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Petriks’ Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2019-June 30th, 2019)

Petriks’ Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2019-June 30th, 2019)

The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions’ Top 10 List. (More info on this at the end of the post.)


Between January 1st, 2019 and June 30th, 2019, I’ve read and reviewed 61 books (33.6k pages). So far, it’s been an incredible reading year. There will be three rules I set in this list in order for me to give appreciation to more authors rather than having only a few authors hoarding this list. The rules are:

  • Rereads don’t count.
  • One book per author.
  • The book listed here are not exclusively published this year.

Do note that although this time there’s a rank to this list, I highly recommend every book listed below because I loved all of them immensely and they received a rating of 4.5 (rounded up on Goodreads) or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here we go! (All full reviews of the books listed can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page.)


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Fire and Blood (A Targaryen History, #1)

Fire and Blood (A Targaryen History, #1)

Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A good and unnecessary comprehensive historical overview of the Targaryen Kings.

The aesthetic of this book is gorgeous; easily one of the most beautiful books I own. I mean it, the cover art of both editions are stunning, the typography inside the book is beautiful, the font used (Centaur) was easy to read, and most of all, Doug Wheatley’s artworks were simply spectacular to look at. As for enjoyment factor, I really wouldn’t call this an enjoyable read, it was more like a homework reading that I gladly imposed upon myself on my own will. This book took me almost three weeks to read; that’s an extremely long time for me to spend reading on a single book. For a bit of comparison, I finished reading The Crippled God (385k words) in four days and Oathbringer (450k words) in six days.

Picture: King Aegon I On Balerion the Black Dread by Doug Wheatley

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A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A Dance with Disappointments.

I really thought A Feast for Crows would’ve been the lowest point of the main series. I was wrong because this book didn’t show any sign of improvement. In fact, I thought this was even worse due to the boring setting and unnecessary length of this tome. If it weren’t obvious before, this book displayed Martin’s struggle with writing his main series even more. Realistically speaking, due to the direction of the story in this book, I’m quite confident that A Song of Ice and Fire most likely will never be completed.

“Winter is coming, Jon reflected. And soon, too soon. He wondered if they would ever see a spring.”

Me too, Jon Snow. Me too. I do believe that we’ll get The Winds of Winter eventually, but the planned final book of the series, A Dream of Spring, is indeed a dream.

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The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones

The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones

The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of ThronesThe World of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Intricate world-building on a global scale.

The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is a companion book to A Song of Ice and Fire series. Martin’s collaboration with Elio Miguel García Jr. and Linda Maria Antonsson resulted in a comprehensive history behind the land of Westeros and beyond. Although I spent two weeks reading this book, do not think that I didn’t enjoy reading it. The World of Ice and Fire is an imaginary history book, and the prose certainly felt like reading one. The book is written from the perspective of an in-world maester, and I read this book exactly the same way I read our real-world history book; bits by bits instead of my daily 150-300 pages reading pace. Upon finishing it, I truly believe that the fans of the main series will have to read this companion book.

Picture: Aegon the Conqueror upon Balerion, the Black Dread by Jordi González Escamilla

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A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Feast for Crows was quite good but it’s far below the incredible standard set by the previous three books.

I’ve mentioned in my previous review that A Storm of Swords could truly be the height of Martin’s writing career and I still stand by that statement confidently. Unfortunately, there’s a huge chance that this book will be the other way around by being the lowest point of the series. There’s a lot of circumstances to consider here. If I’ve waited 5 years before I read this book, I definitely would’ve hated it and give this at max 2 stars rating. If I haven’t received any warning on the odd structure of the story and character’s POV choices, I most likely would’ve disliked it more. If I haven’t watched the TV series, I probably would’ve enjoyed or disliked it more. And if I haven’t read A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms or in the midst of reading The World of Ice and Fire, again, I most likely will dislike this book even more. Putting all circumstances into consideration, my experience of reading A Feast for Crows wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but it was truly a disappointment after the brilliance of the previous book.

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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, #1-#3)

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, #1-#3)

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a great prequel compilation with superb production value.

I’m currently in the middle of collecting all the books within A Song of Ice and Fire in hardcover format. Honestly speaking, unlike The World of Ice and Fire and Fire and Blood, I didn’t have a lot of interest in reading this book; I treated it as a completionist read or a diversion while I wait for the release for The Winds of Winter. This is also why I’m happy that this book ended up being such a pleasant surprise for me.

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A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Merciless and brilliant.

This was unbelievably amazing. A Storm of Swords could actually be the height of George R. R. Martin’s writing career. I know I haven’t read A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons, or the extra books of the series yet, but realistically speaking, it would be bloody difficult for Martin to top what he has achieved in this book.

Picture: A Storm of Swords by Marc Simonetti

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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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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you love watching Game of Thrones, you’re most likely going to love reading A Game of Thrones.

Like countless readers around the world, I probably wouldn’t have known about A Song of Ice and Fire without its TV series adaptation, Game of Thrones. I’ve been following the TV series ever since the release of its first episode, I was completely captivated by the originality of the storyline and characters. Upon finishing the first season of the TV show, I immediately picked up this book and honestly? I DNF’ed it about a quarter into the book. It wasn’t that the book was bad, it was because the TV show—at least the first season—did a spectacular job of adapting the first installment of A Song of Ice and Fire. Something you have to know about me is that when my first entrance into a series is through a TV series/movies adaptation which I ended up loving, I tend to find the original material—usually novels—become super boring because I already know how it all will go down. It’s the biggest reason why I’m still not able to finish The Fellowship of the Ring. Unfortunately, it’s also the reason why I couldn’t finish this book back then. Now, years after my first try of reading A Game of Thrones, not only I was able to finish it, I loved it so much and I craved for more by the end of it.

“… a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”

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