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Book Review: Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #3)

Book Review: Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #3)

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Series: The Witcher (Book 3 of 7)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy

First English translation published: Oct 2008 (Gollancz), May 2009 (Orbit)


Blood of Elves expands beyond the introduction of Geralt of Rivia and brings forth a different level of worldbuilding into the story in a character-driven narrative.

While this book is technically the start of the main series, I wholeheartedly recommend reading the prequel short stories in The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny first. A lot of references to past events in Blood of Elves were covered in those two books – important past events. I even found myself doing a quick read of some of those short stories to jog my memory since I had read them a year ago.

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Book Review: Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #2)

Book Review: Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #2)

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars.

Series: The Witcher (Book 2 of 7)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy

First English translation published: May 2015 (Gollancz), Dec 2015 (Orbit)


The compelling characterisation of Geralt and imaginative world of Slavic lore and fairy-tale retellings continue in Sword of Destiny, the second collection of prequel short stories in The Witcher series.

Sword of Destiny was published after the first three full-length novels of The Witcher series. As a new reader to the series, however, I was able to read the books in chronological order which is quite essential as this instalment served as the bridge between The Last Wish and Blood of Elves.

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Book Review: Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1) by Nicholas Eames

Book Review: Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1) by Nicholas Eames

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Band (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Comedy

Pages: 528 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 23rd February, 2017 by Orbit (UK) & 21st February, 2017 by Orbit (US)


Every avid fantasy reader, pay attention and let me do you a favor. Make sure you read this book no matter what. As of now, I’m calling Kings of the Wyld one of the best fantasy debuts of all time.

Imagine this: legendary rock bands that have disbanded, such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin or Nirvana, come back for one more tour. Now replace the rock bands and concerts with mercenary bands and killing monsters. I won’t go into any details on the music allusions, but it’s ubiquitous throughout the whole book and you should experience it yourself; but in my opinion, they’re a Joy To the World of fantasy.

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Book Review: The Last Wish (The Witcher, #1)

Book Review: The Last Wish (The Witcher, #1)

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Series: The Witcher (Book 1 of 7)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy

First English translation published: 2007 (Gollancz), 2008 (Orbit)


The Last Wish was more than up to task in satisfying my burning curiosity about The Witcher with its compelling eponymous protagonist, Geralt of Rivia.

I abandoned my gaming self a long time ago and as such, have not heard about The Witcher until someone mentioned that the Anomander Rake reminded her of Geralt of Rivia from the video game. That piqued my interest immediately, for Anomander Rake from the Malazan Book of the Fallen series is one of my favourite grimdark characters of all time. And thus, I promptly checked out the cinematic game trailers – the ones for The Witcher III were exceptionally good. I subsequently found out that the game was adapted from a book series by a Polish author and that The Witcher is also soon to be a new series on Netflix. Ah, this is indeed a marvellous time to be a fan of the fantasy genre.

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Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone, Middle-Earth Universe

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Classic Fantasy

Pages: 322 pages (75th Anniversary edition)

Published: September 21st, 1937


The Hobbit probably would’ve been more enjoyable if I were reading it at least 15 years ago.

I have an odd relationship with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings due to my feelings of the movie adaptations. For Lord of the Rings, I haven’t been able to finish Fellowship of the Ring because I loved the movies so much and I ended up finding the book incredibly boring; I will try again next year. As for The Hobbit, I was reluctant to read the book because I disliked the movie adaptation. After finally reading this for the first time, I can safely say that I still dislike the movies, and I felt more or less indifferent about the book.

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Book Review: Blood of an Exile (Dragons of Terra, #1) by Brian Naslund

Book Review: Blood of an Exile (Dragons of Terra, #1) by Brian Naslund

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

Blood of an Exile by Brian Naslund

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Dragons of Terra (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 416 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: August 8th, 2019 by Tor (UK) & August 6th, 2019 by Tor (US)


Blood of an Exile has dragons and dragonslayer, if you love a great fantasy debut with dragons, I doubt you’ll be reading the rest of this review.

And yet I will still write one. Blood of an Exile is Brian Naslund’s debut. It’s the first book in the Dragons of Terra trilogy. The story follows the Silas Bershad the Flawless, an exile who was supposed to die after he was caught trying to assassinate a noble. Bershad, the most famous and successful dragonslayer in the world, receive a task from the man who exiled him in the first place. The mission is to kill a king and save an innocent child in captive, only then he’ll be pardoned from his crime. With that kind of nickname, the premise led me to believe that this would be an ultimate Gary-Stu story but what I got was something more in-depth and empathizing. Without giving spoilers, there’s a rule to Bershad’s rumored “immortality” and “strength”; he’s not always immortal and full of strength 24 hours, and I found the mystery behind his power to be one of the main driving force of the narrative.

“Heroes and villains morphing out of the same people based on rumors and reputations and the simple passage of time.

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Book Review: The Bone Ships (The Tide Child, #1) BY R.J. Barker

Book Review: The Bone Ships (The Tide Child, #1) BY R.J. Barker

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

The Bone Ships by R.J. Barker

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Tide Child (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: High-fantasy

Pages: 496 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: September 26th, 2019 by Orbit (UK) & September 24th, 2019 by Orbit (US)


Highly imaginative world-building with a large focus on sea voyages and naval warfare.

Let me begin by saying that I’m a huge fan of Barker’s debut series: The Wounded Kingdom trilogy. I gave each installment in the trilogy a 4.5 stars rating and ever since I finished King of Assassins, The Bone Ships has been on my list of priority books to read ASAP. This is why I’m genuinely sad that I have to give this book a below 4 stars rating, but I have to always be honest with my review. I still had a great time with the book but The Bone Ships is a totally different sort of beast—that’s sadly not too suitable for me—compared to The Wounded Kingdom and I had expected to love this book more. RJ, if you stumbled upon this review, please don’t read it.

“No sane woman or man wishes for war, and those that do never would if they thought it would leave paint on their doorsteps.”

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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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The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #1)

The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #1)

The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Incredibly hard to put down and absolutely captivating, The Ninth Rain is classic high fantasy transfigured with a unique voice.

Jen Williams’ debut fantasy trilogy, The Copper Cat, was a grand fun-filled adventure with great characters that I’ve grown to love throughout the three books. In my review of The Silver Tide, I commended the author in crafting a modern high fantasy tale that was her own instead of emulating the increasingly popular grimdark sub-genre. As much as I loved The Copper Cat trilogy by the end of it, I can put my hand to my heart now and say that without a doubt The Winnowing Flame is going to top that easily.

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The Sword of Kaigen (A Theonite War Story)

The Sword of Kaigen (A Theonite War Story)

The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang
My rating: 6 of 5 stars

Simply phenomenal; The Sword of Kaigen is a stunning achievement of empathetic and masterful storytelling.

Every once in a while, a book comes along that sinks its hooks and claws into your very soul. It transcends beyond what a 5-star book usually means to me. It is a book that I will plead, beg and maybe even force everyone to read, so that they can experience the same awe and emotions as I did.  Thus far, I have not gone down the road of awarding 6 stars to some of my favourites, but there are several that I could easily place in that category. Namely The Stormlight Archive, a few titles from Malazan Book of the Fallen, and Heir of Novron, the final omnibus of The Riyria Revelations. Now, this extraordinary stand-alone fantasy novel, which is a rarity in itself, has earned itself a well-deserved spot among these masterpieces.

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