Petrik Leo’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2018)

Petrik Leo’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2018)

Time really flies huh? Another year is coming to an end soon! This year I’ve read and reviewed 129 books. It’s been another fantastic reading year. Considering the high amount of 4.5 and 5 stars books I’ve rated this year, I’ll even say that this year miraculously ended up being my best reading year so far. There will be four rules I set in this list in order for me to give appreciation to more authors rather than having only a few authors hoarding this list.

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • The book listed here are not exclusively published this year.
  • Outside of the two top spots (for good reasons), none of these are in particular order. All have merit, and most have different strengths that make them stand out from each other; putting a rank on them feels odd to me, especially when every book in this list now resides on my ‘favorite books’ shelf.

All the books listed below received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here are the top 20 books I’ve read in 2018! (All full reviews of these books can be found on my Goodreads page; some are already available on this blog.)


  • One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2) by Rachel Aaron

“Seriously one of the strongest sequels I’ve ever read.”

  • An Autumn War (Long Price Quartet, #3) by Daniel Abraham

Heartfelt, original, and magnificent; I’m baffled by how underrated this series is.”

  • Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1) by Fonda Lee

“Fonda Lee has created an adult fantasy debut that is up there with The Lies of Locke Lamora in quality and magnificence, and that’s not a praise I easily hand out.”

  • King of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #3) by R.J. Barker

“King of Assassins was a tragic, heart wrenching, and poignant conclusion; one series that I will definitely recommend to any fantasy reader who has a heart to read.”

  • The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy, #1) by Chris Wooding

“From the excellent characterizations to the relentless chase, from breathtaking set pieces to the intricate world-building, everything was written with finesse. It seriously doesn’t matter whether you’re a fan of classic, epic, or grimdark fantasy (even better if all three), there’s a place for you here. The Ember Blade is a book every fantasy fan will feel right at home with, and yet will find new adventures in it. It’s a book that fantasy readers will love to revisit and inhabit longer and longer with every visit.”

  • Chains of the Heretics (Bloodsounder’s Arc, #3) by Jeff Salyards

“Chains of Heretics is a superlative and satisfying conclusion to a great grimdark/military fantasy trilogy and I sincerely hope a lot of readers will give this trilogy a try.”

  • Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

“One of the two best standalone books that I’ve ever read; this is truly historical fiction at its finest.”

  • We Ride the Storm (The Reborn Empire, #1) by Devin Madson

“Madson has become a grim goddess of infusing palpable tension into the scenes within each chapter.”

  • Never Die by Rob J. Hayes (Publication date: January 29th, 2019)

“Glorious, heroic, inspiring, brutal, at times hilarious, but most of all incredibly unforgettable.”

  • Skullsworn (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #0.5) by Brian Staveley

“Absolutely marvelous. Not only Skullsworn is Staveley’s best work so far, it’s also one of the most well-written books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.”

  • City of Miracles (The Divine Cities, #3) by Robert Jackson Bennett

“I’ll even go as far as saying that The Divine Cities trilogy has become one of the best trilogies I’ve ever read.”

  • Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon

“If you want to regain the forgotten magic in you, Boy’s Life is a magical portal that will transport you to the past even if you’re reading this for the first time.”

  • Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga, #4) by Pierce Brown

“A bloodydamn spellbinding return to my number one favorite sci-fi series of all time.”

  • Lancelot by Giles Kristian

“I firmly believed that I would never experience another Arthurian novel as magnificent as Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles trilogy. I was wrong.”

  • The Poppy War (The Poppy War trilogy, #1) by Rebecca Kuang

“A book that will go down as one of the best grimdark/military fantasy debuts of all time.”

  • The Gutter Prayer (The Black Iron Legacy, #1) by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan (Publication date: January 17th, 2019)

“Mind-blowingly stellar in every respect; full of seductive creativity, marvelously intelligent, innovative, and frankly revolutionary. This dark and enchanting debut contained no shortage of alluring madness and wondrous imagination that manifests itself gloriously within the pages. Fantasy readers, be wise and buy this book, because there’s simply nothing like it . . . I envision that The Gutter Prayer will not only win many readers’ hearts but also win multiple fantasy awards in the near future. Yes, it was THAT good. Read it. Thank me later.”

  • Bloody Rose (The Band, #2) by Nicholas Eames

Bloody Rose proves once again to be another fun escapism at the highest level just like its predecessor. A new dawn of fantasy is on the horizon and at this rate, I have no doubt Nicholas Eames will be one of the new leading authors; in my eyes, he already is.”

  • A Time of Blood (Of Blood and Bone, #2) by John Gwynne (Publication date: April 18th, 2019)

“Brimming with astonishing plot, excellent characterizations, unputdownable pacing, vividly engaging prose, and full-throttle exhilarating action in a fully realized world; A Time of Blood is an irresistible jaw-dropping sequel that shows the importance of Gwynne’s role as an ever-burning bright star in modern fantasy.”

1. Assassin’s Fate (The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy, #3) by Robin Hobb

“this book actually deserves 6/5 stars… Robin Hobb’s achievement on completing The Realm of the Elderlings is stupendous and something that readers in the future will always remember.

1. The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10) by Steven Erikson

“Epic, masterful, and scintillating in every sense of these words; The Crippled God is an unforgettable magnum opus that concludes Steven Erikson’s genre-defining series: Malazan Book of the Fallen.


I want to use this space to thank every author whose books I’ve read. Whether you’ve been included or not in this list, the stories you wrote transported me into another world and time, and that’s truly something irreplaceable; reality became more sane because of the escapism you provided. I hope the honest reviews or words I spread around will at least help a bit in bringing more readers to be interested in picking up your book; even if you get just one additional reader as a result, I’m satisfied. Thank you very much! Keep on writing, and that’s all for this year from me! 🙂

P.S: Special thanks to every author and publisher who spent some time and money to send me books to review. It means a lot to me and please know that I will treasure them with all my heart! :’)

10 thoughts on “Petrik Leo’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2018)

  1. Excellent list! It was a banner year for SFF fiction, in my opinion. I’m still working on my list but I know it will be hard to narrow it down.

    1. Thanks, Tammy! Urgh it was ridiculously hard to narrow it down. I gave up on making a proper ranking and just list them! I’m looking forward to your list!

    1. I highly recommend every book on this list, Nicole!! I totally understand this trouble. So many books I want to read! I wish life would stop being so busy hahaha. Thanks, Nicole! 🙂

    1. Absolutely! Most of the books here are high fantasy, Adriana! I hope your brother will love them!
      Thank you so much btw! I hope your reading year in 2019 will be awesome too! 🙂

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