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Book Review: Heroes Die (The Acts of Caine, #1) by Matthew Woodring Stover

Book Review: Heroes Die (The Acts of Caine, #1) by Matthew Woodring Stover

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Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Acts of Caine (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark, Grimdark science fantasy, Dystopia

Pages: 627 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 21st July 1998 by Del Rey (US) and 27th May 2013 by Orbit (UK)


It’s unbelievable that this insanely terrific story is hidden behind this horrific cover art. Heroes Die was absolutely bloody and glorious.

“Does it matter? When you tell a story loud enough and long enough, a story that plays right into people’s worst fears of betrayal, it grows its own truth.”

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Book Review: She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor, #1) by Shelley Parker-Chan

Book Review: She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor, #1) by Shelley Parker-Chan

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ARC provided by the publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: JungShan Ink

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Radiant Emperor (Book #1 of 2)

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy

Pages: 416 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 22th July 2021 by Mantle (UK) and 20th July 2021 by Tor Books (US)


She Who Became the Sun has the bravery to pitch itself as The Song of Achilles meets Mulan and actually live up to it.

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Book Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Book Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight book cover

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Nevernight Chronicle (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 448 pages (US hardback edition)

Published: 25th July 2016 by Harper Voyager (UK) & 9th August 2016 by St. Martin’s Press (US)


A deviously dark and thrilling tale, Nevernight is the first book I read by Jay Kristoff and I loved every murderous second of it.

The protagonist, Mia, is a girl bent on revenge, hoping to make the cut in a fabled assassin school called the Red Church. The story starts off with her making her first kill which will serve as a tithe to the Maw.

“…the Maw. Niah. The Goddess of Night. Our Lady of Blessed Murder. Sisterwife to Aa, and mother to the hungry Dark within us all.”

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Book Review: Dreams of the Dying (Enderal, #1) by Nicolas Lietzau

Book Review: Dreams of the Dying (Enderal, #1) by Nicolas Lietzau

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

Cover art illustrated by: Dominik Derow

Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Enderal (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 826 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 28th October 2020 by Nicolas Lietzau (Self-published)


A new masterpiece is here. It is a cliché to say this, but Dreams of the Dying is seriously one of the best books I’ve ever read.

“The mind is a malleable thing. Soil, if you’re feeling poetic. Depending on the seed, anything will grow in it, from graceful gardens to idyllic meadows, from weedy forests to foggy swamps. Harmonious or chaotic, peaceful or perilous, healthy or ill—it’s all a matter of seeds.

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Book Review: Grievar’s Blood (The Combat Codes Saga, #2) by Alexander Darwin

Book Review: Grievar’s Blood (The Combat Codes Saga, #2) by Alexander Darwin

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

Grievar’s Blood by Alexander Darwin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

eries: The Combat Codes Saga (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Science fiction, Dystopia, Martial Arts

Pages: 340 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 28th January 2020 by Insight Forge Press (Self-published)


Grievar’s Blood is a daring sequel to The Combat Codes. The cast is bigger and the stakes are higher than before.

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Book Review: The Lords of the North (The Last Kingdom, #3) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: The Lords of the North (The Last Kingdom, #3) by Bernard Cornwell

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The Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #3 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 401 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 22nd May 2006 by HarperCollins


This was a good but slightly weaker volume compared to its predecessors. It’s so good to finally meet Sihtric and Finan for the first time, though.

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Book Review: The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties, #1) by Marina Lostetter

Book Review: The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties, #1) by Marina Lostetter

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ARC provided by the publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Sam Weber

The Helm of Midnight by Marina J. Lostetter

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Five Penalties (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

Pages: 464 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 13th April 2021 by Tor Books


This is an incredible book. Character-driven and bloody thrilling; The Helm of Midnight has pretty much confirmed its spot in one of my favorite books of 2021 list.

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Book Review: Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1) by Rachel Caine

Book Review: Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1) by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars.

Series: The Great Library (Book 1 of 5)

Genre:  Young adult, alternate history, historical fantasy, fantasy

Published: July 2015 by Berkley Books (US) and Allison & Busby (UK)


Ink and Bone is a fantastic entry in The Great Library series that enthralled me right from the very beginning and didn’t let go.

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Book Review: The Forever Sea (The Forever Sea, #1) by Joshua Phillip Johnson

Book Review: The Forever Sea (The Forever Sea, #1) by Joshua Phillip Johnson

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ARC provided by the publisher—DAW Books—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Marc Simonetti

The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Forever Sea (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 464 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 26th January 2021 by Titan Books (UK) & 19th January 2021 by DAW Books (US)


Wonderful world-building and beautifully written, but unfortunately it’s a bit lacking in characterizations and pacing.

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Book Review: The Combat Codes (The Combat Codes Saga, #1) by Alexander Darwin

Book Review: The Combat Codes (The Combat Codes Saga, #1) by Alexander Darwin

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

Cover art illustrated by: Felix Ortiz

Cover art designed by: STK.Kreations

The Combat Codes by Alexander Darwin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Combat Codes Saga (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Science fiction, Dystopia, Martial Arts

Pages: 410 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 31st October 2015 by Insight Forge Press (Self-published)


Fun, tense, and entertaining; The Combat Codes is an MMA-inspired sci-fi debut with heart and well-written combat scenes.

“A perceived weakness is strength, and a flaunted strength is weakness.”

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