This list is compiled from all the books I read this past year. It needs to be noted that books on this list do not necessariliy have to be published in 2008, just that I read them in 2008. With that said, most were published in 2008.
As with any Top 10 List, it was very tough to pare it down to only 10. Then, in what order do I list them. Some very tough decisions, but when all is said and done, I am satisfied with the list I have compiled.
Without further adieu, from 10 to 1. Here we go.
#10 - Medalon by Jennifer Fallon
This is the start of a trilogy. Great word building, great story, memorable characters. Ms. Fallon's writing is a thing that every fan of the fantasy genre should experience. Just a fun book to read.
#9 - The Final Sacrifice by Patricia Bray
The final book in a trilogy. This is a trilogy that will no doubt fly under the radar of many fantasy fans, and that is a simple shame. This is a pure character driven novel and trilogy. I can not say enough good things about it.
#8 - The Dragon Forge by James Wyatt
The second novel in a trilogy set in the Eberron universe. Mr. Wyatt has quietly established himself as one of te lead voices of Eberron and I can't say I disagree with that choice. Vibrant writing, good stories, and 'real' characters, make this book a must for most fans of the genre.
#7 - Darkwood Mask by Jeff LaSala
The second Eberron novel to make the list. This book also finishes up the Inqusitives series of novels (which should have it's own mention on this list really). This is a murder/mystery novel set in a fantasy world. Just an all around fun story to read. It certainly held my interest and I can't wait for the nex LaSala novel.
#6 - Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks
Mr. Weeks burst onto the scene in 2008 with the Night Angel trilogy. What is unique about that is the entire trilogy was published in three months. I for one have to say I appreciate that, because having to wait between books may have killed me. Fantastic writing, great story, and characters that will steal every scene.
#5 - Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
The conclusion to the First Law trilogy. Mr. Abercrombie is also a newer author on this list. With this novel, in my eyes, he has cemented himself into the 'must read' list of authors. Make no mistake about it, this is a dark, grim, human suffering type novel. But, it is pure greatness. There is no fluff here, truly a fantastic book.
#4 - Doom of Kings by Don Bassingthwaite
The 3rd! Eberron novel to make the list this year. I have so many good things to say about this novel, but what truly stands out to me is the little things that Mr. Bassingthwaithe includes in this book. Such as a goblin's emotions through the twitching of it's ears. The level of those details brings this book to life. A novel everyone interested in the genre should read.
#3 - Shadowrealm by Paul S. Kemp
What is there to say about Kemp's work that hasn't already been said. With this trilogy, he has cemented himself as one of the top Forgottem Realms writters. This book does everything it was supposed to, and more. It shakes up the Realms, adds elements to the lore of the universe, but also shatters a long standing tradition of Forgotten Realms books that I will not talk about, but you will understand when you read this. And make no mistake about it, you need to read this book!
#2 - The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
I will fully admit it took some encouragement from multiple sources to get me to read this book. Once I did, I was captivated by not only the story and characters, but how it was told. This is one of several debut novels from 2008 that are must reads for any fantasy fans. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series. If you are even remotely considering picking this novel up, do so... now!
The coveted Number 1 slot.
#1 - The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
The first book of the Night Angel Trilogy. This book shows what a debut novel should be. Just a super story, fantastic characters, and a quality of writing that is almost unhearrd of for a first novel. This entire trilogy is some of the best I have ever read, yes, you read that write, some of the best I have ever read. All three books easily belong on this list. I have no idea what Mr. Weeks is working on right now, but I know I want to read it. This is a book, and trilogy, that EVERY fantasy fan should read.
While I kept this list at 10 books, it goes without saying that there were so many good books this year. I am really excited by the direction the genre is taking. Author are no longer holding to the idea that there are no more new ideas. Hopefully things continue on this same path and things only get better.
I fully endorse every book, and author, on this list. Please support their fantastic efforts.