2010 - The Year in Fantasy

While I've already named a number of good books in earlier entries (and you really should go put a hold on the first book in the Dresden Files), I didn't cover them all by any means. Here are a few more titles that you shouldn't miss from 2010.

Steven Brust has been writing books in the Jhereg series since 1983. His latest, Iorich, brings the total number of volumes to thirteen. Vlad Taltos, is a thief...and an assassin....and a gang boss running drug dealers, prostitutes and engaging in other illegal activities. He's also a witty and likable underdog. He's an amateur chef owing to a childhood spent in a restaurant (don't read Dzur if on a diet) and loyal to his friends. You can't help but like a character who you'd want to see in jail for life if he were a real person. Brust's writing style has improved over the last 27 years but all the books are slim and quick reads. The first books in the series are available as omnibus volumes starting with The Book of Jhereg.

Speaking of main characters who really should be facing the hangman's rope instead of being protagonists, try The Conqueror's Shadow by Ari Marmell. The story could be summed up as "what happens when the Evil Overlord retires...". Corvis Rebaine cut a bloody swath across the world and was known as "the Terror of the East". Now he lives quietly under an assumed name, with his wife and children in the middle of nowhere. Obviously that's not going to last or it would be a boring book.

N.K. Jemisin published her first two books this year. I've already praised her debut novel The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Her second book The Broken Kingdoms is also very good. Ohree, a blind artist who can only see magic, takes in a strange, homeless man on a charitable impulse. This lands her in the middle of a conspiracy. Someone is murdering the godlings that live among mankind and leaving the desecrated bodies all over the city. Ohree's guest is somehow entangled in the mess.

Lastly, gentle reader, peruse Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate, a steampunk urban fantasy series set in an alternate Victorian England with vampires and werewolves. Alexia Tarabotti is a young lady of good family who is far too firm willed and practical to be appropriate in a lady of breeding. While not great classics of literature these three volumes are pleasing diversions for any lady of discerning tastes.