Here are my five favourite books which have been published in 2017, in alphabetical order.
Blackwing by Ed McDonald - This debut fantasy was an incredible read, set in a world where evil wizards and "good" wizards live on either side of a warped no-man's land called the Misery. The main character is a captain in the Blackwing mercenary group, who patrols the misery and roots out traitors seduced by evil. The captain reminded me of Vimes in the Discworld novels, only a more messed-up Vimes who never settled down and kept drinking.
Godblind by Anna Stephens - A grimdark fantasy set for world domination with a vast array of viewpoints, stacks of violences, and one particularly haunting torture scene. It is no understatement to say this has Game of Thrones potential. Read my full review.
Hekla's Children by James Brogden - An expertly-crafted horror fantasy set in my home city of Birmingham, with genuinely big surprises along the way, and a fiendish monster in the afaugh. I still can't get over the twist. Read my full review.
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames - A fantasy epic where mercenaries are revered like rock stars. One ageing warrior tries to put the band back together for a perilous journey to save his daughter from a horde of monsters. It is an action-packed adventure packed with heart and humour, plus lots of excellent swearing.
La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman - Pullman returned with this first instalment of The Book of Dust, the follow-up trilogy to His Dark Materials. This was a prequel to His Dark Materials with Lyra appearing as a baby. Overall, this was an excellent read and well worth the wait. Pullman's anti-religion stance is strong as ever and he remains the master of delivering adult content for young readers. The sinister villain Bonneville is particularly memorable.
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