Favorite Debuts of 2020

I am here with another 2020 post and this time, I wanna look back at some of my favorite debuts of the year. I completely fell in love with some of them, while other authors impressed me with their writing enough that I am already looking forward to their sophomore novels. So, let me get started about some of these….!!!!

Raybearer is undoubtedly my favorite debut of the year. The worldbuilding is mighty impressive, the ensemble of characters are so lovable, the relationships make us very emotional, and the stakes are extremely high. On top of that, we also get subtle commentary on colonialism, cultural assimilation and the grief it causes, making this an exemplary first book. And if you truly wanna experience the magic of this story, listen to the audiobook because it’s masterful.

The Bone Shard Daughter is another top favorite of mine and right from that cover, it’s very memorable. The world comprising of moving islands is very unique, this is another ensemble cast who I loved following along, a magic system that is gruesome but it’s similarities to a coding language made me very fascinated with it, and an absolutely adorable animal companion who is unforgettable. I can’t wait to see where this story goes next.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a short novella, so I don’t wanna spoil much but it has stunning and beautiful writing, a fascinating narration style, and a story full of impressive but forgotten women who decide to take destiny into their own hands.

Surrender Your Sons is a painful and hard to read book, but it’s also an unputdownable thriller full of strong and resilient youngsters who fight very long odds to emerge victorious, but not unscathed.

I read Women’s Fiction very rarely, but Well-Behaved Indian Women which is about three generations of women in a family felt very interesting on first thought and I couldn’t resist. And this story of the trials and tribulations of these women in their lives and marriages was so relatable, that I probably spent half my time weeping through it. A very sensitive and thought provoking debut.

I may have had some issues with A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, but it’s West African inspired worldbuilding and astrology based magic system were very unique and impressive. This book also explores sibling bonds with a lot of emotional depth and it’s hard not to root for them. I’m definitely looking forward to how this proceeds after a very unexpected ending.

Cinderella is Dead is another debut that didn’t entirely live up to my expectations but it had such a cool and interesting concept and I was very much impressed with the writing itself. The premise of the author’s sophomore novel feels equally interesting, and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for us.

Did you enjoy any of these debuts? What were some of your other favorites? Feel free to share all your thoughts in the comments below..

22 thoughts on “Favorite Debuts of 2020

Add yours

  1. Wonderful list, Sahi! I’ve heard lots of great things about The Bone Shard Daughter. My favourite debuts I read in 2020 were Where The Crawdads Sing, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, and These Violent Delights ๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loooooved the first three on your list, and Empress of Salt and Fortune might be my absolute favorite book of 2020. It just felt so rich for such a short book! And it definitely accomplished that desirable debut author thing of making me super super excited for Nghi Vo’s further writing career.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Iยดve only read A Song of Wraiths and Ruin from this list, which I really enjoyed! But I own Raybearer and The Bone Shard Daughter, and Iยดm so excited to read those!


    Liked by 1 person

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