Top 5 Books of 2021 (Science Fiction and Fantasy Titles)

All things considered, I have had a great year when it comes to reading in 2021. Surpassed last year goals, have gone beyond 55 now. Trust to hit about 60 by this week end/year end. But unfortunately, I also realized that I was just catching up on my TBR lists of titles published in the previous years. 

But the publishing industry and most SFF authors have had a phenomenal year and I have had the genuine pleasure of finishing a few of these gems which are part of my Top 2021 Science Fiction/Fantasy Books published in 2021. Here goes, in no particular order. 

1. The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne

The Shadow of the Gods is John Gwynne writing at the peak of his form! this book is the opening salvo into the Bloodsworn series and with this, John proves that he is a mature writer having wrapped his first two series and that he is finally stepping wholeheartedly into one of his favourite topics, wedding heroic fantasy with the legend of Vikings, giving us a speckled world of wonders, grey brutal, cold and breathtaking at the same time. 

"This opening salvo in this grey, cold brutal world of myths, magic and monsters ,is John Gwynne writing at the peak of his form. Another winner from this master-class storyteller. Immersive, dark and epic in all the sense of that word. If you like fantastically set up, visceral battles (think shield-walls, long axes and more guts than glory!) compelling characters who are broken, flawed and all too real and one of the most amazing norse-mythology inspired worlds brought alive, The Shadow of the Gods is destined to  become one of your favorite books of the year." 

2. The Wisdom of Crowds by Joe Abercrombie 

The Wisdom of Crowds marks the conclusion of the Age of Madness series, set in the same world as the First Law trilogy and subsequent books. Joe Abercrombie, a master storyteller with his pulse on the bleeding dark heart of our society, has given us yet another masterpiece in the rousing, heart-wrenching conclusion to the Age of Madness. One of his best standalone books, Joe gives us another set of sparkling characters who are as good as the Bloody Nine or Glokta in this series. 

"But Joe pulls it off in style, giving us yet more truly fascinating characters who have etched themselves into my heart and into that pantheon of the greatest characters ever written in the grim dark fantasy scene. His books, filled they are with the most realistic bone-crunching close-combat scenes or replete with black humor, yes. But for me, they have always been about the characters. And in this trilogy as well, Joe gives us more than just a couple."

3. Empire's Ruin by Brian Staveley

Any Brian Staveley's book are what makes me drop everything else am reading. That's a rule of life. This guy just keeps on topping himself with everything he is putting out there. The Empire's Ruin is the latest in a trilogy that features Gwenna Sharpe and easily tops the list of my favourite books this year. 

"The latest series opener, The Empire's Ruin (Book One, Ashes of the Unhewn Throne) is a masterclass testimony of all this. If I thought he had topped his talent with the Skull Sworn, Brian proves you wrong and plants a starshatter deep inside your bone-marrow to blow any doubts to smithereens, with this new book. It's fucking maniacal. One of the most fantastic and intense rides I been on, for a while."

4. The Pariah by Anthony Ryan

The Pariah was a surprise for me, a welcome one. Having missed out on Anthony Ryan's last trilogy, I was eager to jump onboard this new series by this prolific talent and boy, am I glad! 

"It's a brutal fast paced story, with deft world building, well crafted characters and lot of intrigue, suspense underlined by signature Anthony Ryan- bone crunching action sequences that peppering the whole narrative. I would go on to wager that this is one of his best novels yet. A brand new series by one of the genre's masters in action today, The Pariah, Book One in the Covenant of Steel is not to be missed, if you call yourself an epic fantasy lover."

5. The Bonemaker by Sarah Beth Durst 

Sarah Beth Durst is another of my automatic go-to-writer for anything she pens. The Bone Maker is yet another standalone gems from the author that is one of my favourite reads for the year. 

"The Bone Maker is quite a read, with the flow and narrative just pulling you in as you go and before you realize, you are cheering the under-dogs squad as they battle monsters within the mist and then killer constructs out in the battle-field and within narrow alleyways within the city. this is a novel about mature heroes and their choices in life, about forgiveness and trauma and how to deal in life with the same. It's thoughtful and deep without losing the grip on all the fun quotients of an epic fantasy novel."


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