It was a tough choice but here are Pile by the Bed’s top 5 books of 2021 and five honourable mentions.
Pile by the Bed’s top 5 (actually 6) fantasy novels of 2021 and four honourable mentions
Pile by the Bed reviews Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong, conclusion to her 1920s Shanghai set, Shakespeare inspired These Violent Delights.
Pile by the Bed reviews The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar a new wierd fantasy with Western styling.
Pile by the Bed reviews Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia a Mexican vampire novel that does new and interesting things with the genre.
Pile by the Bed reviews The Pariah by Anthony Ryan – the start of a new Game of Thrnoes-style fantasy series.
Pile by the Bed reviews and recommends Shelley Parker-Chan’s debut She Who Became the Sun – the first in her Radiant Emperor Duology set in slightly fantasy version of 14th Century China.
Pile by the Bed reviews Hades, Argentina by Daniel Loedel a magical realist trip back into the dark days of Argentine military rule.
Pile by the Bed reviews Ariadne by Jennifer Saint, a retelling of the Greek myth of Ariadne and going both behind and beyond the well known story of Theseus and the Minotaur.
Pile bv the Bed reviews The Beautiful Ones, a rerelease of Sylvia Moreno-Garcia’s 2017 telenovella-style romance with a touch of fantasy
Pile by the Bed reviews The Best Thing You Can Steal by Simon R Green – an urban fantasy that leans heavily on heist tropes.
Pile by the Bed reviews Hyde by Craig Russell a gothic police-procedural reimagining of the story behind Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde
Pile by the Bed reviews What Abigail Did That Summer by Ben Aaronovitch, the latest novella set in his Rivers of London universe featuring precocious teenager Abigail.
Pile by the Bed reviews Civilisations by Laurent Binet – an alternative history that imagines an Incan takeover of Europe in the Sixteenth Century.
Pile by the Bed reviews Chloe Gong’s fantasy debut These Violent Delights – a riff on Romeo and Juliet set in an alternative 1920s Shanghai.
Pile by the Bed reviews and recommends the new translation of the ancient English epic poem Beowulf by Maria Dahvana Headley.
Pile by the Bed reviews and recommends The Stranger Times a new comic urban fantasy set in Manchester by CK McDonnell
Pile by the Bed’s top 5 (okay, 6) fantasy novels for 2020 and four honourable mentions.
Pile by the Bed reviews and recommends Hollow Empire the second in Australian author Sam Hawke’s Poison War fantasy series.
Pile by the Bed Reviews House of Earth and Blood, the first book in Sarah J Maas’s new Crescent City urban fantasy series.