Top Ten Best Indie Books I Read In 2020

Book Reviews

It took me longer than expected to decide on my top books of 2020! I had a long list to choose from! I have a great mix here of fantasy books with a few scifi books and one historical fiction novel. I read these books in 2020, so some of them came out earlier, and have lived on my TBR list for a little while.

Without further ado, here are my top ten indie books of 2020:

10. Rimrider by L. A. Kelley

A wonderful adventure in space with intrigue and mystery, war and friendship! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys clean YA scifi!

9. Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn

A wonderful intrigue tale with marriage alliances, fantasy with technology and a heroine who learns to become what her country needs her to be.

8. Ashen by H. L. Burke

H. L. Burke does it again! A unique fantasy world with a great plot and characters with growth. I should have read this book sooner! If you enjoyed SpiceBringer, you'll love Ashen!

7. Elves Of Lessa by K. M. Shea

So this one is techically a series, but I read all the books in 2020 and they are all great! All of the novels are sweet, clean romances with fun plots, loads of humor, and witty banter. There is a consistant theme for each of the heroines embracing who truely you are to save the day.

K.M. Shea has a knack for writing sweet romance with a juicy plot! I loved the clash of the two cultures in Red Rope Of Fate and the twisty plot. Delightful read!

Royal Magic rivals much I love the first novel. Gwendafyn is a wonderful character with surprising depth and the romance is especially sweet. I loved her character and journey to embrace her true potential.

Prince's Bargain is a humorous sequel with an interesting plot involving political trade intrigue and a funny, sweet, and awkward romance between two introverts. 

6. The Darkest Summer by Rebecca J. Greenwood

A great recency retelling of Hades and Persephone! I loved the whirlwind adventure to get to Scotland and the humorous misadventures of the members of Cora's court. I loved the use of plants, rivers, rain and crashes to show their travel into the "underworld". Using the Year Without Summer was a clever thing indeed.

5. Calio Thunder Rides Again by T. A. Hernandez

I felt so lucky to receive a hardcover copy of this book from the Indiecember challenge! It's so pretty! I LOVED this novel. Gangsters and a magical circus with griffins and dragons? I didn't know I needed this in my life, but I did. I love the characters and the ending was fantastic.

4. Cinderella and The Colonel by K. M. Shea

This is a great fairytale romance and a clever retelling of Cinderella, too. I loved watching the relationship between the two leads grow into something special. I loved how Cinderella's kindness is what saved them in the end in a realistic and heartwarming way.

3. Ember by Anna Holmes

I LOVED this novel! Caelin is a wonderful strong character and Alain is a beautiful mess. Caelin may be a princess, but she's missing just as many pieces as Alain. Together they build each other back up. Tressa is great. I have a bit of a soft spot for August and Simon. The plot flows very well as new twists and turns come up. Nothing feels forced.

The character reveals!! I had my suspicions, but I never would have thought!

The fight scenes are well described to be easy to follow and impressive. The betrayals! The stakes keep getting higher and higher until you think there is no way they can win.

Thanks to this book I added a new fangirl shelf for books that I am totally biased about. It kind of ties with the Elven Alliance series. 

2. Unknown Horizons by Casey White

To say this book is a wild ride is an understatement. Every page of this was nail biting action with a few brief moments to breath before plunging into the next impossible situation. I love Sam and her Herculean willpower. I LOVE grumpy, homicidal Saro. Idjim is honestly the best. Tiix is a great throwback to Greek myth. I want to see more of arrogant An'air. The snatchers are terrifying.

Basically, I'm sitting over here like I didn't experience emotional trauma at the hands of an ebook.

1. Elven Alliance Series by Tara Grayce

Ok I cheated. Instead of a top book, I'm including another book series. I don't think this will surprise many people with how much I have been talking about these book to anyone who will listen.

Fierce Heart has all the right elements that make for a wonderful story from characters to world-building to plot. It has all the tropes I love in new and unique ways. I loved the way the Essie and Ferrendell went from strangers to friends to lovers.

Do you ever finish a book and you love it so much you have to hug it close? That is how I felt after finishing War Bound. Thanks to all of my bookish friends warning me about the cliffhanger, I did not feel absolutely devastated by the ending, but holy hecking heck, I need the next book RIGHT AWAY.

Okay, so Essie's family is wonderful and I LOVED their interactions with Ferrendel. Every scene brought a smile to my face. Essie is a great example of an extroverted optimist in a fantasy story and I just love her. Ferrendel is a introvert AND shy, but determined to make a good impression NO MATTER WHAT. This book not only lives up to the example of the first book, but almost exceeds it in delighting me. 

Death Wind is a great sequel that doesn't shy away from intense topics while the characters are on the march for war. Some surprising redemption in this one. Essie and Farrendel's family becomes much closer than they thought possible as they united behind a common cause. I need the next book ASAP.

Did you read any of these books this year? What did you think? Are you adding any of the books to your TBR list now? Comment below!