taken a shine to her. The mission is to take out an assassin. Luck would have it she survives. That doesn't please the people who wanted her dead and she goes from a policewoman to an outlaw. And with an assassin helping her out and her guts she is a force to reckon with.
This author is awesome and though I haven't had a chance to re-read any of the books yet I can tell you it is on my to-do list. (I have since read this whole series again. Still bloody fantastic.)
9. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
This is a stand alone book and that makes me sad. Because more than anything I wanted to know what happened next. This one has won awards.
sunshine is kidnapped by Vampires to be a snack for a humane vampire. Only she is more than they expected. Sunshine isn't just her name it is where she gets her power from. This allows her to escape and also to help the humane vampire. She is then led down a path to discover herself and her gifts.
I've read this maybe a dozen times. I know it is another vampire story but it is more than that.
10. Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff
I love my science fiction and this one is a grade above the rest. Huff also has some other good series out there like the four winds series.
In this we have a staff sergeant who has to wrangle a military unit on a diplomatic mission and it all goes to custard. It doesn't help that she has a new Lt who she slept with before he had his new orders. They are out manned and have to kill a lot of people to get out of the mess they are in. This is based on the battle between the British and the Zulu.
This series only gets better and better. With a really cool love interest and a twist where the bad guys aren't who we thought they were.