My Top Ten Books of 2021 | 2021 Wrap Up

My Top Ten Books of 2021

Hello everyone! I hope that everyone has had a Merry Christmas! And now it is the very last day of this year! The end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022! I hope that everyone here will have a fantastic New Year’s!

It is also that time of the year that we take a look back on 2021 with a smile on our faces with what we have accomplished. So I decided that today I would list my top ten books of 2021. I have read a whopping 36 books this year and a lot of them were really good. (That number might end up becoming 37, we’ll see if I can sneak one more book in before the start of 2022.) The order that I have these books listed has to do with when I finished reading the story. And has nothing to do with favorites.

So with nothing else to do, let’s get onto the list!

Here are the rules I must follow for this list XD

  1. I can only pick 10 books.
  2. I can only pick books that I gave 4 to 5 stars.
  3. I can pick an author more than once. (Otherwise, this would be a very short list)
  4. I cannot pick books that I had reread.
  5. The book covers goes to their Goodreads page.

#1

“Fae Captive”

(Tangled Fae #2)

By: Sarah K.L. Wilson

5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

200 Pages

Cover for "Fae Captive" By: Sarah K.L Wilson

After I had started “Fae Hunter” at the end of 2020 I had to get the rest of the series. I honestly don’t know which book in the series is my favorite as each one ended with a cliffhanger with the next book picking up right where the last one left off. But I just went ahead and picked the second book anyway. It just gave us a really cool glance at the fae world while the main character is in a handheld cage. It was just so masterfully done and I love the series so much. I’m definitely going to be picking up more books by this author in 2022. =D

See my full review here

#2

“Bound”

By: Victoria Lynn

5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

166 Pages

Cover for "Bound" By: Victoria Lynn

There was something about this tiny story that I loved so much. The writing was lovely. I loved Levi and how protective he was of Casey when they met. Their stories were heartbreaking but they became a blissful entanglement of happiness. Even if I wouldn’t have minded a longer story, I don’t think it could have been told any better than the length it was in.

My full review is to come soon!

#3

“Shadow and Bone”

(The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1)

By: Leigh Bardugo

4 Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

369 Pages

Cover for "Shadow and Bone" by: Leigh Bardugo

This book had been on my TBR for some time, but it was the announcement of the Netflix series that finally pushed me to read this awe-inspiring world. I think the best thing in this series was the worldbuilding. There was just so much thought into the different cultures, languages, religion, and cities. The writing for these books was just wow. I loved it. I was happy that Netflix’s trailer made me pick up these books sooner rather than later.

See my full review here

#4

“Six of Crows”

(Six of Crows #1)

By: Leigh Bardugo

4 Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

465 Pages

Cover for "Six of Crows" By: Leigh Bardugo

I picked up this one for the same reasons as above. The characters for this one captured my heart. They were morally gray but also kinda good in their gray little ways. I love getting to see Ketterdam and the Ice Court. I have always been fascinated with heist stories ever since I have been a kid, and this book really gives me that pleasure. I definitely recommend. Though I thought that this one was a whole lot better than the second book.

See my full review here

#5

“Between Gods and Demigods”

(Rage Like the Gods, #0.5)

By: Nicki Chapelway

5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

110 Pages

Cover for "Between Gods and Demigods" By: Nicki Chapelway

This was an introduction to the world of Ruskhazar and I fell hard for these characters. Azern was great. The world needs more of Magnar. The world was based on Russian and Scandinavian mythology and the videogame “Skyrim”. The world was unique and astonishing; it enhanced the plot of the story and just everything about it was beautiful. Quite honestly, I love this book and I was so happy to get a sneak peek of what’s to come. Also, did I mention that this book has really cool illustrations? Because it does and I love them!

See my full review here

#6

“Dawnsong: a Spectrum prequel”

By: Bryn Shutt

5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

52 Pages

Cover for "Dawnsong" By: Bryn Shutt

“Dawnsong” is a wonderful introduction and prequel to “Spectrum” a novel that hasn’t yet been released but I am now anticipating when I can hold it and read it. I really liked Lilias and how she wanted to help the children, known as the Jays. The worldbuilding was extraordinary which can be hard to do in the short novel but the story does it wonderfully. And the theme about actually seeing rather than just looking was so well done. I really cannot wait for the next installment in this fantastic series! Plus there were so many beautiful illustrations throughout the book from very talented artists.

See my full review here

#7

“A Winter Dark and Deadly”

(Winter Cursed #2)

By: Nicki Chapelway

5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

603 Pages

Cover for "A Winter Dark and Deadly" By: Nicki Chapelway

The long-awaited sequel to “Winter Cursed” that retells the fairytale of “Snow White”. Gah, I love this book so much! The characters in the story were amazing! And the romance that went from enemies to lovers was perfect. Cedric is kind of chaotic good that I absolutely love and getting to see more of the story was great. And the plotline of Elizabeth wanting to be the best queen and to do the right thing for her people was so well done, I loved it so much.

See my full review here

#8

“Third Winter’s War”

(Seventh Realm, #3)

By: M.L. Little

5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

329 Pages

Cover for "Third Winter's War" By: M.L. Little

This was a series wherein each book the author got bolder and better with her writing. In “Third Winter’s War” the writing was extraordinary. I fell deeply in love with the characters that my heart was ripped to shreds whenever something horrible happened. The book was sad, showed every aspect of war, time traveled, and had a bittersweet ending. I cried. But this book had everything that I could ever want and more. I really hope that the author will be able to publish another story soon because I need another book by this talented author.

See my full review here

#9

“Of Stars and Shadows”

(Of Dreams and Nightmares Trilogy, #2)

By: Nicki Chapelway

5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

248 Pages

Cover for "Of Stars and Shadows" By: Nicki Chapelway

This was one of my most anticipated books of 2021 and it did not disappoint! I don’t really know how to talk about this book without mentioning something that would spoil the first book, but I’ll try. We got to see more of the faerie world, especially a little bit of the Spring Court. The characters were amazing, especially the new additions. Thomas is a new favorite character, just how he tried to support Jaye and how chill he was made me love him so much. I cannot wait for the third and final book in the series, even if there will be a small wait. =)

See my full review here

#10

“Create: An allegory for the misfit artists”

By: Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick

5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

20 Pages

Cover for "Create" By: Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick

This short little gem made me so happy. It was whimsical and touching. Showing the heart of artists. It was sweet and I honestly could read a whole story based on this concept. Very thought-out.

See my full review here

Looking Back At 2021

2021 was a huge year for me. At the end of 2020, I had started a new website (this website!) that focuses on a frictional blog serial, “Eye of the Panther”. Which was so much fun! I ended up finishing the first season in 2021 and I have been preparing to work on season two.

In 2021, I was still working on repairing our house in the spring and summertime. I was probably 30 feet in the air painting our house blue with a little paintbrush. It was a blast.

“Eye of the Panther”

Blog Serial Season 1

My biggest accomplishment in 2021 was finishing the first season of the “Eye of the Panther” blog serial, which ended up becoming 39 episodes and 115,618 words long! I fell in love with these characters so much and I hope that you will do the same. I can’t wait to start working on season 2!

Cover for "Eye of the Panther, Season 1" By: Grace M. Morris

About

One wishes for peace, the other longs for love. Together they find adventure.

Fighting an endless war Col. Jack Shepherd begins to question if what he’s fighting for is really worth it. Tired of the bloodshed the colonel tries to fulfill the prophecy given to him. The task seemed simple enough; find the amulet known as the Eye of the Panther. The powerful amulet would supposedly grant the wearer powers that would end the war. But everything changes for the worse when he finds that the current wearer is a young elvish boy.

Getting kidnapped (or adopted) by a moody colonel, Hunga Pana Jr. finally begins to hope that he has found the family he has always long for. He would do anything to win the Colonel’s heart, even use his precious amulet. If only he knew how to use it himself, that is.

Two opposing kings also want the amulet for themselves. Jack finds that he can no longer trust anyone and tries to protect the young boy at all costs.

“Dragon Hunter”

Bonus Episodes

I have also written seven bonus episodes in Robin’s POV, my little creature hunter. The bonus episodes give a little more insight about the dragon that comes in episode six in the main series. I would probably wait to read these bonus episodes until after you have read episodes one through sixteen of the main series. But this is definitely a must-read! It is one of my favorites and it is so much fun! The seven episodes altogether ended up being 31,363 words.

About

They are the most dangerous men of their land. They slit the throats of dragons. They are known as the creature hunters.

Robin, scarred by a fire that took the life of both of his birth parents, tries to prove to his adopted family that he can live the life they lead. The life of creature hunters; outlaws and nomads of the land of Bolckaty. In training to become one of these criminals, Robin goes on his first mission with his adopted brother, Cody, to hunt a dragon and retrieve an item of silver. Both being difficult tasks as not many metals can go through a dragons’ hide and the faeries had long since destroyed or hidden any silver left in their world.

