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Book Review: The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice, #1) by Mark Lawrence

Book Review: The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice, #1) by Mark Lawrence

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Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Cover illustration by: Jason Chan

The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: Book of the Ice (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 480 pages (UK Hardcover edition)

Published: 30th April 2020 by Harper Voyager (UK) & 21st April 2020 by Ace (US)


Great world-building and prose, but I have mixed feelings on the book.

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Book Review: Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

Book Review: Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

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

Cover illustration by: John Picacio

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Between Earth and Sky (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 464 pages

Published: 13th October 2020 by Gallery / Saga Press


Fascinating world-building and riveting narrative. Black Sun was my first venture in Rebecca Roanhorse’s works, and it certainly won’t be the last.

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Book Review: The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book Review: The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Genre: Fantasy, Classic Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Published: 20th October 1955 by George Allen and Unwin


“For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

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Book Review: Kings of Heaven (Ash and Sand, #3) by Richard Nell

Book Review: Kings of Heaven (Ash and Sand, #3) by Richard Nell

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

Cover illustration by: Derek Murphy

Kings of Heaven by Richard Nell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Ash and Sand (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

Pages: 411 pages

Published: 1st September 2020 by Richard Nell (Self-published)


Kings of Heaven has carved Ash and Sand as one of the best fantasy trilogies I’ve ever read.

“A man fails in only two ways, my son. He quits, or he dies.”

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Book Review: The Black Song (Raven’s Blade, #2) by Anthony Ryan

Book Review: The Black Song (Raven’s Blade, #2) by Anthony Ryan

Cover illustration by: Cliff Nielsen

The Black Song by Anthony Ryan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Raven’s Blade (Book #2 of 2)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 442 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 28th July 2020 by Orbit (UK) & 4th August 2020 by Ace (US)


Anthony Ryan has delivered a satisfying action-packed conclusion to Raven’s Blade while leaving room for one or two more books in the world.

“He lies. They all do, these servants of things unseen. Long ago I learned that prophecy is always built on shifting sands and destiny an illusion used to banish fear of the chaos that is life. I trust what I know. I’ve seen what waits on the other side of death so I know it’s always better to cling to life.”

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Book Review: Ashes of the Sun (Burningblade & Silvereye, #1) by Django Wexler

Book Review: Ashes of the Sun (Burningblade & Silvereye, #1) by Django Wexler

ARC provided by the publisher—Head of Zeus—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover illustration by: Scott M. Fischer

Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Burningblade & Silvereye (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Post-apocalypse, Sci-fi.

Pages: 593 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 21st July 2020 by Head of Zeus (UK) & Orbit (US)


A captivating start to a series; if you’re worried whether Ashes of the Sun will be as good as The Shadow Campaigns or not, feel free to incinerate those doubts away now.

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Book Review: The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book Review: The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Lord of the Rings (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Classic Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Published: 11th November 1954 by George Allen and Unwin


“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”

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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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