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Tag: 4.5 stars

Ghostwater (Cradle, #5)

Ghostwater (Cradle, #5)

Ghostwater by Will Wight
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Ghostwater is a worthy winner of the Reddit r/Fantasy 2018 Stabby Awards for Best Independent Book; I am now a huge fan of the Cradle series.

The author kept on surprising me with his inexhaustible imagination and the ever-increasing, mind-blowing, magnitude of magical and martial power in this series.  All without ever making me think that it was ridiculous.  Well, okay, it was – just ridiculously fun and exciting, that is.

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Carrie

Carrie

Carrie by Stephen King
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

In a sense, Carrie is the book that launched a thousand nightmares. This was King’s first ever novel and, while not his scariest, we would have never been exposed to the tales that have terrified millions without it. I feel that Carrie deserves respect for that reason alone, but I confess that I was hesitant to pick it up. Often, when you find an author you love later in their career, going back to their first published forays into their craft can be a bit disappointing as their writing abilities have improved or at least changed over the course of that career. I needn’t have worried. Every page completely entranced me, and I was engaged through the very last page.

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Skysworn (Cradle, #4)

Skysworn (Cradle, #4)

Skysworn by Will Wight
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Holy moly, this series was seriously fun and addictive!

I was initially planning to read an ARC for a soon-to-be-released book, but temptation drew me to start Skysworn instead, which I duly finished in just over a day.  Verdict: Will Wight has a new fan.

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Blackflame (Cradle, #3)

Blackflame (Cradle, #3)

Blackflame by Will Wight
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I think I am finally in love. Blackflame was a fantastic continuation of the Cradle series.

Integrating the fascinating Eastern-inspired worldbuilding and magic-martial arts system with better characterisation, Blackflame was easily the best book in the series so far. Even though I’m still not wild about the main protagonist, Wei Shi Lindon, I was growing more invested in what his future may bring. At the end of Soulsmith, Lindon found himself being given one year to train and advance in his sacred arts in order to fight an opponent that is way more powerful. Lindon seemed to be the typical underdog character who kept defying the odds through a combination of sheer drive, ambition and a bit of providence. Notwithstanding, one can’t help but be curious to see how his story will pan out.

“Sometimes the game is rigged against you, and your only option is to flip the board.”

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Kings of Ash (Ash and Sand, #2)

Kings of Ash (Ash and Sand, #2)

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

Kings of Ash by Richard Nell
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Kings of Ash triumphed over its predecessor in almost every possible way.

Kings of Ash is the second book in Richard Nell’s Ash and Sand trilogy. It’s the sequel to the highly praised Kings of Paradise, but the fans of the previous book don’t need to worry about stumbling into the infamous middle book syndrome here. Kings of Ash surpassed the previous book’s quality and it can all be boiled down to one reason: this is Ruka’s book. I mentioned this in my review of Kings of Paradise: “Ruka’s POV was easily one of the best anti-heroes POV I’ve ever read in grimdark fantasy,” and I stand by my words, even more so after reading this installment. Kings of Ash is a different kind of book from its predecessor; it’s much more character-driven. Almost the entire narrative was told from Ruka’s POV and I’m incredibly satisfied by this decision. Nell offers a deep exploration of Ruka’s character and it makes the storyline feel more intimate. More importantly, this storytelling style shows Nell’s greatest writing strength as an author – his characterizations.

“A lioness cares nothing for the shriek of jackals, old woman. Now hear this, and hear it well—if she had raised me to hate, I would kill you and all your kin, and no man or god could stop me.”

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A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A Clash of Kings was a brilliant sequel that brought the spotlight of the series to one of the most well-written characters in fantasy: Tyrion Lannister.

A Clash of Kings is the second book in A Song of Ice and Fire saga by George R. R. Martin. The main story in this sequel mainly revolves around the multiple kings of Westeros battling in full force for the right to sit in the Iron Throne. This, however, is just scratching the surface of the story. Martin built upon everything he has established in the first wonderfully and with that, the scale of the story has become much bigger than before that I found it quite a difficult task to review this tome without spoiling anything, but spoiler-free review as always it is. Just like my review on A Game of Thrones, I’ll be doing some qualities comparison between the book and its TV series (Season 2) adaptation.

Picture: A Clash of Kings by Marc Simonetti

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The Gutter Prayer (The Black Iron Legacy, #1)

The Gutter Prayer (The Black Iron Legacy, #1)

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

The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A truly extraordinary debut, The Gutter Prayer strikes an intense chord with its powerful worldbuilding, vivid imagery and evocative prose.

Two things about this book caught my attention. Firstly, the blurb which indicated that the main characters were three thieves (I have such a weakness for stories with thieves). And then, my co-blogger’s review which raved about the dark worldbuilding. Alright! I’ll admit that the gorgeous cover also played some part in this.

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Master of Sorrows (The Silent Gods, #1)

Master of Sorrows (The Silent Gods, #1)

ARC received from the publisher, Gollancz, in exchange for an honest review.

Master of Sorrows by Justin Call
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Master of Sorrows was a remarkable debut which I simply cannot put down.

This book recalled so much about what I loved about classic epic fantasy and yet felt modern.  The author has quoted David Eddings as his earliest favourite.  Having read and loved Eddings’ works myself, I can definitely see the influences from The Belgariad in this book; a prophecy, Gods and a coming-of-age tale of a young man destined for greatness. Except, in this case, that greatness may lie in the path of darkness instead of light.

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Skyward (Skyward, #1)

Skyward (Skyward, #1)

Skyward GollanczSkyward by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Skyward is a fine example of how one writes Young Adult. I am once again in awe of this master of storytelling, who excelled in his first full-length space opera novel.

This novel is another hallmark of Sanderson’s ability to spin the most incredible stories. He described the book as How to Train Your Dragon meets Top Gun and Enders Game. These references, however, would count for nothing if the execution was poor. Fortunately, and to solidify my unwavering faith in my favourite author, he shows that he is still at the top of his game.

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I Hate Fairyland: Book One

I Hate Fairyland: Book One

I Hate Fairyland: Book One by Skottie Young
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I laughed so hard while reading this. And grimaced. And laughed some more.

Imagine that, as a six-year-old girl (work with me here, guys), you stumble into a portal leading to a magical realm called Fairyland. It’s a marvelous world of cuteness and candy, and the residents are pleased to share it for a little while as you complete your quest. What quest, you ask? A quest for a key, the only way to unlock the door back to your world. There’s only one problem:

You really suck at quests.

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