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Category: Petrik’s Reviews

Book Review: Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy, #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Book Review: Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy, #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

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

Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 512 pages (US hardcover edition)

Published: 21st April 2020 by Jo Fletcher Books (UK) & Del Rey Books (US)


Shorefall is mind-bending great; Robert Jackson Bennett once again proved himself that he is a precious gift for the SFF genre.

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Book Review: Uncrowned (Cradle, #7) by Will Wight

Book Review: Uncrowned (Cradle, #7) by Will Wight

Uncrowned by Will Wight

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #7 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Pages: 336 pages

Published: 26th September 2019 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


Uncrowned is filled with emotional weight, and it showcases my favorite duels in the series so far.

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Book Review: The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

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

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Pages: 432 pages

Published: 25th February 2020 by Head of Zeus (UK) & 25th February 2020 by Saga Press (US)


Ken Liu is incredibly good at writing short stories.

I’ve been waiting for The Dandelion Dynasty to be completed for years now so I can binge read the epic fantasy series. During my waiting time, I have read The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and also some books Liu has translated: The Three-Body Problem and Death’s End by Cixin Liu. I loved them all; The Paper Menagerie, in particular, is one of the two best short stories I’ve ever read so far. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories is the second collection of short stories published by Ken Liu, and as expected, it’s another wonderful collection of stories. I think of this as something wondrous because I’m not even a fan of short stories; I avoid this format more than I avoid novellas. However, this is Ken Liu, and this collection goes to show how good he is at writing short stories. Just try reading the beautifully written two-page long preface; I highly doubt you’ll be able to resist reading this collection after reading this.

“As the author, I construct an artifact out of words, but the words are meaningless until they’re animated by the consciousness of the reader. The story is co-told by the author and the reader, and every story is incomplete until a reader comes a long and interprets it.”

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Book Review: The Lightning Tree (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #0.5) by Patrick Rothfuss

Book Review: The Lightning Tree (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #0.5) by Patrick Rothfuss

I read The Lightning Tree in Rogues anthology.

The Lightning Tree by Patrick Rothfuss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle (Book #0.5 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 58 pages (Available in Rogues anthology)

Published: 6th July 2015 by Titan Books (UK) & 1st July 2014 by Bantam (US)


Cozy, sweet, and memorable, The Lightning Tree is a must-read novella for every fans of Bast and enthusiast of The Kingkiller Chronicle.

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Book Review: The Ranger of Marzanna (The Goddess War, #1) by Jon Skovron

Book Review: The Ranger of Marzanna (The Goddess War, #1) by Jon Skovron

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

The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Goddess War (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 496 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 23rd April 2020 by Orbit (UK) & 21st April 2020 by Orbit (US)


Atmospheric, slow-paced, and well-written, but I have mixed feelings.

I haven’t read the series, but I’ve heard many great things about Jon Skovron’s Empire of Storms trilogy. When I saw that Skovron’s newest book, The Ranger of Marzanna, is a Russian inspired fantasy that has Magali Villleneuve as the cover artist—look at that cover art, it’s stunning—I immediately put this book on my radar. The result of the content, however, isn’t as likable as I hoped. I’ll keep this review briefer than usual; there were several factors that I enjoyed reading and parts that didn’t work for me in almost equal measure.

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Book Review: The Kingdom of Liars (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #1) by Nick Martell

Book Review: The Kingdom of Liars (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #1) by Nick Martell

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

The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Legacy of the Mercenary King (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 608 pages (US hardcover edition)

Published: 7th May 2020 by Gollancz (UK) & 5th May 2020 by Saga Press (US)


The Kingdom of Liars is a solid debut that’s quite challenging to get through at first, but the second half offers rewarding experience to those who read the novel to its completion.

Similar to many cases with debuts by an unknown author in the past, my interest to read The Kingdom of Liars, the first book in The Legacy of The Mercenary Kings series by Nick Martell, was sparked due to the gorgeous cover art by Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme (US edition) and Richard Anderson (UK edition). Additionally, both Brandon Sanderson and James Islington—two authors whose works I immensely loved—gave high praise to this debut. How could I even resist reading this book!?

“It’s the long con that wins in the end, Michael. The people who do things worth remembering are the ones willing to wait decades to achieve it.”

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Book Review: Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path, #1) by Michael R. Fletcher

Book Review: Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path, #1) by Michael R. Fletcher

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

Black Stone Heart by Michael R. Fletcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Obsidian Path (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

Published: 1st April 2020 by Michael R. Fletcher


Insanely brilliant. Fletcher did it again. Black Stone Heart is one of his best works so far, and Fletcher has finally crafted something as good as his Manifest Delusion series with this one.

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Book Review: We Are the Dead (The Last War, #1) by Mike Shackle

Book Review: We Are the Dead (The Last War, #1) by Mike Shackle

Review copy provided by the publisher—Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Last War (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

Pages: 496 pages

Published: 8th August 2019 by Gollancz


So much bloodshed and actions, Shackle’s debut is fast-paced, grim, and unputdownable.

I’m very eager to recommend this debut to readers of The First Law World series by Joe Abercrombie and War for the Rose Throne series by Peter McLean. We Are the Dead is the first book in The Last War series by Mike Shackle, and it leans towards the grimdark sub-genre rather than heroic fantasy. “No More Heroes” is put at the top of the cover art, after all. I honestly thought I was super late in joining the party for this great book because it has been six months since this debut was first published, but I must say that I’m surprised that not many readers have read this yet. I hope more readers will give this book a go.

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Book Review: The Shadow King (The Raveling, #3) by Alec Hutson

Book Review: The Shadow King (The Raveling, #3) by Alec Hutson

The Shadow King by Alec Hutson

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Raveling (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 506 pages

Published: 21st November 2019 by Alec Hutson (Indie)


A thoroughly wonderful classic fantasy story with a modern narrative.

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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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