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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

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Paternus: Wrath of Gods (Paternus Trilogy, #2)

Paternus: Wrath of Gods (Paternus Trilogy, #2)

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

Paternus: Wrath of Gods (Paternus Trilogy, #2)Paternus: Wrath of Gods by Dyrk Ashton
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Paternus: Wrath of Gods is a brilliant concoction of mythologies, cultures, and fantasy that fans of urban fantasy definitely must read.

First of all, how awesome is that cover? In my opinion, it’s one of the best indie cover art I’ve ever seen. Then let me proceed by expressing my gratitude to the author for including a RECAP of the story and a list of characters from the first book at the beginning of this sequel. If it weren’t for this, I doubt my experience of reading this book without rereading the first one would be as good. Seriously, I still don’t get why traditionally published authors—except Mark Lawrence and Michael J. Sullivan—don’t do this more often; it is only a few pages long, and is so useful in enabling readers to acclimatize themselves to the world and characters again. So yes, even if it’s been a while since you’ve read the first book, you don’t have to worry about feeling lost.

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The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


A slow paced book containing an utterly powerful climax sequence; a spectacular middle book for the Mistborn trilogy.

When I first read The Well of Ascension, my experience was that I thoroughly loved it. It’s not until later that I discovered that apparently, a lot of people found the book disappointing. Because of this, I was scared that my reread experience would be ruined. Apparently, there’s nothing to worry about. Yes, it’s slightly an inferior book in comparison to The Final Empire but my overall experience of this reread is that I found the book almost as good as the first time I read through it.

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In Shadows We Fall

In Shadows We Fall

In Shadows We FallIn Shadows We Fall by Devin Madson
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

In Shadows We Fall is an Asian inspired fantasy that won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novella in 2017, and it’s a well-deserved achievement.

I was away on a one week vacation and I barely had time to read anything except during my airplane ride. For this reason, I needed a novella or something short to fill my reading needs and I chose this book randomly because guess what? You can actually get this 108 pages novella for free just by subscribing to the author’s mailing list, which is an amazing gift. I’ll try to keep my review as brief as possible because this is a short book and I don’t want to spoil anything for future readers.

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