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Book Review: Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #1) by R.J. Barker

Book Review: Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom, #1) by R.J. Barker

Age of Assassins by R.J. Barker

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Fantasy, mystery

Published: 1st August 2017 by Orbit US & 3rd August 2017 by Orbit UK


An excellent debut, Age of Assassins was a well-crafted and compelling coming-of-age tale – one that’s not exactly what you expect a typical assassin story to be.

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Book Review: Red Country (First Law World, #6) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: Red Country (First Law World, #6) by Joe Abercrombie

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(This is a repost of an old review I wrote in July 2017)

Cover art illustrated by: Didier Graffet & Dave Senior

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: First Law World (Book #6 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, Westerns

Pages: 452 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 18th October 2012 by Gollancz (UK) and 23rd October 2012 by Orbit (US)


Say one thing for Abercrombie, say he knows how to make me love his book even when the setting is Western.

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Book Review: The Empire’s Ruin (Ashes of the Unhewn Throne, #1) by Brian Staveley

Book Review: The Empire’s Ruin (Ashes of the Unhewn Throne, #1) by Brian Staveley

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

ARC provided by the publishers—Tor Books & Tor UK—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Richard Anderson

The Empire’s Ruin by Brian Staveley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Ashes of the Unhewn Throne (Book #1 of 3), Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne (Book #5 of 7)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 752 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 8th July 2021 by Tor (UK) and 6th July 2021 by Tor Books (US)


The Empire’s Ruin is a scintillating explosive epic fantasy with multiple legendary scenes that rivaled The Way of Kings.

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Book Review: The Hand of the Sun King (Pact and Pattern, #1) by J.T. Greathouse

Book Review: The Hand of the Sun King (Pact and Pattern, #1) by J.T. Greathouse

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

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

Cover art illustrated by: Patrick Knowles

The Hand of the Sun King by J.T. Greathouse

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Pact and Pattern (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 416 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 5th August 2021 by Gollancz


An all-around marvelously crafted fantasy debut; The Hand of the Sun King has cemented its spot as the best fantasy debut of the year.

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Book Review: The Heroes (First Law World, #5) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: The Heroes (First Law World, #5) by Joe Abercrombie

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

(This is a repost of an old review I wrote in July 2017)

Cover art illustrated by: Didier Graffet & Dave Senior

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: First Law World (Book #5 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Pages: 664 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 27th January 2011 by Gollancz (UK) and 7th February 2011 by Orbit (US)


The Heroes depicted an unforgettable three days of intricate battles; Joe Abercrombie has once again proved himself to be my shining star in grimdark fantasy.

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Book Review: Wintersteel (Cradle, #8) by Will Wight

Book Review: Wintersteel (Cradle, #8) by Will Wight

Wintersteel by Will Wight

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #8 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Published: 6th October 2020 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


Wintersteel was yet another immensely addictive, fun and fantastic continuation in the Cradle series, which just keeps getting more epic with each book. 

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Book Review: The Blacktongue Thief (Blacktongue, #1) by Christopher Buehlman

Book Review: The Blacktongue Thief (Blacktongue, #1) by Christopher Buehlman

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

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

Cover art illustrated by: Marie Bergeron

The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Blacktongue (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 416 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 27th May 2021 by Gollancz (UK) and 25th May 2021 by Tor Books (US)


The Blacktongue Thief is an immense entertainment manifesting in a fantasy novel.

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Book Review: Best Served Cold (First Law World, #4) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: Best Served Cold (First Law World, #4) by Joe Abercrombie

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

(This is a repost of an old review I wrote in July 2017)

Cover art illustrated by: Didier Graffet & Dave Senior

Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: First Law World (Book #4 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Pages: 664 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 5th June 2009 by Gollancz (UK) and 29th July 2009 by Orbit (US)


A magnificent tale of vengeance filled with bloody actions, betrayal, and humor.

“One cannot grow without pain. One cannot improve without it. Suffering drives us to achieve great things.”

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Book Review: Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (Song of the Shattered Sands, #1) by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Book Review: Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (Song of the Shattered Sands, #1) by Bradley P. Beaulieu

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Cover art illustrated by: Adam Paquette

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: Song of the Shattered Sands (Book #1 of 6)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 584 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 3rd September 2015 by Gollancz (UK) and 1st September 2015 by DAW (US)


For me, Twelve Kings in Sharakhai has everything except the most important one: characters to care for.

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Book review: The Shadow of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga #1) by John Gwynne

Book review: The Shadow of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga #1) by John Gwynne

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

Cover art illustrated by: Marcus Whinney

The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Bloodsworn Saga (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 496 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 6th May 2021 by Orbit (UK) and 4th May 2021 by Orbit (US)


The Shadow of the Gods is the new benchmark in Norse mythology-inspired stories. This is the fantasy I’ve been waiting for.

In all honesty, this book had as good a chance as possible of becoming a favourite of mine, for I am without a doubt an ardent reader and supporter of John Gwynne and his books, having read and loved all of his previous works. Both The Faithful and the Fallen and Of Blood and Bone are masterpieces in my estimation and occupy treasured spaces on my shelf and within my heart. Nevertheless, no book is a certain thing as writers are only human beings, but I could not contain my excitement when I read that this latest venture of Mr Gwynne was another epic fantasy story, this time with Norse ink in its veins. I believe that mythologies always appeal to a wide fan base, with Norse and Greek, in particular, being personal favourites. And while I am nowhere near well-read on the subjects, I squeed like any fan worthy of the title at the idea of a favourite author shaping a story from the fertile ground that is the Norse culture. On such a foundation The Shadow of the Gods had much to live up to and I tried to curtail my hopes a little. There was no need though. At the end of this story, I was once again in awe at witnessing a master completely comfortable in executing an epically captivating and exciting tale.

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