With not having the stomach to kill the beast, everything goes from bad to worse. Especially when a Black Colonel gets seriously injured and soldiers of the Golden kingdom are on their trial. After everything that happens Robin begins to wonder why his best friend and protector, Hunter, would want with an item of silver in the first place. As the thunderbird shifter would not be able to wield it.

Audio Drama Podcast

I also started an audio drama podcast in 2021 for the “Eye of the Panther”. So far I have posted the first six episodes. I post every other Friday so be sure to listen to me on Anchor or Spotify!

S1 E8: What’s Inside of Us Eye of the Panther

"Eye of the Panther" Season 1 Episode 8 What’s Inside of Us: Hunga is filled with guilt for what happened to the Colonel. When he sees how sad Frida is he explains to her what he sees inside of people. Listen in for a fantasy audio drama podcast! Narrated and written by Grace M. Morris This episode is also available as a blog post: https://gracemmorris.wordpress.com/2021/01/22/eye-of-the-panther-s1-e8-whats-inside-of-us/ Thank you so much for listening! Enjoy the adventure! =D
  1. S1 E8: What’s Inside of Us
  2. S1 E7 Graves of a Thousand Men
  3. S1 E6: Peanut
  4. S1 E5: Kindness for the Unkind
  5. S1 E4: Attacked by Worms

Other Writing Done in 2021

Besides the “Eye of the Panther”, I did start writing the “Daughter of the Phoenix”. But I didn’t get nearly as far as I had wanted, I have only written 2,254 words in it. Which isn’t a bad start. But publication might take longer than expected.

I also worked a tiny bit on editing “The Air We Breathe”. But I didn’t get very far in that one either.

Reviews Posted on Blog

I post a review on the first Wednesday of every month. Sometimes I do more if I have time. With each review that I post on the blog, I draw a fanart piece. I wrote a total of 26,886 words in reviews this year. Here is the list of the ones I posted on the blog in 2021:

Tag Posts

I also did a tag post that was extremely fun.

Updates To

Never Have I Ever Tag // Writer Edition

I posted the drawing for this tag post! =D Originally I wasn’t going to draw a picture. But my Mom gave me a cool idea that I just couldn’t get out of my head so I decided to draw it. Besides, it’s perfect for New Year’s Eve, lol. XD I drew myself in my pajamas, looking exhausted, and holding a mug that says “I don’t drink”. XD Now for clarification: I don’t drink alcohol. The mug has to do with the fact that I also don’t drink coffee, as it relates to the post.

Drawing of Grace holding a mug that says "I Don't Drink".
This doesn’t look exactly like me, but I tried. =)

My Artwork of 2021

I got really serious with digital art in 2021 and I fell in love with it so much! I drew quite possibly over 40 drawings in 2021. Here are a few of my favorites:

Fanart of Oncat from “Ruin and Rising” By: Leigh Bardugo
Fanart of Oncat from “Ruin and Rising” By: Leigh Bardugo
Fanart of Ravven from “Of Gold and Iron” By: Nicki Chapelway
Fanart of Ravven from “Of Gold and Iron” By: Nicki Chapelway
Fanart of Azern from “Between Gods and Demigods” By: Nicki Chapelway
Fanart of Azern from “Between Gods and Demigods” By: Nicki Chapelway
Varian in his fox form from "Separated" (E34) "Eye of the Panther"
Varian in his fox form from “Separated” (E34) “Eye of the Panther”
A Wrathon (a type of dragon) from "Dragon Hunter Pt2" (BE6.69) "Eye of the Panther"
A Wrathon (a type of dragon) from “Dragon Hunter Pt2” (BE6.69) “Eye of the Panther”
Frida and Max dancing from "Chosen" (E38) "Eye of the Panther"
Frida and Max dancing from “Chosen” (E38) “Eye of the Panther”
Ghost from "The Hatred of Peace" (E32) "Eye of the Panther"
Ghost from “The Hatred of Peace” (E32) “Eye of the Panther”
Robin with Calida Hunter from “Friend or Foe” (E22) “Eye of the Panther”
The Golden King from "City of Gold" (E29) "Eye of the Panther"
The Golden King from “City of Gold” (E29) “Eye of the Panther”
Hunga with the Colonel from "A Cold Reminder" (E17) "Eye of the Panther"
Hunga with Peanut and the Colonel from “A Cold Reminder” (E17) “Eye of the Panther”
Nyx from "Faerie Wings" (E18) "Eye of the Panther"
Nyx from “Faerie Wings” (E18) “Eye of the Panther”
Paul from my newsletter
Paul from my newsletter
Prince Juan with Boo from my newsletter
Prince Juan with Boo from my newsletter
Varian from my newsletter
Varian from my newsletter
Calida Hunter from my newsletter
Calida Hunter from my newsletter

