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Book Review: The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book Review: The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Lord of the Rings (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Classic Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Published: 11th November 1954 by George Allen and Unwin


“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”

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Book Review: Rebirth (Divinity’s Twilight, #1) by Christopher Russell

Book Review: Rebirth (Divinity’s Twilight, #1) by Christopher Russell

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Cover illustration by: Chris McGrath

Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth by Christopher Russell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Divinity’s Twilight (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Sci-fi, Steampunk

Pages: 498 pages (US Paperback edition)

Published: 2nd June 2020 by Morgan James Fiction (Indie)


This was good, an ambitious SFF debut to what I foresee will be a large series.

Due to my TBR pile that continues to exponentially grow uncontrollably, I have to say that I rarely accept an ARC/review copy from an unknown author these days. My gut, however, told me to accept the request to review Christopher Russell’s debut, Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth, and I’m glad I gave this one a go. I mean, how could I say no when Russell himself said that he’s a huge fan of The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson; the inspirations from that epic series was evident in his debut.

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TS’s Top 11 Books Read in 2020 So Far (1st Jan to 30th June)

TS’s Top 11 Books Read in 2020 So Far (1st Jan to 30th June)


2020 has so far been a truly strange, stressful and complicated year, but reading wise it has been pretty incredible for me.  I’ve read/listen to 73 books during this first six months of the year and quite a sizeable chunk of these garnered 4-stars and above.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve added so many books onto my favourites shelf in the same period of time.  If you’re interested, you can see my year in books for 2020 right here.

Similar to my previous list, I do not limit this to only books released this year.  There are simply too many great books that have been published prior and that I’ve yet to read, so there will always be older books included.  Below are the parameters that I’ve set for the list.

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • Not limited to books which are released this year.

None of these are ranked except for the top three, of which two are tied for first place.  The rest, I’ve listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  All of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads.

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Petrik’s Top 15 Books of the Year So Far (1st January-30th June 2020)

Petrik’s Top 15 Books of the Year So Far (1st January-30th June 2020)


Click here if you want to see the list of all the books I’ve read so far this year: Petrik’s Year in Books (2020)

Between 1st January 2020 until 30th June 2020, I’ve read and reviewed 71 books (35.7k pages).

Please read this first. 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. These rules allow me to highlight more authors, and at the same time, I’ll also be able to include both new and older books (many of them still need attention) that I read within this year.

  • Rereads aren’t included.
  • One book per author.
  • The books listed here are not all exclusively published this year; the list consists of the top books I read for the first time within this year. Non-2020 published books on this list will have their first date of publication included.

Do note that although there’s a rank to this list, I HIGHLY recommend every book/series listed below because I loved all of them immensely, and they received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here are the top 15 books I’ve read this year so far! (All full reviews of the books listed can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page.)

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Book Review: The Burning God (The Poppy War Trilogy, #3) by R.F. Kuang

Book Review: The Burning God (The Poppy War Trilogy, #3) by R.F. Kuang

ARC provided by the publisher—Harper Voyager—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover Illustration by: JungShan

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Poppy War Trilogy (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, Military Fantasy

Pages: 640 pages

Published: 26th November 2020 by Harper Voyager (UK) and 17th November 2020 by Harper Voyager (US)


Bursting with violence, devastation, death, and profound emotions. The Burning God is by far the best book R.F. Kuang has written in her career so far.

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Book Review: Of Sea and Shadow (The Elder Empire: Sea, #1) by Will Wight

Book Review: Of Sea and Shadow (The Elder Empire: Sea, #1) by Will Wight

Cover illustration by: Micah Epstein

Of Sea and Shadow by Will Wight

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Elder Empire: Sea (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 428 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 30th December 2014 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


This pirate fantasy was almost as good as its parallel novel.

“The successful man visualizes success rather than failure,”

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Book Review: Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9) by Steven Erikson

Book Review: Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9) by Steven Erikson

Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book 9 of 10)

Genre: Epic fantasy, grimdark fantasy, fantasy

First published:  2009 by Bantam (UK) and 2010 by Tor (US)


The denouement of the Malazan Book of the Fallen is so long that it had to be written over two enormous books. Dust of Dreams is the first act of this grand finale and it was glorious!

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Book Review: Of Shadow and Sea (The Elder Empire: Shadow, #1) by Will Wight

Book Review: Of Shadow and Sea (The Elder Empire: Shadow, #1) by Will Wight

Cover illustration by: Micah Epstein

Of Shadow and Sea by Will Wight

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Elder Empire: Shadow (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 406 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 30th December 2014 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


An incredible start to an assassin high fantasy trilogy with a strong potential to be even better than Cradle.

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Book Review: Ascension (The Trysmoon Saga, #1) by Brian K. Fuller

Book Review: Ascension (The Trysmoon Saga, #1) by Brian K. Fuller

Ascension by Brian K. Fuller

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Trysmoon Saga (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 377 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 11th November 2014 by Brian K. Fuller (Indie)


Good, familiar, and also surprising classic fantasy take.

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Book Review: Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3) by Joe Abercrombie

Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The First Law (Book #3 of 3), First Law World (Book, #3 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Published: 20th March 2008 by Gollancz (UK) & 8th September 2015 by Orbit (US)


I’ve been meaning to read The First Law trilogy for years, after hearing loads of accolades from far and wide across the fantasy bibliosphere. Now that I’ve done so, I could safely say that Abercrombie deserved all those praises, and I’ll contribute by heaping on more of the same.

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