Browsed by
Tag: 4.5 stars

Blood of Heirs (The Coraidic Sagas, #1)

Blood of Heirs (The Coraidic Sagas, #1)

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

Blood of Heirs by Alicia Wanstall-Burke
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Emotionally gripping and enthralling, Blood of Heirs will leave a mark on character-driven fantasy fans.

I have rejected a lot of ARC and review requests (Sorry authors and thank you for the understanding) over the past three months due to my commitment to thin my TBR pile. I knew literally nothing about this book when the author approached me; there wasn’t even any reviews or cover art yet. Regardless, my gut told me to accept it and I’m gratified I did. I finished the book in less than 24 hours due to how addictive it was, and now I’m hoping that this review will be able to convince more readers to give this book a go.

Read More Read More

King of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #3)

King of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #3)

King of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom #3)King of Assassins by R.J. Barker
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I honestly can’t believe I almost didn’t pick up this trilogy; King of Assassins was a superb finishing touch to The Wounded Kingdom.

Bloody, poignant, intense, heartwarming, tragic, and dark; I finished this entire trilogy within six days, I just didn’t expect it to be this damn good and engaging. The Wounded Kingdom trilogy practically stole my life for an entire week, and the only antidote to my addiction was to finish reading the entirety of the series.

Read More Read More

Blood of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #2)

Blood of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #2)

Blood of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #2)Blood of Assassins by R.J. Barker
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Blood of Assassins magnificently transitioned The Wounded Kingdom into a much darker series in an awesome way.

Girton and his master have been living as a mercenary for five years since the end of the event in Age of Assassins. The past five years experience has changed or repressed Girton’s personality to something worse. This sequel was a much darker book than its predecessor; at times I feel like it totally belongs in the grimdark genre due to how grey the moral code of Girton was. Barker strengthened his storytelling skill in this installment by making sure the story was unpredictable, full of intense twists and turns, and the entirety of the book to focus heavily on the theme of redemption and prejudices against sorcerer/magic. Plus, the murder mystery aspect in the book also was much more engaging to follow than before.

Read More Read More

Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #1)

Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #1)

Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #1)Age of Assassins by R.J. Barker
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A highly enjoyable debut; I finished Age of Assassins in less than 24 hours.

I think people need to set their expectations right when they’re going to read this book. If you expect this to be an Assassin’s Creed type of story where the assassin goes on full throttle killing mode or be involved in a battle against another assassin for the majority of the book, you’re most likely going to be disappointed. I came into this expecting it to be something along the line of Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice and with that mindset, I had a fantastic time with this addictive debut.

Read More Read More

Foundryside (Founders, #1)

Foundryside (Founders, #1)

Foundryside (Founders, #1)Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Foundryside was an incredibly addictive and entertaining read from start to finish.

I’m a recent fan of Robert Jackson Bennett’s books. Three months ago on the last week of May, I binged read his critically acclaimed trilogy, The Divine Cities, and it became one of my favorite trilogies of all time; I forced my friends and everyone I know to pushed the trilogy up their TBR immediately. Since finishing The Divine Cities, Foundryside, the first book in Bennett’s newest trilogy, immediately became one of my most awaited book of the year; I pre-ordered a hardcover (I usually order paperback) of the book because I can’t wait any longer and I want to give my support to the author as best as I could. Foundryside lived up to my high expectation and upon finishing it, I’m happy to say that Bennett has become the seventh author to be included in my ‘favorite author’ list.

Read More Read More

Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2)

Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2)

Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2)Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


Coltaine and the Chain of Dogs, enough said.

People told me that when you’re starting Malazan Book of the Fallen, it’s mandatory to read at least two or three books in the series before finally deciding on giving up on the series. One of the main reasons behind this is that Deadhouse Gates is considered one of the strongest installment within the series by the fans after Memories of Ice and The Bonehunters. Now that I’ve read Deadhouse Gates, I finally understand why people insist newcomers on continuing to the second book first. However, please do check your expectation. Despite how much I loved this installment, I’m actually slightly disappointed with how it turns out; more detail on this further down below.

