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House of Chains (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4)

House of Chains (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4)

House of Chains (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4) House of Chains by Steven Erikson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A huge downgrade after the masterpiece in Memories of Ice

Erikson started House of Chains, the fourth book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, in an unprecedented step. Unlike the previous three books, House of Chains started as a totally character-driven book that focuses solely on a completely new character, Karsa Orlong. This made for an awkward start because at first the story didn’t feel like reading the same series and Karsa took a while to warm up to due to his primitive and savage culture. However, Karsa ended up being one of my favorite parts of the book because of his spectacular character development and how pivotal he became to the overall story.

Picture: Karsa Orlong by Sam Burley

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Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3)

Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3)

Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3)Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson
My rating: 6 of 5 stars

A peerless and jaw-dropping epic installment; I consider myself damn lucky to have witnessed this powerfully evocative tale.

I’ve stated that it’s mandatory to read at least two books of the series in order to truly find out whether you’ll love this series or not. I retract that statement and change it to three books instead. Trust me, if you don’t love Memories of Ice, you might as well drop the series now. And that would be okay because no series can work for everyone. Honestly speaking, I had a bit of doubt about the series but this incredibly mesmerizing installment has convinced me to finally become a fan of the series.

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Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)

Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)

Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here we go. This is my first review for Steven Erikson’s highly acclaimed epic fantasy series: Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Malazan has been in my TBR for one year seven months now. I’ve heard countless amazing things about the series but the sizes, the spreading words of mouth on the complexities, the need for extra focus, the commitment, and the elitist assholes of the series made me postpone starting it for a long time. Despite hearing amazing things about the quality of the series, it required me a promise to finally plunge myself into starting this grand tale. I told my girlfriend I will propose to her only after I finished Malazan Book of the Fallen; she has agreed to it and so here we are. It’s safe to say that my expectations for this series are unreasonably huge and no, I don’t plan to change that for many personal reasons. Did the first book live up to the expectation though? The masterpiece quality aspect remains to be seen but the scope truly lived up to it, especially remembering that Gardens of the Moon is just the introduction to the series.

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Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand, #1)

Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand, #1)

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand #1)Kings of Paradise by Richard Nell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finally got around to review Richard Nell’s highly acclaimed indie debut, Kings of Paradise. My verdict: an impressive grimdark debut.

I was first offered to review Kings of Paradise by Nell himself back in November 2017. Back then, Kings of Paradise had around 20 ratings and I simply didn’t have time to read it because I was swamped by ARCs, review copies, and Oathbringer’s release, which was also in November; I told Nell that I’ll give his book a read in 2018. I certainly didn’t expect that the book would garner 150 new ratings and many extremely positive reviews; I’m pretty sure there’s a Nell fan club being formed already. I won’t bother you with rearranging the synopsis into my own words, the blurb is spoiler-free and you should read that if you want to know what the plot is about. I’ll start off this review immediately with my favorite part of the book, Ruka’s storyline.

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We Ride the Storm (The Reborn Empire, #1)

We Ride the Storm (The Reborn Empire, #1)

We Ride the Storm (The Reborn Empire, #1)We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A new gale of hope for self-published fantasy blows with all its might as Devin Madson summons a new triumphant tornado in We Ride the Storm.

Open up your thesaurus and look up the word “underrated.” Devin Madson’s name truly belongs there. I bloody loved this book, even more than all of Madson’s previous works which were great themselves. You can check my review history and you’ll see that for self-published/indie books that I’ve read and reviewed so far, I’ve given a full 5 stars rating (without rounding up on Goodreads) to literally only one book, The Mirror’s Truth by Michael R. Fletcher. We Ride the Storm is the second occurrence.

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The Gods of Vice (The Vengeance Trilogy, #2)

The Gods of Vice (The Vengeance Trilogy, #2)

The Gods of Vice (The Vengeance Trilogy, #2)The Gods of Vice by Devin Madson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

No sophomore slump here; this was another great installment for The Vengeance Trilogy.

The battle for the Crimson Throne has split Kisia and it’s time for the characters to choose sides. Prepare for shifting allegiances, betrayal, and revelations. The plot in The Gods of Vice continues immediately after the end of the first book and once again, vengeance and the deadly magic—Empathy—become the central theme. If you’ve read the first book and haven’t read the novella, In Shadows We Fall yet, I strongly urge you to read it now; it’s only 100 pages long anyway. The novella, despite being very short, provides a lot of backgrounds information that is still pertinent to this installment. For example, Empress Li won’t just be a simple name you read; you’ll know so much more about her each time her name gets mentioned. This of course doesn’t mean that you HAVE to read the novella to understand the events in this book, but it will certainly be beneficial in enriching your experience. So why not? It’s fantastic and it will only take two hours (at max) to read.

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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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