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Month: February 2020

Book Review: The Light of All That Falls (The Licanius Trilogy, #3) by James Islington

Book Review: The Light of All That Falls (The Licanius Trilogy, #3) by James Islington

ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

The Light of All That Falls by James Islington

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series:  The Licanius Trilogy (Book #3 of 3)

Genre:  Fantasy, Epic fantasy

Pages: 864 pages

Published: 12th December 2019 by Orbit (UK) & 10th December 2019 by Orbit (US)


The Light of All That Falls is an absolute marvel, a prodigious finishing touch to an ingeniously plotted series.

Here’s a little statistic to give you an idea of how much I loved this book and series. If you look at my Goodreads profile, you can take a look at my list of favorite authors. Inside this list are authors who have written three or more books—that I’ve read, of course—to be included in my “favorites” shelf. Before today—out of approximately four hundred books I’ve read—there were eight authors on this list. With one trilogy, and without a shadow of a doubt, I’m going to include James Islington as the ninth author to join my list of favorite authors. Binge reading this trilogy for the first time blew me away, and I’m already looking forward to rereading it in the future. If you stumbled upon this review without having read the previous books in the trilogy, rest assured that this review will be spoiler-free; no details regarding the plot will be mentioned. There is, however, a better option for you, pick up The Shadow of What Was Lost and begin binge-reading this astounding series. Now.

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Book Review: The Silver Sorceress (The Raveling, #2) by Alec Hutson

Book Review: The Silver Sorceress (The Raveling, #2) by Alec Hutson

Silver_Sorceress-eCoverWEB

The Silver Sorceress by Alec Hutson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Raveling (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 499 pages

Published: 2nd October 2018 by Alec Hutson (Indie)


A remarkable sequel, I really can’t get enough of reading Hutson’s writing.

“No matter where you go in the world, those with a little authority—but no real power—are all the same.”

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Book Review: An Echo of Things to Come (The Licanius Trilogy, #2) by James Islington

Book Review: An Echo of Things to Come (The Licanius Trilogy, #2) by James Islington

An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington

Petrik’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

TS’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series:  The Licanius Trilogy (Book #2 of 3)

Genre:  Fantasy, Epic fantasy

Pages: 752 pages

Published: 24th August 2017 by Orbit (UK) & 22nd August 2017 by Orbit (US)

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Book Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Book Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Ten Thousand Doors of January cover

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Stand-alone

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Published: September 12th, 2019 by Orbit (UK) & September 10th, 2019 by Redhook (US)


“…there are ten thousand stories about ten thousand Doors, and we know them as well as we know our names. They lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, Atlantis and Lemuria, Heaven and Hell, to all the directions a compass could never take you, to elsewhere.”

I have been watching my cats lazing about in the warm, reposeful afternoon sun. Languid stretches and lazy yawns and leisurely rolls. Complete comfort and contentment. The sheer bliss of surrendering to the moment evident in their eyes. Melting, mellow happiness. Felicity.

That is the feeling that came over me upon finishing this book, and I basked in every second of its warmth. Lyrical. Stunning. Beautiful. Spellbinding. Richly imagined. Eloquent. Wistful. A riotous swirl of adjectives, all apt and all applicable. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is an emphatically stunning debut by Alix E. Harrow, delivering a tale that speaks to one of humanity’s oldest fantasies – visiting another world.

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Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware


The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first Ruth Ware novel, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Turn of the Key is a fascinating combination of a gothic ghost story and a chilling portrayal of how intrusive technology can be. All the way through the narrative, I was never sure on which side of that dichotomy the climax would fall. While I did figure out a couple of the twists before they reached their apexes, there was plenty to keep me guessing.

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Book Review: The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy, #1) by James Islington

Book Review: The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy, #1) by James Islington

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington

Petrik’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

TS’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series:  The Licanius Trilogy (Book #1 of 3)

Genre:  Fantasy, Epic fantasy

Pages: 736 pages

Published:  3rd August 2014 (self-published). 8th November 2016 by Orbit (US) & 10th November 2016 by Orbit (UK).

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Book Review: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Book Review: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld


The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Patricia McKillip is one of those authors that I’ve always intended to read. I bought a used omnibus of her Riddle-Master of Hed trilogy during my first year of college, which was more than a decade ago. Yet for some reason, I’ve never quite gotten around to reading it, anything else by her. After having now read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, my interest in her work has been rekindled. This little standalone was a lovely reading experience. And as it referenced her Riddle-Master series multiple times, that series has climbed closer to the top of my TBR list.

“How much that name means to you—memory, knowledge, experience. There is not one possession more truly, irrevocably yours.”

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Book Review: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Book Review: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood


Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alias Grace isn’t what I expected. I suppose I thought this would be similar to Atwood’s most famous novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. And it was in some ways, especially in the tone of the main character. Though I can’t quite call Grace a protagonist, as Offred is in the aforementioned classic of dystopian literature. What I wasn’t expecting was very well researched historical fiction.

“Murderess is a strong word to have attached to you. It has a smell to it, that word – musky and oppressive, like dead flowers in a vase. Sometimes at night I whisper it over to myself: Murderess, Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt across the floor.”

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Book Review: Locke & Key: The Complete Series (Volumes 1 – 6)

Book Review: Locke & Key: The Complete Series (Volumes 1 – 6)


Locke & Key: The Complete Series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
My rating: 6 of 5 stars

Two or three times a year, I get a random and powerful craving for graphic novels. This is not generally my genre of choice, but it makes for a fun departure from my usual reading. That craving hit early this year when I saw that Netflix was developing the Locke & Key series of graphic novels into their own original series. Since I have this thing about reading this book before seeing the show or movie, I knew I needed to read these immediately. They’ve also been on my TBR list for literally years, so what better time to take the plunge? I’m so glad I did. For the first time in my life, I think that a series of graphic novels might be contenders for my favorite reading experience of the year. And it’s only February!

“Dying is nothing. I’ve died a thousand times and I’ve always come back. Ideas can’t really be killed. Not for good.”

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Book Review: The Crimson Queen (The Raveling, #1) by Alec Hutson

Book Review: The Crimson Queen (The Raveling, #1) by Alec Hutson

The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Raveling (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 423 pages

Published: 28th November 2016 by Alec Hutson (Indie)


This book should’ve earned more fame and praise. A familiar and utterly well-written start to an epic fantasy series with prose redolent of Brian Staveley’s writing style; I loved it.

Back in 2017-2018, when I was still a reviewer for Booknest, I was one of the judges for SPFBO 3 held by Mark Lawrence. In that year’s SPFBO, The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson won the joint runner-up spot together with Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe. My ex-blog chose this novel as their pick for the best book of the competition. Admittedly, I didn’t get assigned to reading The Crimson Queen, I didn’t know how good it was, but Celeste, one of my co-blogger from back then (and now) did read it, and she occasionally reminded me to give this book a go because she loved it very much. Two years since SPFBO 3 has ended, here I am finally getting around to reading this book, and I will say this: my ex-blog made the right choice. I would’ve personally chosen The Crimson Queen as the top book for SPFBO 3 myself if I had read it back then.

“The arrogance of writing comes not from the finished creation, but from the very act itself. What hubris is required for a single mind to believe that its thoughts should populate the world? What unbridled arrogance is it to disperse ideas like the petals of a dandelion in the wind, allowing them to float free, to germinate in the minds of others like an invasive weed?”

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