Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Top 5 First Sentences

Hey, there!

Been awhile since I did a Top Five Wednesday, so I thought I'd jump back in, since this week's topic is a freebie!

If you don't know what Top Five Wednesday is, it's an open group on Goodreads where people are given a topic every Wednesday to do a top five list of, and they post their answers. It's basically a massive weekly collaboration between bloggers and vloggers and such. If you're interested in joining or checking it out, take a look over here.

Since today is a freebie, which basically means I can make up a new topic or steal one from past, I decided to steal from the past.

Three years in the past, actually, since this topic is from August 2016.

Anyway, let's get down to business.

I'm going to talk about favourite first sentences. The first line is so important to a book, and I absolutely love looking at them.

I'm going to leave out some of the more obvious favourites, like the ever-beloved:

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."
-The Hobbit; by J. R. R. Tolkien

Did I technically just do it anyway? Yes.

Do I care? Absolutely not.

Another author I'm not going to use in this list is actually a bit surprising, and that is Brandon Sanderson.

Why? Well, for one, I've used him in almost all my lists so far, and don't want to overuse him. And for two, HE HAS A LOT OF REALLY WONDERFUL OPENING LINES AND I DON'T WANT TO CHOOSE JUST ONE.

Alrighty. Now with all that out of the way, let's get to the Top Five List, shall we?


"The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault."
-Blood Rites (The Dresden Files #6); by Jim Butcher

Let's start with the big leagues of my favourites.

I really don't know what I can say about this first line without pointing out the obvious. I mean...just read it. How can you not want to know about what's going on when you read something like that?

It's also a line that really sums up Harry's life throughout this series. The trouble he gets into is rarely his own fault. He just keeps getting dragged into problem after problem and having to fight his way out.

Also, it's just plainly hilarious. I love it.


"The morning air was still as Caeden brushed his thumb against the axe's edge, nodding as a fine line of crimson blushed where the skin made contact."
-An Echo of Things to Come (Licanius #2); by James Islington

It was a battle between this book and the first book in the series (The Shadow of What Was Lost) for my favourite first line, but since my favourite opening for book one appears in chapter one and this one appears in the prologue, I had to go with this one.

That's right, I consider the prologue to be part of the book. So sue me.


Without the context of book one, this sentence probably doesn't have the same emotion for most people as it did for me.

However, when I read and understood what was going on with Caeden in that scene, and particularly being able to look back after finishing the book...

Let's just say it perfectly sets up a haunting and tragic character arc that leads into a beautifully unfolding story as we learn more and more about Caeden's backstory.

I love it.


"When we encounter a voice that moves us on an emotional level, by turns wringing tears from our eyes and plucking laughs from our bellies, there is an ineffable quality to its power: all we know is that we like listening to it and want to hear more."
- A Plague of Giants; by Kevin Hearne

Probably a strange choice, since I haven't actually read/finished this book yet, but I still really like this first line. It's what got me wanting to buy the book in the first place.

What I love about it is the poetry behind it. It reminds me of something written by Patrick Rothfuss, just lyrical and beautiful to read.

It was surprising for me when I read it, considering that it was written by the man who I only knew as the man who wrote The Iron Druid Chronicles, which had basic prose and followed...well, a usually naked druid.

That's...not even a joke, the more I think of it.

Anyhow. Yes. Beautiful writing. Makes me want to read the rest of the book at some point.

Let's carry on.


"It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts."
-The Name of the Wind; by Patrick Rothfuss.

I know that this is technically two sentences, so maybe it's cheating, but I don't care. I had to add it.

I would add the entire prologue if I could. It's honestly my favourite opening of any book on my shelves.

Not much I can say about it, though. It's beautiful, it's lyrical, and it perfectly opens one of the best written books I've ever read.


"Hadrian Blackwater hadn't gone more than five steps off the ship before he was robbed."
-The Crown Tower; by Michael J. Sullivan

I couldn't do a list of favourite sentences without bringing up a book by Michael J. Sullivan.

There are several openings by him that I really enjoy, but this is my favourite first sentence. There are many first paragraphs by him that I love, but this is my favourite opening line.

Again, not much I can say about it that it doesn't say for itself.

Anyway, I could go on about first sentences. I can list so many more. Openings are a tricky beast to work with, but I find them fascinating.

But that wraps up another Top 5 Wednesday! Do you agree with any of my picks? Are there any first sentences that you love? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to give it a comment, like, or share wherever you found it. It helps out a lot.

Thanks for reading, and I'll talk to you again next time!

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