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Category: TS’s Reviews

Manhwa Review: Solo Leveling (Season 1) by Gi So-Ryeong & Jang Sung-Rak

Manhwa Review: Solo Leveling (Season 1) by Gi So-Ryeong & Jang Sung-Rak


Solo Leveling by Gi So-Ryeong & Jang Sung-Rak

Series: Solo Leveling (Season #1)

Genre: Fantasy, LitRPG, Progression Fantasy, Urban Fantasy


Petrik’s Review: 5 of 5 stars

I will level (pun fully intended) myself with you; this was by far the most badass and engaging LitRPG I’ve ever read.

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Audiobook Review: Blight Marked (Ethereal Earth, #3)

Audiobook Review: Blight Marked (Ethereal Earth, #3)

Review copy of audiobook received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Blight Marked by Josh Erikson

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Ethereal Earth (Book #3)

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Published: 11th March 2020 by Josh Erikson (self-published ebook) and Audible Studios


Josh Erikson has utterly upped his game in Blight Marked. A heady concoction of compelling character development, interesting worldbuilding, exhilarating action scenes and great humour, the only thing that made it even better was Erikson’s stellar self-narration.

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Book Review: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

My rating:  4.5 of 5 stars

Genre:  Science fiction, fantasy, magic realism, dystopian

Published:  March 2016 by Gallery/Saga Press (US) and Head of Zeus (UK)


I’ve been meaning to read Ken Liu’s first collection of short stories for a quite a while. His translation for two of Cixin Liu’s books in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy was excellent and I’ve heard a lot of great things about the titular short story of this collection.

In my opinion, the preface alone warrants at least a 5-star and an award. Liu’s writing is utterly beautiful and profound, and one can clearly see how talented and intelligent this author is just from reading his preface to the collection. I’ve highlighted at least half of it because it was so well-written.

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Book Review: A Time of Courage (Of Blood and Bone, #3)

Book Review: A Time of Courage (Of Blood and Bone, #3)

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

A Time of Courage by John Gwynne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Of Blood and Bone (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Published: 2nd April 2020 by Pan Macmillan (UK) & 7th April 2020 by Orbit (US)


A Time of Courage is a stunning masterpiece that proved yet again that John Gwynne is a force to be reckoned with; primed and poised to joined the ranks of the greatest fantasy authors.

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Book Review: The Fold (Threshold, #2) by Peter Clines

Book Review: The Fold (Threshold, #2) by Peter Clines

The Fold by Peter Clines (Narrated by Ray Porter)

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Threshold (Book 2)

Genre:  Science fiction, mystery, Lovecraftian horror

Published: 2nd June 2015 by Crown (US)


The Fold is yet another utterly absorbing and entertaining genre-bending novel by Peter Clines, which was impeccably narrated by Ray Porter.

I didn’t even realise that I’ve read the first book in the Threshold series, 14, almost exactly a year ago. It must be something related to this bizarre universe that Clines have created in his series of connected stand-alone novels which triggered such a coincidence. The Fold is the second book in the series, with a completely different story and new cast of characters in the same universe.

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Book Review: The Brightest Shadow (The Brightest Shadow, #1) by Sarah Lin

Book Review: The Brightest Shadow (The Brightest Shadow, #1) by Sarah Lin

ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Brightest Shadow by Sarah Lin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Brightest Shadow (Book 1)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression fantasy, Wuxia

Published: 6th March 2020 (self-published)


Eastern-inspired with great classic wuxia elements, The Brightest Shadow is a commendable fantasy entry with impressively thoughtful worldbuilding, and an interesting diverse cast of characters.

I grew up watching a lot of wuxia classics, the most famous being The Legend of the Condor Heroes. Sarah Lin paid homage to these great classics by incorporating cultural and martial arts elements which would feel very familiar to wuxia fans into her new fantasy series, The Brightest Shadow. The worldbuilding in this novel is really impressive and well thought out with multicultural people that although share some common traits are quite distinct from one another. Aside from physical looks, the differences could be demonstrated from the food they eat to the way martial arts are practised. Even the concept of sien (somewhat akin to qi in our world sense) differ from one people to another.

“A person who wants for nothing, who is at peace with themselves, cannot be seduced by simple stories.”

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Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe by Madeline Miller (Read by Perdita Weeks)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Stand-alone

Genre: Historical fiction, Mythology

Published: 10th April 2018 by Little, Brown and Company US, 19th April 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing UK.


Mythology has captured the imagination of children and adults alike, forming the earliest stories ever told in the history of humankind. Of those known all over the world, Greek mythology is probably one of the most popular and well-known. But as fascinating as mythology can be though, it is often told in an omniscient and detached manner. Even great tragedies may not necessarily move us that much when events and characters were often related in a matter-of-fact, or even textbook-style, approach.

“I will not be like a bird bred in a cage, I thought, too dull to fly even when the door stands open.”

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

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

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

The Light of All That Falls by James Islington

My rating: 6 of 5 stars

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

Genre:  Fantasy, Epic fantasy, High Fantasy

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


A breathtakingly audacious masterpiece of epic fantasy, The Light of All That Falls is an emotionally satisfying and flawless conclusion to the phenomenal Licanius Trilogy.

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Book Review: The Unspoken Name (The Serpent’s Gate, #1)

Book Review: The Unspoken Name (The Serpent’s Gate, #1)

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

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Serpent Gates (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Science fiction

Published: 20th February 2020 by Tor (UK) & 11th February 2020 by Tor Books (US)


The Unspoken Name is a commendable fantasy debut with fascinating worldbuilding ideas.

With so many fantasy debuts cropping up every year, it is not an easy task to differentiate oneself from the rest. In this respect, Larkwood has created an interesting setting that blended old-world god worship that bestows magic, and science fiction or technological elements such as skyships and a dimensional plane called the Maze of Echos through which these ships travel via portal gates. Technology aside, the setting still feel very much like most classic fantasy, mainly because of the prevalence of gods and magic.

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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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