The 15 Most Glorious Book Gems I Read In 2017

Guys, it’s 2018!


I have no idea how this happened, but it has.

This gives me license to share with you THE MOST GLORIOUS BOOK GEMS I READ IN 2017. And also mention some of my book-reading stats of the year because obviously I need to squeal about even MORE books. It’s who I am. πŸ˜‰

(Most of the books I read last year which I have physical copies of around.)



According to my Goodreads Reading Challenge, in 2017, I read:

88 books

20,368 pages

(I find it perfect/hilarious that my shortest and longest reads both had sea covers. XD)

Here are some stats I put together from a spreadsheet. (And if you include some short stories and picture books, etc., which I didn’t include on my challenge, then I read 125 books this year. ;))

  • New Books (i.e. novels & novellas) I Read: 62
  • New Anthologies: 7
  • Short Stories (Singles): 17
  • Non-Fiction: 5
  • Re-Reads: 17
  • Picture Books: 18


  • Won: 6
  • Library: 14 (most of these were picture books. XD)
  • Audiobooks: 1
  • For Review (more or less): 37
  • Books in Readalongs/Bookclubs: 13
  • Beta-read: 5-ish


  • Diana Wynne Jones: 11
  • Jane Austen related: 7
  • Words of Reviews Written (according to Scrivener where I kept my reviews for this year): approximately 50,000. XD


Also, last week, on January 1st, it was my blogoversary! :O

I’ve now been blogging here on the Page Dreamer for two entire years and I’m gobsmacked at this information.

Thanks for coming along with me all this way! ❀ And if you’re newer — welcome! I hope you’ll have as much fun here as I’ve been having! ^_^

TOP 15 READS OF 2017

Anyway! Without further ado, in no particular order (I mean, slightly more favorites are nearer the top, but it’s not 100%…) here are the top 15 (ish) books I read in 2018!

(Click the titles for my reviews! And the author names for website links.)

1. Hexwood (by Diana Wynne Jones)

This one still wins for most mind-boggling and… well… everything. I mean, there had to be a DWJ book at the top, of course, and this was the best one by her I read all year. So, naturally. And then there’s fantasy/sci-fi/King Arthur/timey-wimey/PLOT TWISTS. Plus Mordion. IT WAS SO GOOD. I need to read it again. (See review linked from title above for disclaimers. XD) (ButMordionThough.)

2. The Beast of Talesend / The Tomb of the Sea Witch / The Stroke of Eleven (by Kyle Robert Shultz)

(So, I can’t quite decide which of these is the best, hence I’m tossing them all together and saying it’s kind of one book. XD)

THESE BOOKS. I’m utterly addicted to the Afterlands and all these fairytale etc. retellings, not to mention the humor and the characters I love. ❀ Plus they’re really clever and well-written, and just… really good books. With just a smidge of alternate-1920s and steampunk to spice things up. AND TWISTS. Definitely one of my favorites of the year! (Nick! Cordelia! Malcolm! CRISPIN!)

3. Halayda (by Sarah Delena White)

I don’t know exactly how to describe this, but it’s epic and Fae and perilous, and I absolutely love Taylan and Zad and the snark and romance and fantasy, with snatches of Celtic mythology re-imagined in there. It’s just a sweeping, glimmering fantasy epic, and I love it. ^_^ I read this as an ebook with the Fellowship of Fantasy book club, but I had to get a paperback copy for myself for Christmas because I needed to own it! I hope to re-read it someday. πŸ™‚

4. Magician’s Ward (by Patricia C. Wrede)

Regency Fantasy! Which is a genre I discovered this year, and I’m in love. I haven’t really read anything else in this genre, but I’m excited to read the prequel to this, soon. All that to say, this was a Regency England setting with magic and fantasy, and a former street thief girl trying to learn to be a “proper” lady of the time (with hysterical results), and also one of my favorite characters, a magician named Mairelon. It was just so much fun!

