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Book Review: Of Darkness and Dawn (The Elder Empire: Shadow, #2) by Will Wight

Book Review: Of Darkness and Dawn (The Elder Empire: Shadow, #2) by Will Wight

Cover illustration by: Micah Epstein

Of Darkness and Dawn by Will Wight

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Elder Empire: Shadow (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 364 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 10th August 2015 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


This review is an unpopular opinion; please feel free to ignore this if you’ve read and enjoyed the first book, but in my opinion, Of Darkness and Dawn was a huge downgrade from its predecessor.

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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: 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: The Kingdom of Liars (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #1) by Nick Martell

Book Review: The Kingdom of Liars (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #1) by Nick Martell

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

The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Legacy of the Mercenary King (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 608 pages (US hardcover edition)

Published: 7th May 2020 by Gollancz (UK) & 5th May 2020 by Saga Press (US)


Kingdom of Liars was one of the most hyped up debuts in 2020, and I believe it’s partly due to Sanderson’s blurb.   It is a commendable debut, but while I’m not disputing what Sanderson said about this book, the enjoyment I derived from reading it was a whole lot more mixed than his blurb would suggest.

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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: The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book Review: The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Lord of the Rings (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Classic Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Published: 29th July 1954 by George Allen and Unwin


“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

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Book Review: The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire, #1) by Andrea Stewart

Book Review: The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire, #1) by Andrea Stewart

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

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Drowning Empire (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 448 pages (UK hardcover edition)

Published: 10th September 2020 by Orbit (UK) & 8th September 2020 by Orbit (US)


This will most likely be my favorite fantasy debut of 2020.

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