Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I Reviewed

April 23, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme by That Artsy Reader Girl.This feature gives a weekly Top Ten list. We all love lists, right?
This week’s theme is  (First Ten) Books I Reviewed (These do not have to be formal reviews. A small sentence on a retailer site or Goodreads counts, too! Submitted by Rissi @ Finding Wonderland)

This list is quite the throwback to 2013. I actually was surprised to really think about that and realize I’ve been reviewing for 6 years because it often feels like I’m still “new” at this. This list has a number of books that are still favorites to this day, a couple where I am not sure I would rate quite the same if I were to review them now and some that still deserve more attention.

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I ReviewedSomething Red (Something Red, #1) by Douglas Nicholas
Also by this author: Something Red
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on June 18, 2013
Pages: 336

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button


An intoxicating and spirited blend of fantasy, mythology, and history, Something Red features the most fascinating of characters, as well as an epic snowstorm that an early reader described as "one of the coldest scenes since Snow Falling on Cedars."

During the 1200s in northwest England, in one of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable middle-aged Irishwoman and the troupe she leads are trying to drive their three wagons across the mountains before the heavy snows set in. Molly, her powerful and enigmatic lover, her fey granddaughter, and her young apprentice, soon discover that something terrible prowls the woods. As the group travels from refuge to refuge, it becomes apparent that the mysterious evil force must be faced and defeated - or else they will surely die.

An intoxicating and spirited blend of fantasy, mythology, and history, Something Red features the most fascinating of characters including shapeshifters, Irish battle queens, Norman knights, Templars, pilgrims, Saracens, a Lithuanian noblewoman, warrior monks, strong - even dangerous - women, and ten murderous mastiffs, as well as an epic snowstorm that an early reader described as "one of the coldest scenes since Snow Falling on Cedars."

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I ReviewedBlack Feathers (Black Dawn, #1) by Joseph D'Lacey
Also by this author: Black Feathers
Published by Angry Robot on March 26, 2013
Pages: 494

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button


It is the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, the earth wracked and dying.

It is the Bright Day, a time long generations hence, when a peace has descended across the world.

In each era, a child shall be chosen. Their task is to find a dark messiah known only as the Crowman. But is he our saviour – or the final incarnation of evil?

File Under: Fantasy [ The Crowman | Joined Through Time | The Last Keeper | The Journey Begins ]

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I ReviewedThe Lives of Tao (Tao, #1) by Wesley Chu
Also by this author: The Lives of Tao
Published by Angry Robot on April 30, 2013
Pages: 460

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button


When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it. He wasn’t. He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes. Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I ReviewedThe City by Stella Gemmell
Also by this author: The City
Published by Ace on June 4, 2013
Pages: 528

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button


In her debut solo novel, Stella Gemmell, coauthor of the "powerful" (Booklist)  conclusion to David Gemmell’s Troy series, weaves a dark epic fantasy about a war-torn civilization and the immortal emperor who has it clutched in his evil grasp.

The City is ancient, layers upon layers. Once a thriving metropolis, it has sprawled beyond its bounds, inciting endless wars with neighboring tribes and creating a barren wasteland of what was once green and productive.

In the center of the City lives the emperor. Few have ever seen him, but those who have recall a man in his prime, though he should be very old. Some grimly speculate that he is no longer human, if he ever was. A small number have come to the desperate conclusion that the only way to stop the war is to end the emperor’s unnaturally long life.

From the mazelike sewers below the City, where the poor struggle to stay alive in the dark, to the blood-soaked fields of battle, where few heroes manage to endure the never-ending siege, the rebels pin their hopes on one man—Shuskara. The emperor’s former general, he was betrayed long ago and is believed to be dead. But, under different aliases, he has survived, forsaking his City and hiding from his immortal foe. Now the time has come for him to engage in one final battle to free the City from the creature who dwells at its heart, pulling the strings that keep the land drenched in gore.

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I ReviewedPoison (Tales from the Kingdoms, #1) by Sarah Pinborough, Les Edwards
Also by this author: Poison
Published by Gollancz on April 18, 2013
Pages: 202

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button


A beautiful, sexy, contemporary retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale, illustrated by Les Edwards.

Poison is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Snow White story which takes all the elements of the classic fairy tale that we love (the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and, of course, the poisoning) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. It's fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Snow White and the Huntsman and more.

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I ReviewedThe Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle, #1) by Miles Cameron
Also by this author: The Red Knight
Published by Gollancz on October 25, 2012
Pages: 650

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button


Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.

Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern's jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men - or worse, a company of mercenaries - against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.

It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.

The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he's determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it's just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can't deal with.

Only it's not just a job. It's going to be a war...

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I ReviewedThe Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan
Also by this author: The Crown Tower
Published by Orbit on August 6, 2013
Pages: 384

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button



A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most valuable possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men. Now if Arcadius can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.

The Riyria Revelations and The Riyria Chronicles are two separate, but related series, and you can start reading with either Theft of Swords (publication order) or The Crown Tower (chronological order).

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I ReviewedBlood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1) by Anthony Ryan
Also by this author: Blood Song
Published by Anthony Ryan on January 22, 2012
Pages: 591

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button


“The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm.”

Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the unified realm. Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright and dropped at the doorstep of the Sixth Order like a foundling knows no bounds. He cherishes the memory of his mother, and what he will come to learn of her at the Order will confound him. His father, too, has motives that Vaelin will come to understand. But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the realm, but the world.

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I ReviewedThe Whitefire Crossing (Shattered Sigil, #1) by Courtney Schafer
Also by this author: The Whitefire Crossing
Published by Night Shade on August 1, 2011
Pages: 375

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button


Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He's in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it's easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel - where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark - into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.

But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution - and he'll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.

Yet Kiran isn't the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other - or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I ReviewedThe Folding Knife by K. J. Parker
Also by this author: The Folding Knife
Published by Orbit on February 22, 2010
Pages: 432

 LibraryThing button-amazon book-depository-button audible-button


Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man.

He is ruthless, cunning, and above all, lucky. He brings wealth, power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he's only ever made one mistake.

One mistake, though, can be enough.


  • Debjani April 23, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Good list. 🙂 You seem to have read more fantasy books.
    Debjani recently posted…Blog HiatusMy Profile

  • sjhigbee April 23, 2019 at 6:41 am

    I love this list – I thoroughly enjoyed The Lives of Tao and The Red Knight:). There are some other fantasy classics here that I haven’t managed to get to – thank you for sharing.

  • Jess @ Jessticulates April 23, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Great list! I haven’t read any of these but I’ve seen really good things about a few of them, so I should give them a try. Also I 100% know how you feel – I’m not a new blogger but I still feel like I’m stumbling about in the dark!
    Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday | The first books I reviewedMy Profile

  • Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy April 23, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I’ve reviewed a few of these in my early blogging days as well. Not sure I’m brave enough to revisit my reviews, however!
    Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…ATLAS ALONE by Emma Newman – ReviewMy Profile

  • Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books) April 23, 2019 at 9:56 am

    I wonder about that, too — would I rate the books I read in 2006 the same way if I read them now in 2019? Probably not. My tastes have definitely changed and I think I’ve become a harsher critic over the years.

    Congrats on six years. That’s a long time!

    Happy TTT!

  • Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies April 23, 2019 at 10:15 am

    It’s so much fun to look back! And it’s amazing to see how time flies too…
    Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: The first ten books I reviewed on my blogMy Profile

  • Liz H. April 23, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Wow, I think I’ve only heard of a couple of these. And haven’t read any, although I do own Blood Song! Thanks for sharing.

  • Lydia April 23, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Poison does sound like a good read!

    My TTT.
    Lydia recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: First Ten Books I ReviewedMy Profile

  • Melliane April 23, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    I only tried Poison and it was not for me…

  • Greg April 23, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Okay there are a few here that I want to try! And I love cold settings in fantasy books, so some of those are catching my eye as well!
    Greg recently posted…Tuesday Tagline #139My Profile

  • Lisa @ waytoofantasy April 23, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Yeah, The Whitefire Crossing! I believe that was one of my first reviews as well. 🙂
    Lisa @ waytoofantasy recently posted…Introducing the HEA Book Club, for fans of Fantasy Romance!My Profile

  • Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 24, 2019 at 2:54 am

    I’m too scared to revisit reviews from like a year ago, so I can’t imagine revisiting ones that are years and years old. 😀 And Bloodsong is one I definitely need to try! I think I’m hesitant to pick it up because I’ve heard…less than positive things for the sequels.

  • Poinsettia April 24, 2019 at 10:47 am

    I really like the sound of Poison! Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

  • Brooke Lorren April 24, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    All these books are new to me! It’s amazing how a book can be around for years and you’re just hearing about it.
    Brooke Lorren recently posted…First Ten Books I Reviewed on this Blog (Top Ten Tuesday)My Profile

  • Lynn Williams April 25, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    This is a great list and full of fantasy – mind was much more all over the place – I hadn’t quite settled down into a particular first love at that point.
    Lynn 😀

  • imyril April 27, 2019 at 3:03 am

    This week was such a throwback 🙂 I forgot about Amazon reviews being an option – I think I might have missed out on a couple of epic rants of the sort I just Do Not Post these days there 😉
    imyril recently posted…The Vela: GravityMy Profile