Top Ten Tuesday is hosted byย That Artsy Reader Girl.

2023 wasn’t the best reading year for me, I read the least I have since I started tracking such things, but I still gave 16 books five stars. Most of these are fantasy, am I trying to escape the real world?

I also did not keep up with reviews last year, so only four of these have links to full blog reviews. Fortunately I did try and write a sentence or two on Goodreads for each book, so I have something to go on other than “AMAZING! READ IT!”

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ink blood sister scribe

Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Tรถrzs

A bloody good debut! Sorry, couldn’t resist. Dark and gripping, magic books written in blood, a shedload of mystery and intrigue.


The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty

I loved this adventure, a great mix of fantasy and historical detail from the medieval Indian Ocean. Middle-aged, women pirates for the win!


a study in drowning

A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid

The atmosphere oozes off every damp, drippy page! I loved this tale of unearthing the truth behind a beloved book, forever unsure whether the magic is real or not.


light from uncommon stars

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

A strange and lovely story of music, aliens and a donut shop.


The Book Eaters

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

Deliciously dark story, interweaving the messages of fairytales into a story of control and oppression, and one mother’s fight to protect her child, against all odds.


a house with good bones

A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher

I loved the main character being an archaeological entomologist meant that certain elements of horror didn’t make her freak out like you would expect. Also, lots of bug facts!



Bridge by Lauren Beukes

In some ways this reminded me of The Shining Girls more than her other books have. Lots of boxes ticked for me, multi-verse hopping, a weird mystery to solve, neuroscience, parasitology, serial killers and the bestest best friend ever.


starling house

Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

I love a good sentient house story and this one delivered. I liked the damaged and flawed characters too, the fact they are hard to love at first makes it all the more rewarding when they grow on you.


the seven year slip

The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston

Adorable romance, but the icing on the cake was the moving side story about Clementine’s grief over her aunt.


Cover: Hell Bent

Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo

Poor Babbit Rabbit. Was a little slow to get going, but once it did, I loved the whole literal going to hell and back story. Lots of things introduced in this one that makes me hope there’s more in this series. Controversial opinion, I like the Alex Stern books more than the Grishaverse!