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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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The Legend of Eli Monpress (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1-3)

The Legend of Eli Monpress (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1-3)

The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Legend of Eli Monpress is such a classic romp of a fantasy tale. The world building was solid, the magic system entertaining and fascinating. I love the idea of every single thing on earth, from rocks to grass, from rivers to wind, having a consciousness of its own.But what made the story for me was the cast of characters. There was a lot of character development here, especially in the form of the relationships between characters. Miranda and Gin, Josef and Nico, Eli and, well, everything, were all such fun relationships to read about. I’m a big fan of motley crews, and Eli’s ragtag group is about as motley as they come.

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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 Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are very few books that combine both plot and prose in a way that burrows into my soul and becomes part of me. The Name of the Wind is one of those few.

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”

Plenty of books touch me and move me. There are stories that enchant me and carry me away from reality. There are writers whose prose I meditate upon as I read, choosing a handful of sentences to store within myself like a private lyrical bouquet so that I can recall the beauty of said prose always. There are authors whose creativity and craftsmanship I trust so much that I will purchase anything they write and consume it with pleasure.

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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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Celeste’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018 – July 31st, 2018)

Celeste’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018 – July 31st, 2018)

So far, 2018 has been a wonderful reading year for me. I’ve found new favorite authors, and had the opportunity to read new work from authors I’ve loved for years. Of the 93 books I’ve read and reviewed this year, I gave 76 of those at least a 4 star rating on Goodreads. The books I’ve chosen have been overwhelmingly successful for me. When Petrik mentioned each doing a Top 10 from the books we’ve read so far this year, I jumped at the suggestion. But now, looking at the books I have to choose from, I’m regretting my decision. How on earth am I going to choose just ten out of the dozens of fantastic books I’ve read so far this year?! All I can do is my best, right?

To help narrow things down, I’m going to follow the same rules Petrik used for his list:

  • Rereads don’t count.
  • One book per author.
  • Not every book was published this year.
  • Other than the top spot, these are in the order I read them instead of any ranking.

Every book below is one I rated 5 complete stars. Links to my full Goodreads reviews will be provided within each mini-review. Without further ado, here are my favorite books of the year to date!

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Petrik’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018-July 31st, 2018)

Petrik’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018-July 31st, 2018)

Between January 1st, 2018 and July 31st, 2018, I’ve read and reviewed 82 books, and so far it’s been another fantastic reading year. Considering the number of books I’ve read and reviewed this year, there will be four 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.
  • Number one spot aside, none of these are in particular order. Why? Because I spent two hours of staring at my computer screen and I still can’t firmly decide on the ranking!

All the books listed below received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here we go! (All full reviews of these books can be found on my Goodreads page; some are available on this blog.)

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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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City of Blades (The Divines Cities, #2)

City of Blades (The Divines Cities, #2)

City of Blades (The Divine Cities, #2)City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Dying nobly is preferable to living savagely.”

I’m completely blown away by Bennett’s world building. City of Blades thrilled me and surprised me and cut me to the quick with its rich character development and lore. I cared so much about the characters, and felt every emotion they felt as I read. Bennett’s world is unlike any I’ve ever come across; he absolutely excels at creating both empathetic characters and compelling mythology and history to add a depth and uniqueness to his writing that I believe to be rare.

“O, the things we kill for our dreams, forgetting all the while we shall wake up to find them naught but dust and ash!
What fools we are to pretend that when we walk to war we do not bring our loved ones with us.”

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