Best Opening Lines | Top Ten Tuesday

I should be asleep. It’s nearly 11PM as I write this and I’ll be up in about 6 hours for work. YIKES. But I’m way too invested in this post today to give up now. So buckle up kids and enjoy the ride.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s prompt is:

Opening Lines

Aren’t they catchy? You want something that starts a story with a BANG. Something that really hooks your attention and promises a good tale is to come. Well, despite how achingly tired my wee eyeballs are, for your delight and my entertainment, I have literally pulled about 40% of my bookshelf out to read through every first line and pick the first 10 that made me go YES, I love it!

I say 40% because alarmingly it took that many books (let us take a moment to remember I have somewhere around 600 books, I think) to find just 10 that I loved the beginning of. BUT WE DID IT. And we’re here. So oh my god, let’s just get on with it.

1. Serpent & Dove
by Shelby Mahurin


There’s something haunting about a body touched by magic.

I love this opening line. This is actually the first time I’ve opened up this book and had a look inside. But isn’t that just gripping?! Whose body? Why is it touched by magic? Is it alive? Why are we discussing it in such a detached manner? SEE??! I have so many questions and curiosities just from this one line.

2. Slayer
by Kiersten White

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Of all the awful things demons do, keeping Latin alive when it deserves to be a dead language might be the worst.

Isn’t this just hilarious?! You know that if you continue reading this book that high levels of sass are a promise. I have not read Slayer yet but I do know how great an author White is so this line gave me all the giggles and safely tucked me into the security of knowing that White has an excellent tale waiting for us.

3. To Kill a Kingdom
by Alexandra Christo

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I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive.

Boom. How can you not read this book now. HELLO. The narrator has a HEART for every YEAR she’s been ALIVE. Omg. This book is wild and mad and beautiful. I loved reading it and the promise of savagery, intrigue, unearthly doings and weird shit that is promised by this short first line is definitely delivered throughout the rest of the story.

4. Shadow of the Fox
by Julie Kagawa

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It was raining the day Suki came to the Palace of the Sun, and it was raining the night that she died. 

Are you alright? Was that the sound of you falling off your chair I heard? Isn’t this a great way to hook you in. Nothing tickles me pink more than an author declaring that their most important character, their main character, the narrator, has died. As a reader, you sit there and go YEAH BUT NAH because how could that possibly be?! What a great way to start a story.

5. The Square Root of Summer
by Harriet  Reuter Hapgood

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My underwear is in the apple tree.

Sold. I want to read this book because I have many questions. Why are your undies in a tree? Why have you specified that it is an apple tree? Are you in an orchard, indecent in public as some stray boys waft your knickers around? Is this tree in your backyard? How did your undies depart from your derriere? So many questions.

6. The Eyes of a King
by Catherine Banner


These are the last words I will write.

Haunting. How could you not keep reading? We know this to be a blatant lie by the fact that an entire novel follows them. Unless, of course, by “last words” the narrator does, in fact, mean the whole book. Nonetheless, HOW INTRIGUING, TELL ME MORE.

7. The Last Namsara
by  Kristen Ciccarelli


Asha lured the dragon with a story.

This opening line is all I need in life. Coupled with the shushing affect the cover gives off, it makes it feel like this book is one big secret all tied up with a bow and ready for you to unwrap. The promise of dragons from line one is simply too exciting. The prospect of someone telling the dragon a story is mind-blowing.

8. Cinder
by Marissa Meyer

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The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.

My main reason for including this on the list was because I lost it laughing imagining how horrified/surprised a new reader who hadn’t read the blurb would be upon reading this opening line. This is another series I’m yet to start but I love how intriguing this opening line is.

9. Song of the Current
by Sarah Tolcser


There is a god at the bottom of the river.

I was not expecting this to have an intriguing opening line, but omg it did. I love it. There is something magical and Other about this opening line that just leaves me begging for more. I must know the significance of the river. I must know who their gods are. I must know why their gods are appearing in the river!

10. Prince of Shadows
by Rachel Caine


I stood in the dark corner of my enemy’s house, and thought of murder.

I know that Caine is a popular and awesome author and wow, she sure knows how to drop an opening line! I love how this throws you right in the deep end. It wastes no time on settings or backgrounds, we are straight to the point with lurking and murder.

That’s a wrap!

What’s your favourite opening line?

Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~


31 thoughts on “Best Opening Lines | Top Ten Tuesday

  1. I have questions about the Hapgood one! The others look good too. I haven’t read those books but I have read some of the authors, but that’s the one if I was just able to pick one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What makes these opening sentences so much better is how you hype them up. Who doesn’t want to read all 10 of them now?! Hahah thank you!

    I also wrote a list if you’re interested in taking a look!


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