5. The Fatal Tree (by Stephen R. Lawhead)

The Bright Empires series has meant SO much to me that I’m having a hard time putting it into words. Which is the main reason I have yet to review this. I WILL, I just… How do you sum up an epic series like this? But I read this series at just the right time in my life, and this book was a great conclusion (I mean, how could it not be??), and I love basically every element of it! It’s a brilliantly written series, I adore all the characters, the plots and twists and timey-ness were fascinating, and the series was deep and just… they’re Really Good Books, okay? I will talk more about this at length, but it’s probably the single most influential series I’ve read for many years. ❀ I HIGHLY recommend trying out The Skin Map if you haven’t, so that you can get to this one — which definitely deserves a place in my top 5.

6. Sentinel / Arbiter (by Jamie Foley)

These have to go together, since I think of them as practically one book. And I NEED book 3. NEED. Jet is one of my favorite characters of all time — he’s just so awesome! — and I love his and Darien’s friendship. The world is so original, I really love some of the fantasy elements and can’t wait to see more, they’re super thrilling, and the character interactions and dialog and snark are just SO FUN! I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the final book and seeing how things work out!

7. Where the Woods Grow Wild (by Nate Philbrick)

This book is sort of like Prydain-meets-Narnia-meets-Wingfeather-Saga. Which is to say, it’s REALLY GOOD. Truly delightful fantasy, skillfully written, quirky, original, and just a lot of fun. It was so imaginative, and any time I say something reminds me of Lloyd Alexander, that is a HIGH mark of praise from me, since that author brought me to fantasy. I really want a sequel! If you haven’t tried this one out, it’s so much fun. πŸ˜€ (I read an ebook version of it for review, but I simply had to get a copy for my sister to read!)

8. Scars of War (by Hazel B. West)

I actually re-read the first two books in this series this year to get ready for this one, because I love this series/characters/world SO MUCH. Because an alternate modern Ireland with medieval aspects and epic warriors who drive fast cars is basically MY FAVORITE. This one was a roadtrip featuring two of my favorite characters (Oberon and Aedan), and a modern Faerie changeling plot, and basically WHAT IS NOT TO LIKE? It was so much fun. ^_^ I need more!

9. Magicians’ Rivalry (by H. L. Burke)

Another buddy story, this is one of my favorite such tales! Auric Spellsmith and Jericho Carver are basically opposites, and they do not get along AT ALL, but they have to work together. Unique magic and a scary land of Faerie and a dash of steampunk make this book a delight to read. Throw in the snark and the dash of romance (because Jericho is in love with Rill, Auric’s sister; queue awkward and ADORABLE) and it’s just SO MUCH FUN. ❀

10. Beren and Luthien (by J. R. R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien)

I almost didn’t put this one on here, because it’s not EXACTLY a normal book (being a collection of poetry and prose from various stages of Tolkien’s composing of this tale), and also because I don’t suppose it’s quite how he’d want it. But I’m putting it on anyway, because, despite those problems, it’s still absolutely gorgeous writing (and poetry), and it’s fun to see different stages of the story (even if Tolkien himself might not have wanted people reading his early drafts). The illustrations by Alan Lee are fabulous. And it’s the only new thing by Tolkien I read this year, so NATURALLY it needs to go on my top list. πŸ˜‰ Here’s to 100 years of Beren and Luthien! ❀

11. The Little White Horse (by Elizabeth Goudge)

I can’t describe this story, but it’s so delightful. It’s set in England in the 1800s, and sometimes you wonder if it even IS fantasy or just FEELS like it, but there are so many fun surprises, and it’s simply one of the most beautiful stories I’ve read in my life. It’s historical and fantasy and Christian and all without quite feeling like one of those. It reminds me a little of George MacDonald, and something else, but I don’t know what. It’s like a beautiful original fairytale in novel form. And it was written in 1946, so it has the old style of writing which is fun to read sometimes because it’s DIFFERENT. I also loved its whimsical nature, and all the eccentric characters we meet — I love them all!

