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Last Bastion (FFO, #2)

Last Bastion (FFO, #2)

I received an advanced reading copy from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Last Bastion by Rachel Aaron and Travis Bach.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Bastion was supposed to mean safety.”

It seemed, however, that Rachel Aaron and Travis Bach decided that safety will be a bit boring for the fictional characters and the readers. Hence, they gave us a heart-pounding, fast-paced, action-packed and dangerously addictive MMORPG-style adventure in the world of Forever Fantasy Online with a great cast of characters.

The story picked up immediately from the ending of the first book. Our main characters, James and Tina, arrived at the city of Bastion to seek refuge and find some answers after the world of FFO was suddenly released from the Nightmare. A term used by the NPCs who are supposedly real people to describe their entrapment in the game environmen, the Nightmare is so named for the dreadful never-ending cycle ofreliving the quests the players undertake, oftentimes dying a painful death over and over again. What greeted the player characters, however, was a city on fire and laden with corpses. Not exactly their idea of a safe haven from the constant danger and fighting they’ve encountered in the past few days.

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Daisy Jones and the Six

Daisy Jones and the Six

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn’t think this book was going to work for me. I read the first 40 or so pages and just couldn’t get past the awkward formatting. Which made me incredibly sad, because music means the world to me and I was raised on classic rock. Before I wrote it off, I decided to give the audiobook a try. I’m so glad I did, because it’s now among my favorite audiobooks I’ve ever experienced. Because it definitely was an experience. It blows my mind that Daisy Jones isn’t a real icon of the Seventies, that The Six isn’t a real band whose back catalogue I can dig into now that I’ve gotten to know them. How Reid was able to create characters and a band dynamic that felt so real blows my mind. This is a book that was meant to be heard, with an amazingly talented and talented vocal cast.

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A Time of Blood (Of Blood and Bone, #2)

A Time of Blood (Of Blood and Bone, #2)

A Time Of Blood by John Gwynne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher (Orbit) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Oh man. I wish time travel was a thing so I could dart into the future and get my hands on the last book of this trilogy. I need the final installment immediately.

“We live our lives by Truth and Courage. Love and loyalty, friendship and honour are our guiding lights.”

I absolutely adored The Faithful and the Fallen. The entire quartet was insanely epic, and each book was better than the last. I was crazy excited to get my hands on A Time of Dread, the first book of Gwynne’s followup series Of Blood and Bone. As much as I enjoyed it, that book had more of a grimdark feel to it than the original series, which saddened me and kept me from loving it to quite the same extent, though I see now that it was a necessary writing decision. A Time of Blood more than made up for that. While still dark and definitely bloody, this second installment had more of the optimism that made TFatF so wonderful, shining a light into the darkness and fighting to overcome it. I was ecstatic to feel the return of that hopefulness even in the midst of dark and terrible times. Something that Gwynne does wonderfully well is balance sorrow with hope. We should mourn and avenge our fallen, but we should also preserve our memories of them and honor them by living life to the fullest.

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Wrath (The Faithful and the Fallen, #4)

Wrath (The Faithful and the Fallen, #4)

Wrath by John Gwynne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Masterpiece.

Mark my words, if this series ever gets adapted into a television series with the same production value given to Game of Thrones, it will create a myriad of fan bases all over the world. Watch out George R. R. Martin, while you’re waiting for the breeze from the Winds of Winter to come, John Gwynne has appeared out of nowhere and he has conquered the genre; the apprentice has become the master.

Wrath is, in my opinion, the best out of the four books in the series, which means the series always got better with each installment and with its completion I’ve decided to include John in my list of favorite authors of all time. That makes him one of my very few auto-buy authors; along with Brandon Sanderson and Joe Abercrombie, I’ll be content with buying every book they write.

“It will be a dark day, a bloody day, a proud day, for this is the day of our wrath.”

I’ll start off my review with two simple questions.

1. Does this series provide something new to the genre?

No, almost every single plot device here has been done before.

2. Is it good?

No, good is a really huge understatement. It’s damn near perfection for its genre.

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Ruin (The Faithful and the Fallen, #3)

Ruin (The Faithful and the Fallen, #3)

Ruin by John Gwynne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Intense, brutal, gory, poignant, epic, and filled with love and vengeance; John Gwynne simply can do no wrong

“Two for vengeance. One for Love.”

Ruin, the third book in The Faithful and the Fallen series is a great example of how a penultimate epic fantasy installment ought to be written. This was even better than its predecessors; making this the best book in the series so far.

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The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame, #1)

The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame, #1)

The Ninth Rain by Jen Wiliams
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Incredibly hard to put down and absolutely captivating, The Ninth Rain is classic high fantasy transfigured with a unique voice.

Jen Williams’ debut fantasy trilogy, The Copper Cat, was a grand fun-filled adventure with great characters that I’ve grown to love throughout the three books. In my review of The Silver Tide, I commended the author in crafting a modern high fantasy tale that was her own instead of emulating the increasingly popular grimdark sub-genre. As much as I loved The Copper Cat trilogy by the end of it, I can put my hand to my heart now and say that without a doubt The Winnowing Flame is going to top that easily.

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Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen, #2)

Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen, #2)

Valor by John Gwynne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘War has erupted in the Banished Lands as the race for power intensifies’ and with that eruption, comes a well deserved 5-stars rating.

I gave huge praises to Malice, it was impressive but Valor, the second book in John Gwynne’s debut series was incredibly better than its predecessor. I included both Malice and Valor in one of my all-time favorite lists; that’s two out of four books of the series already. Judging from the quality progression of the series, I strongly believe the second half of The Faithful and the Fallen will follow that notion.

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A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone, #1)

A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone, #1)

A Time of Dread by John Gwynne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We shall never forget.

And how could I ever forget? A Time of Dread served as a brutal and stunning reminder that Gwynne is one of the greatest modern fantasy writers.

The Faithful and The Fallen (“TFaTF”) was a superb epic fantasy series with one of the most well-written stories about prophecies and good vs evil that I’ve read in a very long time. And judging from what I’ve read in this book, I believe Gwynne is on track to surpass what he did in the earlier series. AToD is the stamp of a great writer that never stops learning and always keeps improving. While Malice was a great debut that any author would and should be proud of, AToD demonstrated that Gwynne has once again upped his game.

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Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire, #1)

Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire, #1)

Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the start, just the turning of leaves. Winter is still on its way.

Michael J. Sullivan is one of the authors on my auto-buy list. Ever since I’ve finished his Riyria series (both Revelations and Chronicles), I’ve been recommending them to my family and friends either as a gateway to fantasy or as a breath of fresh air amidst all the grimdark fantasy. And in just a short space of a year, I’ve reread all of Riyria and was hungry for more of his stories. Age of Myth was more than up to the task of satisfying my longing. Set in the same world 3,000 years ago, the Legends of the First Empire series is the actual account of the historical events that will eventually lead to the story of our two favourite thieves.

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Underlord (Cradle, #6)

Underlord (Cradle, #6)

Underlord by Will Wight
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Such insane power. Such insane fun. That, in a nutshell, is the Cradle series, and Underlord is its current pinnacle.

Underlord was everything that its title promised adoring fans (including yours truly), and so much more. The Prologue was so ridiculously epic it gave me goosebumps, and all the awesomeness that was the Cradle series came crashing down on me again. I tried to prolong the enjoyment by keeping myself occupied with things to do, to avoid finishing the book too quickly. Alas, it barely lasted 36 hours from the time I received the download from my pre-order.

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