My Favourite Book of 2009

A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham was the last novel I read in 2009, but also the best novel I read in 2009. Abraham’s debut is a quiet story that follows the personal struggles of several characters as they deal with such mature themes as love and trust, abortion and alcohohlism, betrayal and justice. It manages to be a wholly adult novel while eschewing the typical blood, guts and sex that defines ‘gritty’ Fantasy these days. A Shadow in Summer shows how far the Fantasy genre can go if an author is willing to throw convention to the wind. I will absolutely be continuing with the series in 2010. (REVIEW)


The Magicians by Lev Grossman – Grossman’s first foray into Fantasy was a great deconstruction of the genre, its tropes and its fans wrapped up in an homage to Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. Readers seem to either love it or hate it, but I’m firmly in the ‘love’ camp and The Magicians is my favourite novel published in 2009. (REVIEW)

The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett – Really, it was a toss-up here between this and Mark Charan Newton‘s Nights of Villjamur (REVIEW) – both great debut novels, but I gave the edge to Brett’s slightly more even effort. Bleeds imagination and has one of the best magic systems in the genre. Can’t wait for The Desert Spear. (REVIEW)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Gaiman at the top of his game. Whimsical and terrifying; funny and melancholy. Yet another winner from my favourite author. (REVIEW)

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – A prequel to my favourite novel, The Shadow of the Wind (which was my favourite novel of last year), The Angel’s Game is a very different novel than its predecessor, and requires more work on the part of the reader, but is an enthralling read that still has me thinking about it months later. (REVIEW)

So, there’s my list. What are your favourite novels that you read this year?

  • dystophil December 31, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I still need to read Abraham’s work which is on my TBR pile for 2010, but I totally second you on Zafon’s The Angel’s Game. I read this in German at the end of 2008 and absolutely loved it. The Shadow of the Wind also is one of my favorites, but if anything I actually preferred The Angel’s Game, because it has an even darker edge than Zafon’s earlier work. Can’t wait to read more by this thoroughly evocative author!

  • SQT December 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    You’ve got a couple on you list that I have been meaning to get to. I didn’t realize “The Warded Man” was so well regarded until I saw it on a couple of “best of” lists recently. Now I’m itching to go pick up a copy.

  • James (Speculative Horizons) December 31, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Will definitely have to check out A Shadow in Summer, sounds like my bag. I’ve got The Graveyard Book to read, and already read and liked The Magicians. Enjoyed The Painted/Warded Man well enough and could see why it’s so popular, but I did read plenty of better books this year. Meaning to check out Carlos Ruiz Zafon as well.

  • Book Chick City January 1, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Shadow in Summer sounds like a great read. I’ve read mixed reviews about The Magicians so haven’t picked that one up yet. Thanks for the list and Happy New Year! :)

  • edifanob January 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I will read A Shadow in Summer within this month which is the only book from your list I didn’t read in 2009. I belong to the group of people who didn’t like The Magicians. My favorite book of 2009 is BONESHAKER by Cherie Priest.

  • Peter V Brett :: Peephole In My Skull January 1, 2010 at 7:57 pm

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  • Krish January 2, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Having read the entire series, I can tell you that it only gets better with each book. The fourth and last, The Price of Spring, is one of the best fantasy books I’ve read so far.

  • Kettricken January 8, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Interesting list, Gaiman’s book is among my favourites as well. All the other books are on my ‘to-read’ list as well, you’ve especially made me move Abraham’s book to the top of the pile!

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