Plus, it has two of my favorite quotes:

β€˜I should like this story to be like all the best stories and to end in β€œHappily ever after”.’


β€˜In every fairy-tale there is a kernel of truth.’


12. King’s Warrior / Second Son (by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt)

*huggles books* These were so fun! I think my favorite is Yorien’s Hand (book 3, which I re-read this year too), but these were so enjoyable too! I love this more classic kind of epic fantasy, but with its own twists too. And I love the Myth Folk (especially the Dragons. ;)) and just all of it. Best of all are the characters, like Brant and Kiernan Kane (two of my favorites of all time! ❀ ), and all the rest! I just love them SO MUCH. ^_^ I’m really looking forward to finishing this series in the upcoming Minstrel’s Call. πŸ™‚

13. Masters and Beginners (by Daley Downing)

This one’s a straight-up modern fantasy novel, which is a little unusual to make it to a top list, for me — but that’s precisely why this one did, because it was refreshing and fun and didn’t have all the annoying things I don’t like about modern books. πŸ™‚ Plus, FAERIES, and I just love how the Order integrates modern things with fairies and mythology and Biblical things, and it’s fascinating! And I love the characters as well, and just — I’M VERY FOND, OKAY?

14. Moonblood (by Anne Elisabeth Stengl)

I remember enjoying Heartless and Veiled Rose, but this seems to be where Goldstone Wood gets going, so I’m SO happy I read this with the Imps of Goldstone Wood fan club on Goodreads (I hope we’ll get back to reading the books together sometime!). I so enjoyed getting to see more of Eanrin and Imraldera and Leo and Rosie and BEANA and Oeric and basically ALL MY PRECIOUS PEOPLE. It’s gorgeous and perilous and such great Fae-fantasy, and just excuse me while I hug it. Plus so well-written. o.o I need to read Starflower…

15. The Reluctant Godfather (by Allison Tebo)

And lastly, a simply utterly fun little story! This charming novella-length retelling of Cinderella was simply a BLAST to read! Burndee the fairy godfather is SO grouchy and it’s hysterical! I love the snark and dialog and humor and fairytale twists. And of course Burndee himself! Isn’t a fairy godfather who hates humans and just loves to bake cakes original? I love him. XD It reminded me a little of Broken Glass (my FAVORITE Cinderella retelling of all time) and of the Talesend books a bit (because humorous and fairytales), and it’s just so fun. ^_^

So there you have my favorite books of the last year!

Have you read any of these or are any on your TBR? Because YOU NEED TO!

And what was your top favorite(s) read of 2017?

Tell me all in the comments!

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer


26 thoughts on “The 15 Most Glorious Book Gems I Read In 2017

  1. I can’t believe I haven’t read most of these! I started reading The Beast of Talesend, but then school started. 😦 But I looooved The Reluctant Godfather! That was definitely one of my favorite reads last year. πŸ˜€ Great post, and awesome job on the readin challenge!!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for all the recommendations!! Lots of these sound fantastic. And I agree about Little White Horse and Where the Woods Grow Wild, and I just need to bite the bullet and spend money for the second and third Talesend books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOOK AT ALL DA BOOOOOKS!!!! πŸ˜€ I love your pictures of them and seeing them all laid out like that. SO FUN!!! OH. AND HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY. 2 whole years of all the delightful bookish Celti things! EEP. That just makes me happy! I can’t wait for many more scrumptious years of book posts! ^_^

    I love how many DWJ books you read and how she gets her own place in the stats. I mean, obviously. xD I NEED Hexwood. Somehow I keep forgetting about it. o.O I could probably find it online from somewhere for cheap. I MUST DO THAT.

