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Book Review: The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2) by Brent Weeks

Book Review: The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2) by Brent Weeks

The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Lightbringer (Book #2 of 5)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 704 pages (US paperback edition)

Published: 11th September 2012 by Orbit (US) & 13rd September 2012 by Orbit (UK)


Gavin Guile has said that he has seven great purposes to fulfill in his lifetime; one of those is to write a seven paragraphs spoiler-free review so that people will read The Blinding Knife and I’m here to help him achieve that.

The Blinding Knife, the second installment in Weeks’s Lightbringer series, successfully excelled over the previous book. On my first read, I remember that I chose The Blinding Knife as my favorite installment of the series; it seems like I’m going to stand by this notion on my reread. There are many reasons to love The Blinding Knife; multi-layered intrigues in its politics, superb pacing, incredible character developments and intricate expansion to its world-building, to name a few. In the first book, there was quite a lot of pages—necessarily—spent towards the purpose of making sure the reader truly understands the mechanism behind the complex magic system; that info-dumpy section is gone now, everything flows naturally in The Blinding Knife because the concept and rules of the magic system has been established clearly in the previous book. Weeks took every foundation firmly planted in The Black Prism and gradually built upon them wonderfully here.

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Book Review: The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1) by Brent Weeks

Book Review: The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1) by Brent Weeks

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Lightbringer (Book #1 of 5)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 688 pages (US paperback edition)

Published: 25th August 2010 by Orbit


An incredibly original and entertaining start to a memorable high fantasy series.

The Black Prism, the first book in Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks, was one of my first forays into an adult high-fantasy novel. I can’t honestly say that I’ve been a devout follower of this series since its conception; The Black Prism was first published in 2010 and I started this series almost exactly three years ago, all the way back in October 2016; it was near the release date of the fourth book of the series: The Blood Mirror. Now that the fifth and final book of the series, The Burning White, is coming out in less than three weeks, I figure that it’s about time I finally reread this series that I loved before from the beginning again. Why? Because I’ve forgotten TONS of details about it and this reread strongly proved it.

“All power is a test.”

Rereading is always a fascinating experience for me; I won’t lie that I have my share of issues—mostly due to overwhelming TBR and unfinished series I’m stuck in—with the idea of rereading just for the sake of refreshing memories in order to be able to appreciate the next/last book of a particular series. However, statistically speaking, rereading a book/series actually deliver a superior reading experience compared to my first read-through more often than not; The Black Prism is another great example of this situation, and it makes me wish I have more time to re-read many books that I’ve read before.

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Book Review: Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1) by Tamsyn Muir

Book Review: Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1) by Tamsyn Muir

ARC & Review copy provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Locked Tomb (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 448 pages

Published: 10th September 2019 by Tor.com


Gideon the Ninth is a damn fine example of why readers’ reviews are incredibly important.

If you have been active on bookish social media, you should know by now that Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir’s debut and the first installment in The Locked Tomb (or The Ninth House in the past) Trilogy, has been tor.com’s most hyped book of the year. The buzz and praise for Gideon the Ninth has been immense to say the least. Knowing nothing other than the fact that “Lesbian necromancers in space” was stamped on the front of the gorgeous cover art (illustrated by Tommy Arnold), I gave the ARC a try a few months ago only to find myself disappointed by how much it didn’t work for me back then. If I may be brutally honest, I DNFed the novel around 120 pages in on my first read-through. Since then, readers’ reviews have started pouring in, usually resulting in absolute love or disappointment; there’s almost no in-between. But there’s one common consensus shared by both factions: the second half improved significantly. After receiving another copy of this book, a limited edition with black sprayed edges and many goodies, it was only fair that I give it one more try. The result? I enjoyed it remarkably more than I did on my first try. I truly believe that knowing the right things to expect out of this book ahead of reading it will improve the reader’s enjoyment so much more.

Picture: The book and the goodies I received!

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Book Review: The Lost War (Eidyn, #1) by Justin Lee Anderson

Book Review: The Lost War (Eidyn, #1) by Justin Lee Anderson

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Eidyn (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

Pages: 572 pages

Published: 30th August 2019 by King Lot Publishing (Indie)


Thrilling mysteries, powerful magic, tangible tension, and great characters to root for; The Lost War has it all.

