10 of My Favorite First Lines

When I am trying to decide which book I’ll read next, I often read the first few lines of a book. That helps me decide. Does it capture my attention? So today, I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite first lines/beginnings of books!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (DOSAM #1) by Laini Taylor // I think this is the perfect start of the book. It’s like a prophecy of the book? You ask yourself so many questions before starting. Angel? Devil? How does it end?

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson // I think this sentence just fits so well with the book. Being unimportant is really relative. The person who believes this, feels unimportant in her family. But in the rest of the country, she is incredibly important. And anyone can really be important, even if you feel like you aren’t.

There were great advantages to being unimportant.

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon // I like this quote, because as with DOSAM, it makes me think about the book before I’ve even read a whole page. Why aren’t there more? Where did they go? Who is us? What happened?

I like to imagine there were more of us in the beginning. Not many, I suppose. But more than there are now.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah // I knew I would love this book from the first sentence. It’s just so beautiful, honest and probably true.

If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.

The Martian by Andy Weir // This first line just sets the tone for the book. It made me laugh, because it was so unexpected. Like I said before, I love the humor in the Martian, and how Mark Watney is always so snarky. It’s also very true. Stuck alone on Mars? Yeah, you’re pretty much fucked.

I’m pretty much fucked. That’s my considered opinion. Fucked.

The Bone Witch (Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco // I loved these lines, even though I can’t really explain why. It starts with a beast. An angry one. And a fierce girl. That’s pretty much all you need to start a book, no?

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer. She held no weapons except for the diamonds glinting like stars above her brow, against hair like a dark mass of sky.

The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles #1) by Michael J. Sullivan // This makes me laugh so hard. Why? The Riyria series revolve around Hadrian, a mercenary, and Royce, a thief. They steal things. That’s what makes this so funny to me.

Hadrian Blackwater hadn’t gone more than five steps off the ship before he was robbed.

Dark Legion (Blood of Blood #1) by Paul Kleynhans // I really like to include this book in my posts, because I think it’s very underrated. It’s an intriguing fantasy book about a slave/assassin/prince. There’s a lot of killing in this book -and the sequel. I love this first line because it not only sets the tone for an assassin book, but also because of the slave turns on master aspect.

I held the dagger to my master’s throat, and time stretched – measured by a dozen slow-drawn breaths.

The Moon in the Palace (Empress of Bright Moon #1) by Weina Dai Randel // I love a good  foretelling or prophecy. There’s really not much more explanation necessary, I think.

The day my future was foretold, I was just five years old.

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle #1) by Christopher Paolini // This is one of my favorite series from my childhood. I absolutely loved it -and still do. Isn’t this a great first line? From the beginning, you’re told that from this moment, the entire world will change. So let’s enjoy the ride, and see what happens.

Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world. 

Those are 10 of my absolute favorite first lines! I’m sure I could come up with more, but I figured this list was a great place to start. Have you read any of these books? Are you interested in any because of the lines mentioned here? What are your favorite first lines?

18 thoughts on “10 of My Favorite First Lines

  1. Lovely choices, and you’re absolutely right – if the first few lines of a novel catch my attention, then I’m pretty much guaranteed to enjoy it at least a little bit, if not fall completely in love with it! I also like comparing last lines of a novel (my favorite being that of The Great Gatsby), since I feel as though it’s also important for a great read to end just as strongly as it began. xx


  2. Haha, that was actually my first lesson plan for my creative writing workshop, first lines! I considered using a Sanderson line (from Mistborn) and would have used Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but I already used that last year to the same kids, so I opted for a few other books I enjoyed with lovely first lines (like Harry Potter and Divergent). Great topic!


  3. Ohh I was going to do a post like this as well! 😀 I love reading first (and last) lines, because they totally set the mood for the book and can grip you from the very first sentence. I especially love the ones from Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Martian. Definitely The Martian because I didn’t expect it was going to be funny, so when I read that one I was like, “Oh. I see how this is going to be. EXCELLENT.”


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