Plans for 2022

So 2022 is HERE!!! So far the plan is like this: I found an editor who I really like and will probably be hiring her in January to edit the first season of the “Eye of the Panther”. Something that I don’t think I have told anyone here yet, is I plan on publishing the “Eye of the Panther” as a book! But first I want to do with some edits with an editor, go over it with a team of beta readers, and redraw the original artwork in my newer style in gray style. So I probably will not be publishing it for a while yet. But I’m going in that direction and I’m so excited about it!

I plan on posting season 2 of the “Eye of the Panther”. Now I realize that in this post I said that I would know more when it will be coming out after the holidays. But I’m still nowhere close to knowing when I will be able to post the first episode. I did get my little outline completed in December. So I have the whole thing planned out. But I do not have any episodes written for it yet. I plan on starting writing them this month, but we will see what happens.

I want to start posting on my YouTube channel again. Several years ago I was doing Booktube videos that I really enjoyed making. I’m not sure if I will be able to continue to make that kind of content, at least for a while. But I do plan on posting speedpaints of the drawings that I have been doing. So if you are interested in that kind of content be sure to subscribe here and hit the little bell icon to be notified of when the first video will be posted.

I also really want to start an Instagram account where I can post my drawings and maybe do Bookstagram. I’ll let you know when I get that going. =)

I really don’t know if I am going to have enough time to do anything more. If I have enough time, I would love to work on “Daughter of the Phoenix”, “The Air We Breathe“, and “Planet Chaos”. And while I still might be able to work on maybe one of these projects, working on all three plus the other stuff above might be a little ambitious.

Happy New Year’s!

Happy New Year’s! 🎆 🎉 🥳 Remember that God is with us no matter the year or the times we go through.

Picture that says: Happy New Year's!

“Do not be anxious about anything,

but in everything by prayer and

supplication with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known to God.”

Philippians 4:6 ESV

Conclusion

Remember to sign up for my newsletter to be the first one to get news on my ongoing projects, special drawings only for newsletter subscribers, and a mouthy recap on the books that I had read that month. My newsletters only come out on the first Monday of every month, unless of course something really big happens then you might get an extra little email but that doesn’t happen very often. 😉

What are your top books of 2021? I’m always looking for new reads, so be sure to share in the comments down below! Have a very happy New Year’s!

Enjoy the Adventure! =D
Grace M. Morris

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Published by Grace M. Morris

Grace M. Morris traveled into a story one time, and no one has been able to pull her back ever since. When she learned that she can create stories of her own she has been striving to write speculative stories with a Christian basis suitable for young adults.

3 thoughts on “My Top Ten Books of 2021 | 2021 Wrap Up

  1. Look at how crazy productive you were in 2021! I only read three books this year, but I did read Dawnsong and I loved it I can’t wait for more books to be released in that world. Ahhh, I can’t believe that all three of my releases this year made it to your top ten. What an honor!

    All of your illustrations are great, but I especially love that one of the cat. You are so good at drawing cats and animals. I struggle so hard with anything that is nonhumanoid.

    Oh my goodness, I would LOVE to see you on Instagram someday! 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I honesty didn’t feel productive until I had written this post and saw that I had actually did so much.

      “Dawnsong” was amazing!!! I’m super excited for the next installment to come out!

      Of course! I love your writing style, characters, and worlds. It makes my day a hundred times better to get to read your stories. I couldn’t have written this list without including them. =D

      Aww, thank you! I love drawing animals, I pretty sure that it has something to do with how cute they are or something. XD Oncat was just a joy to draw. I get that. I still struggle with drawing a creature not from this world and sometimes people. I’m getting a little better with the latter, but there is something about hands that is just infuriating to draw. Sometimes they come out okay, but there are other times that you might think I am drawing an alien creature or something. XD

      SOON! I’ll let you know when I make an account, but thank you! I’m really excited about it. =D

      Happy New Year! =D

      Like

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