I honestly had no idea what the book was about when I started it. I’ve never even heard of the author before, not until a few weeks ago where I stumbled upon Anna Stephens’, the author of Godblind trilogy, review of this novel on the Fantasy-Faction Facebook group. Stephens recommended it highly, and after I took a look at the cover art and synopsis, somehow everything about it just clicked with me. I decided to give it a shot based on instinct. This isn’t an easy thing for me to do because I’m more of a plan-oriented reader when it comes to reading through my ARC/review requests. However, giving this a go as soon as possible has paid off satisfyingly for me.

“People who are responsible for everyone eventually feel responsible for no one.”

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Book Review: Legacy of Ghosts (The Coraidic Sagas, #2) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

Book Review: Legacy of Ghosts (The Coraidic Sagas, #2) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Legacy of Ghosts by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Coraidic Sagas (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 672 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 30th November 2019 by Alicia Wanstall-Burke


Legacy of Ghosts is, without a doubt, a worthy successor to Blood of Heirs.

First of all, I’m going to repeat a bit of what I’ve said in my Blood of Heirs review. I’ve mentioned before that my ARC and review requests were out of control that I had to reject so many of them; this situation hasn’t changed, it only got worse. But considering the fact that Blood of Heirs was one of the biggest indie surprises I’ve read last year, I knew I had to accept the ARC request of this book and give it a go as soon as I can; I’m happy that Legacy of Ghosts ended up being another great read.

“Life isn’t about getting what you want, Lidan. It never has been. I thought you would have learned that by now. We get what we’re given, and it’s up to us to navigate the river or let it drown us.”

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Book Review: The Books of the South by Glen Cook

Book Review: The Books of the South by Glen Cook

The Books of the South by Glen Cook

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Chronicles of the Black Company (Book #3.5-5 of 9)

Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy, Military fantasy

Pages: 670 pages (Paperback)

Published: 10th June 2008 by Tor Books (US)


Great stories and character development for The Lady, but I still have mixed feelings towards Cook’s prose.

The Books of the South consists of Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, and a spin-off called The Silver Spike. Same as the previous omnibus, I’ll be doing a short spoiler-free review for each book.

Shadow Games: 3.5/5 stars

The Books of the South begins with Shadow Games, which is the fourth installment in The Chronicles of the Black Company. The story continues with the member of the Black Company marching south to Khatovar, the place of the Company’s origin. During their mission, they’re chased and hounded by a new group of enemies called the Shadowmasters. Croaker is back once again as the main narrator, and honestly, although I’ve gotten used to reading his first-person narration, I also have to admit that I get tired from reading his POV quickly. His cynicism and sarcasm are fun in small doses but not for long. Just to give a bit of data, Shadow Games is 220 pages long in this omnibus, and it took me three days to read it; I usually read around 200 or 300 pages a day. I think what made this book a bit boring was the travelogues. Almost the entirety of the novel is The Black Company marching. That being said, I enjoyed reading the characters development in this book, especially for Croaker and The Lady. The last section of this book was filled with battle and eventually ends with a cliffhanger.

“Every ounce of my cynicism is supported by historical precedent.”

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Book Review: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Book Review: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Literary fiction, Historical fiction

Pages: 567 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 9th February 2017 by Doubleday (UK) & 22nd August 2017 by Hogarth Press (US)


The Heart’s Invisible Furies is beautiful, heartbreaking, dark, and occasionally humorous.

If you follow my reviews, you should know already that literary fiction isn’t my favorite genre to read; I probably read, at most, one or two literary fiction book per year. But when I finished A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne, which I enjoyed very much, at the end of last year, I knew that I had to give his most highly-praised work, The Heart’s Invisible Furies, a read and I’m glad I did.

“But for all that we had, for all the luxury to which we were accustomed, we were both denied love, and this deficiency would be scorched into our future lives like an ill-considered tattoo inscribed on buttocks after a drunken night out, leading each of us inevitably toward isolation and disaster.”

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Book Review: The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith, #1)

Book Review: The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith, #1)

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

The Black Hawks by David Wragg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Articles of Faith (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 429 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 3rd October 2019 by Harper Voyager


Entertaining, intense, and filled with great lines spoken by morally grey characters to root for.