    We had a lot of the same favorite reads this year! The Beaumont and Beasley books, the Sentinel trilogy (NEED. THE. 3RD. BOOK. NOOOWWWW.), and the Reluctant Godfather! All such wonderful reads! (Of course, I discovered most of those via YOU. SO THANK YOU FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL RECOMMENDATIONS, BOOKFAIRY! <3) And Moonblood. Yesss! I love that book so much. *huggles it*

    Literally every single other book you listed is one I desperately want/need to read. You always just read the best books! I can't wait to see what all amazing bookish discoveries you make this year. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • ALL DA BOOKS, INDEED! Thank youuu! ^_^

      Heheh, I actually read one less last year than the year before. XD We’ll see how I do this year in terms of DWJ books. πŸ˜‰ YES HEXWOOD GAAH. I found it cheap on Thriftbooks, I believe… They have fantastic deals and if you get $10 worth, you get free shipping! πŸ˜€ So sometimes it’s actually cheaper than Amazon…

      Huzzah for same favoites! Beasley and Sentinel (GAAHH WE CAN JUST DIE WAITING FOR IT TOGETHER) and Reluctant Godfather were all SO fun! ^_^ Aww, you’re welcome! *huggles* I love our similar reading taste! πŸ˜€

      Yeshhh, you must read them! πŸ˜€ And thank you! I’m looking forward to finding out what books I’ll discover too! I hope you have a loverly reading year as well! ❀


  4. D’awwww πŸ™‚ so kind of you to include KW and SS in there. I can’t even express how happy it makes me to hear a reader call Brant and Kiernan “favorites of all time” because AAAAHHHHHH! *hugs you*

    All of these other books look amazing! I really need to get the rest of the Beaumont and Beasley books that are out… because they are awesome and epic and hilarious. I love Kyle’s sense of humor.

    And Halayda is up there in my top books of 2017 as well, such a good book!

    Oooh, Hexwood sounds deliciously epic. I must see if it’s in the library system… ahem… after February, when I get to read for fun again. LOL

    I totally agree about Moonblood being where the Goldstone Wood stories really started to come into their own. I enjoyed Heartless and Veiled Rose… but Moonblood was where I became a “fan”… or, possibly, an IMP. πŸ™‚

    Oooh, Patricia C. Wrede! I need to find that. I love her books!

    And I really need to just bite the bullet and go back and re-read The Skin Map so I can read the entire Bright Empires series. Maybe I shall make that a priority this year.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, you’re welcome! ^_^ I LOVE Brant and Kiernan!!

      YES, you need to read more Beasley books. They’re fabulous. I love his humor too!


      Hexwood was amazing and did so many confusing things to my feels. XD I feel like it’s not for everyone, but you might love it! Well, March is usually March Magics which celebrates DWJ, so that’s a great time to do it! πŸ˜‰

      Huzzah for Moonblood! Yep, I guess I’m an Imp now too. πŸ˜‰

      YES. She’s amazing! I think you’d like that one! πŸ˜€ (There’s an omnibus edition of Magician’s Ward and the first book — it’s called A Matter of Magic and was on my nightstand, if you’re looking for both of ’em.)

      YES. The Skin Map series was just so amazing! It’s impacted me SO much. I’m totally going to do a big ol’ post about the fifth book and the series and all my thoughts, soon…

      Thanks for reading! ❀


  5. Great recommendations! I tried the second book (I think?) in one of Anne Elizabeth Stengl’s series book I recall not liking it… hmm. I think I’ll have to try it again at some point, but this time, actually read the series in order xD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Yeah, hopping into the second one might not be the best idea. XD I’ve heard a LOT of people say this third one is the one where they started loving the series… You might enjoy if you tried them again. πŸ™‚ Thanks for dropping in!

      Liked by 1 person


    ACK Fatal Tree was SOOO. GOOOOD. πŸ˜€ I already want to re-read the entire series… XD

    Magician's Rivalry was so awesome!! I loved the banter between all the characters, but especially Auric and Jericho. So hilarious. XD

    Moonblood is definitely my favorite of the Tales of Goldstone Wood. So epic. AND YES YOU MUST READ STARFLOWER BECASE EANRIN AND STARFLOWER. THAT IS ALL. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. *furiously jots down the entire list to read in 2018*

    I’m so honored that The Sentinel Trilogy was included! I’m working on getting book 3 out ASAP… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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