Picture: Deadhouse Gates by Marc Simonetti

Read More Read More

The Family Tabor

The Family Tabor

The Family TaborThe Family Tabor by Cherise Wolas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Actual rating: 4.5 stars, rounded up.

This was such a beautiful, heartbreaking story.

Wolas once again made me feel deeply for people comprised of ink, who have never and will never draw breath in reality. I’ve never come across another author who has quite her way with presenting the inner thoughts of a fictional character in such a moving, gripping fashion. I feel like I know the Tabors more intimately than many of the flesh and blood people in my life, and almost certainly better than the Tabors know themselves.

“Who among us is ever as good as they can be, as they want to be? And isn’t the effort what’s most important, the pursuit in that direction, that the good we discover in ourselves we claim, or reclaim, and use wisely and well, and spread it around, pass it on?”

Read More Read More

The Grave at Storm’s End (The Vengeance Trilogy, #3)

The Grave at Storm’s End (The Vengeance Trilogy, #3)

The Grave at Storm's End (The Vengeance Trilogy, #3) The Grave at Storm’s End by Devin Madson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The storm of vengeance ends here and the graves have been filled. The result? An emotional and satisfying conclusion that fits the tone of the series.

Let me first say that the statistics for this book are mind boggling. The book has been out for almost two years and there are only 15 ratings and 5 reviews on Goodreads; that’s ridiculous! Not only is this trilogy better than a lot of grimdark series out there, Madson has done everything right as a self-published author. Amazing cover? Check. Great content? Check. Admirable professionalism? Check. The only thing this trilogy lacks is exposure and words of mouth. I’m not Mark Lawrence; I don’t have enough followers or friends on my list to bring as much exposure as he did for Senlin Ascends. I can only do what I do best and that is to provide my honest review/opinion and hopefully, it will help Madson’s work get the exposure it deserves.

Read More Read More

The Blood of Whisperers (The Vengeance Trilogy, #1)

The Blood of Whisperers (The Vengeance Trilogy, #1)

The Blood of Whisperers (The Vengeance Trilogy, #1)The Blood of Whisperers by Devin Madson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A thoroughly engaging Asian-inspired fantasy and a super underrated debut.

I’m a man of habit; I usually always plan my TBR. But Devin Madson’s books shot up my TBR and ruined my plans immediately the moment I finished her award-winning novella, In Shadows We Fall, three weeks ago. From the moment I finished the novella, I knew I simply needed to read more set in this world and I’m damn pleased I followed that notion.

Read More Read More

The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy, #1)

The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy, #1)

ARC provided by the publisher—Orion Publishing Group (Gollancz)—in exchange for an honest review.

The Ember BladeThe Ember Blade by Chris Wooding
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Wooding strikes a magnificently fine balance between classic epic fantasy and grimdark fantasy, making this a new amazing start to a new trilogy.

To be honest, I feel like the love for classic fantasy has started to dwindle these days and has been replaced with a thirst for grimdark or fantasy with darker tones; most likely due to the fame garnered by the Game of Thrones TV show. This isn’t actually a bad thing, and I have to say that I kind of feel the same. The reason behind this is that classic fantasy is starting to feel too familiar with the majority of books following the same kind of good versus evil structure that’s getting more and more predictable. Reading classic fantasy now is in my opinion like coming home to something incredibly well known; it’s always comfy and you’re highly familiar with it. Readers want new adventures, something unpredictable and fresh, not the same kind of adventures they’ve already experienced time and time again. This is where The Ember Blade will come in and change your mind. Rooted heavily in classic epic fantasy but imbued with the element of the morally grey character found in grimdark Wooding has created a hybrid in this book and the result was amazing. Imagine coming home and there are pleasant surprises to be found; you open your fridge, crack open an egg and you get two yolks instead of one. That’s how it felt reading this book.

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: