Next up in my series of end of the year posts is my favorite authors of 2020! According to my nifty spreadsheet, exactly half of the books I read this year were from authors that are new to me, which I think is super fun and a great balance. So I am going to tell you a bit about them, why I love their writing and why I am excited to read more from them.
Potentially my new favorite author is Nghi Vo. I read The Empress of Salt and Fortune at the beginning of the year and SPOILERS it will be on my best of the year list. I love Nghi Vo’s writing, and I especially love how nuanced and thought provoking it is. The Empress of Salt and Fortune was such a good story that explored themes of agency and women reclaiming their place in history and their own narratives and I just love how much Vo manages to pack in such a small amount of pages. I think her characters are really intriguing and alluring in a way, and I love the way she plays around with narrative structure and storytelling in general. I also read the companion to Empress, When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, and I think it shows both what’s authentic and unique to Nghi Vo’s writing but also demonstrates her range. So I could not recommend Nghi Vo more and I cannot wait to read more (her debut novel comes out in 2021!). I have reviews for The Empress of Salt and Fortune and When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain on Goodreads, so you can check them out if you want to know more.
Coming as a surprise to no one, R.F. Kuang is definitely now on the list of my favorite authors ever. I think The Poppy War trilogy really encompasses everything I love in Fantasy – the characters are really complex and incredibly well-written, the world feels really well grounded and expansive, the fight scenes are so intricate and the overall themes explored are really relevant and explored in a really nuanced way. Rebecca is also one of those authors whose online presence I really love, I think she is really smart and funny, so there’s also that. Could not recommend this series more. My reviews are here, in case you want to know more: The Poppy War, The Dragon Republic and The Burning God.
While, I’ve only read one Evaristo book this year, I absolutely loved the book, especially because of Evaristo’s writing. I think she is so good at constructing characters that feel real, and there’s an almost poetic rhythm to her writing that I really loved. I am not someone who really cares about writing being beautiful, but I find that on top of that, her writing is really different and she does some really interesting things in Girl, Woman, Other, so I am quite excited to check more of her novels out.
In November, I discovered that I like Historical Romance by reading all three books in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke Series. I really enjoyed all three, and I really enjoy the way Tessa Dare writes her female leads, I think they are all distinct, but quite spunky and interesting in their own way. I also find her writing charming and funny, and I do enjoy how she writes historical in a way that makes it feel historical, without giving me any historical fiction vibes. It is much appreciated and I am so excited to read more from Tessa Dare in 2021.
Finally got around to starting The Wayward Children series and I love it so far. I love the dark subtones of the series and I love the way McGuire paints worlds and I think their characters are so brilliant. I also really love the way all of the stories are told, and I cannot wait to read more from them. Equally excited to try out books written under Mira Grant!
I would love to hear from you! Tell me what were your favorite new authors you discovered this year! Any new potential favorites? Let me know!
In the meantime, happy reading
* If you want to buy any of the books I talked about, you can use my Bookshop affiliate link if you’re in the USA! You buy a book and support local bookstores, and I get a small commission! Even if you do not want to use my own affiliate link, I would still recommend using Bookshop.org since a lot of independent bookstores are struggling and this is a nice way to help them out. You can even find your favorite local bookstore and support them directly!
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