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Tag: Grimdark Fantasy

Book Review: Ash and Bones (City of Sacrifice, #2) by Michael R. Fletcher

Book Review: Ash and Bones (City of Sacrifice, #2) by Michael R. Fletcher

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

Cover illustration by: Felix Ortiz

Ash and Bones by Michael R. Fletcher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: City of Sacrifice (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy

Pages: 661 pages

Published: 1st August 2020 Michael R. Fletcher


Ash and Bones is a sequel filled with battles, narcotics, magic stones—especially obsidian—and moral dilemmas.

“There are two means of convincing a population to police itself: Religion, and Economy. Faith and greed.”

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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: 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: The Fury Yet To Come (The Raincatcher’s Ballad, #0.5) by Steven McKinnon

Book Review: The Fury Yet To Come (The Raincatcher’s Ballad, #0.5) by Steven McKinnon

Cover illustration by: James T. Egan of Bookfly Design

The Fury Yet To Come by Steven McKinnon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Raincatcher’s Ballad (Book #0.5 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

Pages: 124 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 25th June 2018 by Steven McKinnon DBA Vividarium Books (Indie)


This incredible action-packed grimdark novella is free. If you’re a fan of the sub-genre, I highly suggest you take this opportunity to get the book by subscribing to the author’s blog.

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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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Book Review: Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2) by Joe Abercrombie

Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The First Law (Book #2 of 3), First Law World (Book, #2 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Published: 15th March 2007 by Gollancz (UK) & 8th September 2015 by Orbit (US)


This is when I start to bemoan about picking up this trilogy so late. To think that I actually met Abercrombie at WorldCon last year before completing The First Law. It was such a travesty of an opportunity, and I’m repentant for it.

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Book Review: The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1) by Joe Abercrombie


The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The First Law (Book #1 of 3), First Law World (Book, #1 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Published: 4th May 2006 by Gollancz (UK) & 8th September 2015 by Orbit (US)


Before anyone gasped in surprise that I’ve not read this excellent grimdark entry by Joe Abercrombie, allow me to provide a little backstory.

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Book Review: Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8)

Book Review: Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8)

Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book 8 of 10)

Genre: Epic fantasy, grimdark fantasy

First published:  2008 by Bantam (UK) and Tor (US)


In a series replete with epic endings, Toll the Hounds offered, to date, the most epic one of all. It is with much joy that upon rereading I could upgrade this book as one of my favourites.

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