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Book Review: The Two-Faced Queen (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #2) by Nick Martell

Book Review: The Two-Faced Queen (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #2) by Nick Martell

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ARC provided by the publisher—Saga Press & Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Richard Anderson

The Two-Faced Queen by Nick Martell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Legacy of the Mercenary King (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 592 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 25th March 2021 by Gollancz (UK) & 23rd March 2021 by Saga Press (US)


Overall, The Two-Faced Queen a good sequel. Similar to its predecessor, the first half was a bit of a struggle for me, but the second half was great.

“To be forgotten feels more like death than death.”

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Book Review: Pawn’s Gambit (Mortal Techniques) by Rob J. Hayes

Book Review: Pawn’s Gambit (Mortal Techniques) by Rob J. Hayes

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

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

Cover art illustrated by: Felix Ortiz

Cover art designed by: STK.Kreations

Pawn’s Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Mortal Techniques (Book #2)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Wuxia

Pages: 315 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 26th January 2021 by Rob J. Hayes (Self-published)


A great Wuxia adventure with an empathizing redemption arc.

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Book Review: The Councillor by E. J. Beaton

Book Review: The Councillor by E. J. Beaton

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

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

Cover designed by: Adam Auerbach.

The Councillor by E.J. Beaton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Councillor (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 448 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 2nd March 2021 by DAW Books


The Councillor is a Machiavellian fantasy novel I didn’t know I wanted.

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TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2020

TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2020


2020 has been such a strange, stressful and complicated year.  I took a one-year sabbatical leave from work from mid-2019 and managed to do quite a bit of travelling for about six months before the world got completely turned upside down.  I’ve read/listen over 120 books this year, 73 of which was completed during the first half when I wasn’t working and the entire world was on lockdown.  Getting back to work during the second half in the midst of a global pandemic and a new challenging role did affect my ability to read and also write reviews on a regular basis.

Despite 2020 being such a watershed/dumpster year, it’s been an incredible one for my reading as I’ve completed a lot books ranging from great to masterpieces.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve added so many books onto my favourites shelf (many of which were from the same series).  If you’re curious/interested, you also 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 five.  The rest, I’ve listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  Almost all of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads, albeit some are quite brief.

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Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2020)

Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2020)

The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions’ Top 20 Lists. Check out his portfolio, he’s brilliant.


This list is also available on my Booktube Channel if that’s what you preferred: https://youtu.be/1gXaV7SQVio

 

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

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Book Review: Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2) by Tamsyn Muir

Book Review: Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2) by Tamsyn Muir

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

Review copy provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover illustrated by: Tommy Arnold

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Locked Tomb (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Space Opera

Pages: 512 pages (Hardback)

Published: 4th August 2020 by Tor.com


Harrow the Ninth was insanely confusing, and I am both annoyed and impressed at the same time.

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Book Review: The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

Book Review: The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

ARC received from publisher, Gollancz, in exchange for an honest review.

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Genre: Urban fantasy, historical fantasy, young adult

Published: 24th September 2020 by Gollancz (UK) and 22nd September 2020 Katherine Tegen Books (US)


The Left-Handed Booksellers of London was an enjoyable urban fantasy romp in an alternate 1980s-London which left me wanting more from this clever and fascinating world of magical secret service booksellers.

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Book Review: Wintersong (Wintersong, #1) by S. Jae-Jones

Book Review: Wintersong (Wintersong, #1) by S. Jae-Jones


Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been in the mood for anything wintry, and this book seemed like just the thing. It’s young adult, which I’ve struggled with in the past, but I decided to give it a go anyway. I’m so glad I did, because Wintersong is a beautiful story. A retelling of the movie Labyrinth, it’s a captivating take on the Goblin King and his Underground, with music at its core.

“You are the monster I claim.”

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Book Review: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik

Book Review: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik


A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The synopsis for A Deadly Education filled me with so much excitement when I first read it a year ago. And yet I put of reading it for months after its release, because I was scared. The reason for that fear? In a word: Uprooted. While I didn’t loathe it with every fiber of my being like my co-blogger Petrik did, I very much did not understand the love for that book. So many people adore it. And I desperately wanted to share in that adoration, I really did. On paper, it should have absolutely worked for me. Rich setting, interesting magic, a fairytale retelling that flips its source material on its head. It should have become an instant new favorite for me. And yet, it didn’t. I struggled my way through it. So you can see why I’d be scared to try A Deadly Education, right? I have a huge weakness for magic schools, but I wondered if maybe Novik’s writing just wasn’t for me.

I am excited to report that my fears proved themselves to be unfounded. I took to this book immediately and loved every single page. Whatever my disconnect was with Uprooted, Novik’s a gifted author with a talent for immersive writing, and I’m already counting down the days until The Graduate, the second book in the Scholomance series, is published.

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Book Review: Dragon Mage (Rivenworld, #1) by M.L. Spencer

Book Review: Dragon Mage (Rivenworld, #1) by M.L. Spencer

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

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

Cover art illustrated by: Sutthiwat Dechakamphu

Cover designed by: STK.Kreations

Dragon Mage by M.L. Spencer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Rivenworld (Book #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 986 pages (Kindle)

Published: 8th January 2021 by Stoneguard Publications (Self-published/Indie)


This was awesome. Spencer takes everything we love about classic epic fantasy and put it into Dragon Mage, transforming the novel into an incredible, epic, and satisfying fantasy book.

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