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Tower Lord (Raven’s Shadow, #2)

Tower Lord (Raven’s Shadow, #2)

Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

On its own, Tower Lord is not a bad book. But as a sequel, it was disappointing.

The first time I finished reading Blood Song, it was in 2017. Since then, I honestly haven’t mustered the courage to continue past it due to the infamous negativity—I honestly never see the last installment of a series being called disappointing as often and widely as Raven’s Shadow trilogy—surrounding the sequels. I love Blood Song very much, I just finished rereading it a few weeks ago and I still think of it as one of the best fantasy debuts of all time; the idea that the sequels have the potential to ruin it scared me. Now that I have an ARC of The Wolf’s Call in my hand, I’ve decided to finally take the plunge and continue reading the series. If I ended up being disappointed by Queen of Fire, at least I know there’s a continuation after it that could—hopefully—bring the glory of Blood Song back.

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The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, #4)

The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, #4)

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I give up. Here’s where I say goodbye to The Wheel of Time.

The Shadow Rising is the fourth book in The Wheel of Time series, it’s been claimed by many fans of the series that installment is one of the better books—some even said it’s THE best–written by Robert Jordan before Brandon Sanderson takes over. I personally found this book to be the worst in the series so far.

Just like the extremely repetitive nature of the series, the only way I can explain why I found myself incredibly disappointed is, again, by repeating the cons that I’ve mentioned in my review of the previous three books. What I mean by this is that the story starts awesome, became extremely boring, and then a great conclusion again. Seriously, I read through the first 25% in a day, then it took me six days—with skimming Perrin’s story—to finish the remaining content. I won’t lie that a ridiculous amount of determination was self-forced on me in order for me to able to finish this.

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The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time, #3)

The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time, #3)

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Not much actually happened in The Dragon Reborn but it was more engaging than the previous two books.

The Dragon Reborn is the third book in The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. The title of this novel may be The Dragon Reborn, this title implies that Rand will take the central role again, but the main characters of this book were actually Mat, Perrin, and Egwene. If I’m not mistaken, Rand has only like three or four small POV chapters. This doesn’t mean that Rand wasn’t important to the main story, the storyline still heavily revolved around him.

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The Blackest Heart (The Five Warrior Angels, #2)

The Blackest Heart (The Five Warrior Angels, #2)

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

The Blackest Heart by Brian Lee Durfee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m absolutely stunned by this 960 pages marvel.

Seriously, The Forgetting Moon was awesome already, but The Blackest Heart triumphed over its predecessor in every possible way. I don’t even have words to express how grateful I am that the author sent me these two books, which weren’t even on my radar, to review; it’s truly serendipitous that I found a new ongoing favorite series because of it.

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The Forgetting Moon (The Five Warrior Angels, #1)

The Forgetting Moon (The Five Warrior Angels, #1)

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

The Forgetting Moon by Brian Lee Durfee
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A severely underrated epic fantasy debut.

The Forgetting Moon is Brian Lee Durfee’s debut and it has been published for almost three years now. Honestly, it’s quite sinful that this book has less than 500 ratings on Goodreads at the moment; not only this is THE biggest fantasy debut I’ve ever read so far, The Forgetting Moon is also one of the strongest beginnings to an epic fantasy series I’ve come across. I’m truly flabbergasted by how underrated this debut is. Gorgeous cover art by Richard Anderson, a beautifully drawn map by Robert Lazzaretti, high-quality floppy paperback (yes, this is a plus), and most importantly, amazing content. Why is no one talking about this book!? I seriously wish someone had recommended this book to me; I never heard about this series until the author himself sent a review request to me and I’m gratified that he did.

Picture: My signed copy of The Forgetting Moon (I have to share this. Check out the badass signature!)

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The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2)

The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2)

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The man who called himself Petrik will now review The Great Hunt, the second book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

Everyone who’ve read the first book most likely knows what the title of this installment implies. The Great Hunt continues immediately from where the first book left off. Allow me to mention how ridiculously repetitive—and hilarious, I guess—the prologue of this book was. It starts with “The man who called himself Bors,” and within a single prologue, the exact phrase “the man who called himself Bors” was mentioned literally 34 times. The man who called himself Petrik could be wrong, but the man who called himself Petrik THINK that the man who called himself Bors, is in fact, the man who called himself Bors *gasp* *suspense* *CPR the man who called himself Petrik out of this SHOCKING revelation* The man who called himself Petrik was amazed by Jordan’s way of increasing his word counts by 170 words. Jordan could’ve just written “Bors” instead of “the man who called himself Bors” but he won’t, that 170 words is a matter of Light and Dark! The prologue became a firm reminder to the man who called himself Petrik that this will be a series—despite all the greatness—that is full of repetitive phrases; so far the man who called himself Petrik hasn’t been proven wrong.

Picture: The Great Hunt by Kekai Kotaki

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The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1)

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1)

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Petrik’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Here it is, I’m riding the winds of time! Wheeeeeeeeeee!

Another massive fantasy series to finish, a new epic adventure to undertake. Like many modern fantasy readers, the last three books finished by Brandon Sanderson played a huge motivational drive in my attempt to start and finish The Wheel of Time. I honestly find this series to be even more intimidating than Malazan Book of the Fallen due to the sheer number of word counts in it. To give a bit of information on how intimidating this series is, the last two massive series I began and finished last year was The Realm of Elderlings (4.1 million words) by Robin Hobb and Malazan Book of the Fallen (3.3 million words) by Steven Erikson; the entirety of The Wheel of Time consists of 4.4 million words. That’s how gigantic this series is. If it weren’t because Sanderson is one of my top favorite authors of all time and the fact that I’ve completely run out of his adult fantasy books to read, I probably wouldn’t have started this series at all. That being said, no matter what the initial reason is, I’m really glad that I’ve taken the important first step towards conquering The Wheel of Time.

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The Priory of the Orange Tree

The Priory of the Orange Tree

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Priory of the Orange Tree is among the most beautiful works of literature I’ve ever read. In an age of fantasy where grimdark is by and large the king of the genre, Priory breaks the mold by showcasing breathtaking beauty in its prose.

”We mean to reforge with love what greed has broken.”

If grimdark views the world through a filter of ashy sepia, Priory instead views the world through a filter that oversaturated each and every color, giving every inch of itself an otherworldly brightness that I’ve found in very few fantasy tales. The best comparisons I can think of in tone would be The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle and Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. In both of these books, as well as in Priory, there are terrible, nigh-apocalyptic happenings, as are found in nearly every fantasy novel that has captured the imaginations of their readers. The difference is that if you took a deep breath inside the worlds of these three books, you would fill your lungs with the heady scent of orange blossoms and lavender and life, as opposed to the heavy ashen air that would clog your throat in the worlds of their grimdark counterparts. I feel that the beauty of these worlds only increases the tension and the stakes if our heroes cannot find a way to save the day. It’s far sadder to me to watch something heartbreakingly lovely go up in smoke than it is something weathered and grimy. That’s my opinion, at least.

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Wrath (The Faithful and the Fallen, #4)

Wrath (The Faithful and the Fallen, #4)

Wrath by John Gwynne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Masterpiece.

Mark my words, if this series ever gets adapted into a television series with the same production value given to Game of Thrones, it will create a myriad of fan bases all over the world. Watch out George R. R. Martin, while you’re waiting for the breeze from the Winds of Winter to come, John Gwynne has appeared out of nowhere and he has conquered the genre; the apprentice has become the master.

Wrath is, in my opinion, the best out of the four books in the series, which means the series always got better with each installment and with its completion I’ve decided to include John in my list of favorite authors of all time. That makes him one of my very few auto-buy authors; along with Brandon Sanderson and Joe Abercrombie, I’ll be content with buying every book they write.

“It will be a dark day, a bloody day, a proud day, for this is the day of our wrath.”

I’ll start off my review with two simple questions.

1. Does this series provide something new to the genre?

No, almost every single plot device here has been done before.

2. Is it good?

No, good is a really huge understatement. It’s damn near perfection for its genre.

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Ruin (The Faithful and the Fallen, #3)

Ruin (The Faithful and the Fallen, #3)

Ruin by John Gwynne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Intense, brutal, gory, poignant, epic, and filled with love and vengeance; John Gwynne simply can do no wrong

“Two for vengeance. One for Love.”

Ruin, the third book in The Faithful and the Fallen series is a great example of how a penultimate epic fantasy installment ought to be written. This was even better than its predecessors; making this the best book in the series so far.

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