If you’ve been following the adult fantasy market for the past two years, you’ll most likely realize that the cover art is quite similar to Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames—one of my favorite fantasy debuts of all time. The cover art is done by the same artist—Richard Anderson—and as always, he never fails to deliver a striking/distinctive artwork. Excluding the similarity in cover art, does the content actually provided something similar to Kings of the Wyld? It would have to be a no from me. The exposure and advertisements I’ve seen for The Black Hawks so far have led me to think that this is an overwhelmingly comedic and light-hearted book; I have to disagree with this notion. Sure there are some funny lines embedded into the narrative, such as this description about wolves for example:

“To think I left Clyden for this. Eaten by a fucken dog with a hairstyle.”

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Book Review: God of Gnomes (God Core, #1) by Demi Harper

Book Review: God of Gnomes (God Core, #1) by Demi Harper

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

God of Gnomes by Demi Harper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: God Core (Book #1 of ?)

Genre: LitRPG, Dungeon Core

Pages: 485 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 26th September 2019 by Portal Books


Harper’s LitRPG debut combines the resource management of Real-Time Strategy Games and the moral system of The Good Place into a fun, exciting, and wholesome reading experience.

God of Gnomes, the first book in God Core series by Demi Harper isn’t my first experience reading Harper’s work. Demi Harper is a pseudonym for Laura M. Hughes; a freelance editor, and also the author behind the dark fantasy novella: Danse Macabre. I loved Danse Macabre, and also enjoyed the two short stories written by her that I’ve read so far. I have always wanted the author to write a full-length novel, and as far as I know, God of Gnomes is the author’s first take on a full-length novel and the LitRPG genre. As expected, I enjoyed it; the novel which was written in a very different style compared to the author’s past work didn’t change the quality of her work. The story follows Corey as he finds himself reborn as a God Core that must protect and guide his worshippers—gnomes—to escape extinction. The story started off very light-hearted at first, and it gets more serious as the story progressed; I’m thankful for this. Although I do like reading light-hearted stories, a few serious and tense moments are necessary for me to enjoy a book.

“What you were before doesn’t matter. What matters is who you are now.”

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Book Review: The Bard’s Blade (The Sorcerer’s Song, #1) by Brian D. Anderson

Book Review: The Bard’s Blade (The Sorcerer’s Song, #1) by Brian D. Anderson

ARC provided by the author and publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.

The Bard’s Blade by Brian D. Anderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Sorcerer’s Song (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 432 pages

Published: 28th January 2020 by Tor Books


Simply exquisite, gripping, and tension-packed; The Bard’s Blade by Brian D. Anderson is an enthralling start to a series.

I’ll be honest and say that it wasn’t the premise of the book that got my attention; it was Felix Ortiz’s gorgeous cover artwork that grabbed me, and I’m truly grateful for it because the quality of the content in this book lived up to the exterior. I’m both blessed—because I get to read this early—and cursed—because I have to wait even longer for the next book—enough that the author and publisher sent me an early copy to review. Thank you and congratulations, Tor Books, you have found a winner here; consider giving The Bard’s Blade the same scale of promotion and advertisement you did for The Ruin of Kings.

“Never allow the wickedness of others to dictate who you are.”

The Bard’s Blade is the first book in The Sorcerer’s Song series by Brian Anderson. We follow the perspective of two main characters: Mariyah and Lem. Mariyah is a wine maker that loves her simple and casual life in Vylari, a land magically sealed with an impenetrable barrier from the outside world. Mariyah is betrothed to Lem, a super talented musician (bard) and they’re enamored with each other, believing that whatever comes their way, they’ll get through it if they face it together. A dangerous truth from Lamoria—the world outside Vylari—somehow managed to came through and it ended up changing their lives; dire circumstances force them to live in Lamoria and it’s a vastly different world compared to Vylari in almost every possible way. In a way, The Bard’s Blade sits in the middle of the classic—destiny, rumors of ancient evil resurfacing—and modern fantasy genres; it’s certainly comfortable and familiar territory that somehow also felt refreshing to read for me. Among many aspects, the factor that made reading this book so damn entertaining and engrossing were the incredible characterizations given to the characters in both main and supporting roles.

“Those in power in this age have fought and killed over nothing more important than to whom they offer their prayers.”

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