Browsed by
Category: Petrik’s Reviews

Soulkeeper (The Keepers, #1)

Soulkeeper (The Keepers, #1)

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

Soulkeeper by David Dalglish
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Soulkeeper captivated my attention with its seductive storytelling. My inner bookworm is gratified to find another fantasy author’s backlog to go through; I can’t say the same for my bank account.

David Dalglish is not an unfamiliar name to me. For the past two years, I’ve occasionally seen his Shadowdance and Seraphim series being reviewed with positive ratings on bookish social media. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get around to any of his work despite being interested in them—especially Shadowdance. Soulkeeper, the first book in The Keepers trilogy, is my first experience reading Dalglish’s work; I loved it, so I know it definitely won’t be the last.

Devin Eveson is a Soulkeeper, a priest and a healer who travels through remote villages. When a mysterious and deadly black water appears and washes over the land of Cradle, the veil between worlds is torn, causing a return of ancient magic and forgotten races. The story revolves around Devin and his unlikely new companions as they try their best to adapt and survive the changes caused by all the new unprecedented dangers and situations. Here’s the good news I’m sure you want to hear: the execution of the story is even better than the premise. From the first chapter, I was immediately pulled into the solemn, melancholy, and dark mood of this world. The narrative has a voice that’s so compelling and addictive, imbued with resonating topics such as the nature of humanity, death, afterlife, and faith; all of these elements combined in a way that made it difficult for me to put the book down.

“I have studied history extensively, Tommy. Any force for good, if capable of evil, will inevitably be used for evil. It’s just the nature of humanity.”

Read More Read More

Six Sacred Swords (Weapons and Wielders, #1)

Six Sacred Swords (Weapons and Wielders, #1)

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

Six Sacred Swords by Andrew Rowe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Continuously fun and light-hearted in tone, Six Sacred Swords was a great beginning to a new spin-off series by Andrew Rowe.

Six Sacred Swords is the first book in Weapons and Wielders series by Andrew Rowe. It is unknown at the moment how many books are planned for this series, but one thing for sure that you should know is that this series serves as a prequel to Rowe’s Arcane Ascensions series; a series I highly enjoyed. Some of the most dominant elements in Arcane Ascensions are the intricate magic system, the magic school setting, the tests, and the dungeon crawlers. Six Sacred Swords is both different and similar to Arcane Ascension by excluding the magic theory and magic school setting; focusing the narrative on the fun adventure, video games dungeon-crawler aspect, and anime-esque battle scenes. At the same time, this series serves also as a sequel series to Rowe’s War of Broken Mirrors; I haven’t read this one. That being said, rest assured that you can definitely start your journey into Rowe’s imagination by starting with this book.

Read More Read More

Balam, Spring

Balam, Spring

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

Balam, Spring by Travis M. Riddle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A serene and enjoyable slice-of-life fantasy with whodunit element.

When I was first offered Balam, Spring to review by the author, I wasn’t sure when I was going to read it. However, hearing that Final Fantasy IX (Final Fantasy is one of my top favorite gaming franchise of all time) was the main inspiration for this book, I immediately pushed this to become one of my priority read. Balam, Spring belongs heavily in the slice-of-life fantasy genre. For those of you who don’t know about this genre, you can search the meaning online but I usually relate slice of life to the depiction or exploration of characters normal life; most of them dealing with daily or uneventful activities. Although I’m quite a fan of this genre in anime format, I’m pretty sure this is the first time I attempted reading a slice of life novel. Because of this, I feel like the only way I can explain my feelings about this book properly is by dividing my review clearly into what worked and didn’t; by correlating my experience of reading/watching a slice-of-life story.

Read More Read More

The Rage of Dragons (The Burning, #1)

The Rage of Dragons (The Burning, #1)

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Rage of Dragons is a blazing African-inspired epic fantasy debut that was so possessive of my attention, it simply wouldn’t allow me to read anything else until I finished it.

This book was originally self-published and released in September 2017. Honestly speaking, I have seen and known about this book since then but the book wasn’t able to move up the monstrosity that is my TBR tower for some reason. However, its acquisition by Orbit, which resulted in a brand new gorgeous cover art done by the ingenious Karla Ortiz, is a total cover seller—look at the Zulu shield and the intricately apt mural in the cover!—that practically screamed “Buy and read me now” to me, and so that’s what I did.

“I’d rather live with a thing done poorly than do nothing and always wonder how things could have been.”

Read More Read More

Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #3)

Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #3)

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

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy Sister is an incredibly powerful and satisfying conclusion to one of the best trilogy I’ve ever read.

I won’t lie, a week ago I started rereading Red Sister mostly for the purpose of satisfying my completionist nature and eventually putting Book of the Ancestor into my “completed series I’ve read” list. However, the incredible of rereading Red Sister made me incoherently excited to continue with the series and here I am now. I have binged read and reviewed the entire series within a week, and I can say with confidence that this series has become one of my favorite coming-of-age fantasy series of all time.

Read More Read More

Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #2)

Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #2)

Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An action-packed sequel that offers relatable commentary about faith, corruption, authority, and family.

So far, this is the highest and the most positive rating I ever gave to Lawrence’s middle-book installment; I gave both King of Thorns and The Liar’s Key 2.5/5 stars. I am very pleased to say that I loved Grey Sister. Even though I loved Red Sister more, Grey Sister was another great volume for the series and depending on how I feel about the third and final volume, Book of the Ancestor could actually end up becoming one of my favorite trilogies.

“The understanding that power corrupts is an idea older than the language we repeat in. All of us in positions that afford authority over others are susceptible, be we high priests, prime instigators, even abbesses.”

Read More Read More

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)

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

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The magic of rereading Red Sister strikes a gold mine.

Other than a few changes or grammatical fix, I rarely rewrite my full review. However, Red Sister merits one because I loved it so much more than my first read; the quality jumped from great to amazing in my criteria. I was pleasantly surprised by this. I decided to reread Red Sister in order to refresh my memory before I continue with the series, I didn’t expect to enjoy it this much and I certainly didn’t realize how much I forgot and failed to appreciate in my first read.

Read More Read More

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A Dance with Disappointments.

I really thought A Feast for Crows would’ve been the lowest point of the main series. I was wrong because this book didn’t show any sign of improvement. In fact, I thought this was even worse due to the boring setting and unnecessary length of this tome. If it weren’t obvious before, this book displayed Martin’s struggle with writing his main series even more. Realistically speaking, due to the direction of the story in this book, I’m quite confident that A Song of Ice and Fire most likely will never be completed.

“Winter is coming, Jon reflected. And soon, too soon. He wondered if they would ever see a spring.”

Me too, Jon Snow. Me too. I do believe that we’ll get The Winds of Winter eventually, but the planned final book of the series, A Dream of Spring, is indeed a dream.

Read More Read More

The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones

The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones

The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of ThronesThe World of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Intricate world-building on a global scale.

The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is a companion book to A Song of Ice and Fire series. Martin’s collaboration with Elio Miguel García Jr. and Linda Maria Antonsson resulted in a comprehensive history behind the land of Westeros and beyond. Although I spent two weeks reading this book, do not think that I didn’t enjoy reading it. The World of Ice and Fire is an imaginary history book, and the prose certainly felt like reading one. The book is written from the perspective of an in-world maester, and I read this book exactly the same way I read our real-world history book; bits by bits instead of my daily 150-300 pages reading pace. Upon finishing it, I truly believe that the fans of the main series will have to read this companion book.

Picture: Aegon the Conqueror upon Balerion, the Black Dread by Jordi González Escamilla

Read More Read More

We Lie With Death (The Reborn Empire, #2)

We Lie With Death (The Reborn Empire, #2)

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

We Lie With Death by Devin Madson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is no calm after the storm, Devin Madson has crafted a sequel rich with wonderful character developments and illuminating revelations.

It’s been roughly seven months since I finished reading We Ride the Storm. Ever since I finished it, We Lie With Death instantly became one of my most anticipated books of 2019. Considering the unreasonably high expectations I had for this book, I honestly think that it’s truly praise-worthy that Madson was able to create another novel that repeatedly grabbed my attention. Before I begin my review, I would like to first inform everyone that there’s a “Story So Far” and a Characters List section at the beginning of the book that will help refresh your memories of the first book.

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: