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Book Review: Dreams of the Dying (Enderal, #1) by Nicolas Lietzau

Book Review: Dreams of the Dying (Enderal, #1) by Nicolas Lietzau

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

Cover art illustrated by: Dominik Derow

Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Enderal (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 826 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 28th October 2020 by Nicolas Lietzau (Self-published)


A new masterpiece is here. It is a cliché to say this, but Dreams of the Dying is seriously one of the best books I’ve ever read.

“The mind is a malleable thing. Soil, if you’re feeling poetic. Depending on the seed, anything will grow in it, from graceful gardens to idyllic meadows, from weedy forests to foggy swamps. Harmonious or chaotic, peaceful or perilous, healthy or ill—it’s all a matter of seeds.

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Book Review: The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties, #1) by Marina Lostetter

Book Review: The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties, #1) by Marina Lostetter

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

Cover art illustrated by: Sam Weber

The Helm of Midnight by Marina J. Lostetter

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Five Penalties (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

Pages: 464 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 13th April 2021 by Tor Books


This is an incredible book. Character-driven and bloody thrilling; The Helm of Midnight has pretty much confirmed its spot in one of my favorite books of 2021 list.

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Book Review: The Forever Sea (The Forever Sea, #1) by Joshua Phillip Johnson

Book Review: The Forever Sea (The Forever Sea, #1) by Joshua Phillip Johnson

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

Cover art illustrated by: Marc Simonetti

The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Forever Sea (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 464 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 26th January 2021 by Titan Books (UK) & 19th January 2021 by DAW Books (US)


Wonderful world-building and beautifully written, but unfortunately it’s a bit lacking in characterizations and pacing.

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Book Review: The Two-Faced Queen (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #2) by Nick Martell

Book Review: The Two-Faced Queen (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #2) by Nick Martell

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

Cover art illustrated by: Richard Anderson

The Two-Faced Queen by Nick Martell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Legacy of the Mercenary King (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 592 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 25th March 2021 by Gollancz (UK) & 23rd March 2021 by Saga Press (US)


Overall, The Two-Faced Queen a good sequel. Similar to its predecessor, the first half was a bit of a struggle for me, but the second half was great.

“To be forgotten feels more like death than death.”

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Book Review: Pawn’s Gambit (Mortal Techniques) by Rob J. Hayes

Book Review: Pawn’s Gambit (Mortal Techniques) by Rob J. Hayes

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

Cover art illustrated by: Felix Ortiz

Cover art designed by: STK.Kreations

Pawn’s Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Mortal Techniques (Book #2)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Wuxia

Pages: 315 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 26th January 2021 by Rob J. Hayes (Self-published)


A great Wuxia adventure with an empathizing redemption arc.

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Book Review: The Councillor by E. J. Beaton

Book Review: The Councillor by E. J. Beaton

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

Cover designed by: Adam Auerbach.

The Councillor by E.J. Beaton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Councillor (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 448 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 2nd March 2021 by DAW Books


The Councillor is a Machiavellian fantasy novel I didn’t know I wanted.

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TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2020

TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2020


2020 has been such a strange, stressful and complicated year.  I took a one-year sabbatical leave from work from mid-2019 and managed to do quite a bit of travelling for about six months before the world got completely turned upside down.  I’ve read/listen over 120 books this year, 73 of which was completed during the first half when I wasn’t working and the entire world was on lockdown.  Getting back to work during the second half in the midst of a global pandemic and a new challenging role did affect my ability to read and also write reviews on a regular basis.

Despite 2020 being such a watershed/dumpster year, it’s been an incredible one for my reading as I’ve completed a lot books ranging from great to masterpieces.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve added so many books onto my favourites shelf (many of which were from the same series).  If you’re curious/interested, you also 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 five.  The rest, I’ve listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  Almost all of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads, albeit some are quite brief.

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Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2020)

Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2020)

The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions’ Top 20 Lists. Check out his portfolio, he’s brilliant.


This list is also available on my Booktube Channel if that’s what you preferred: https://youtu.be/1gXaV7SQVio

 

Click here if you want to see the list of all the books I’ve read this year: Petrik’s Year in Books (2020)

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Book Review: Dragon Mage (Rivenworld, #1) by M.L. Spencer

Book Review: Dragon Mage (Rivenworld, #1) by M.L. Spencer

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

Cover art illustrated by: Sutthiwat Dechakamphu

Cover designed by: STK.Kreations

Dragon Mage by M.L. Spencer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Rivenworld (Book #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 986 pages (Kindle)

Published: 8th January 2021 by Stoneguard Publications (Self-published/Indie)


This was awesome. Spencer takes everything we love about classic epic fantasy and put it into Dragon Mage, transforming the novel into an incredible, epic, and satisfying fantasy book.

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Book review: Asperfell by Jamie Thomas

Book review: Asperfell by Jamie Thomas

Asperfell by Jamie Thomas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Book #2 is being written, no information on the name of the series yet

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Published: February 18th 2020 by Uproar Books

ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and the quotes included may have changed in the released copy.

 

What an utterly charming and engrossing debut.

<blockquote><i><b>“Whispers in the dark.
The dead keep the secrets of the living.</b></i></blockquote>

Asperfell was a surprising and enchanting tale, and made even more so by the flawless writing. Jamie Thomas took a risk with her prose. With its classic sophistication, it could have come across as pompous or out of fashion. But instead, it felt surprisingly fresh and suitable to the atmosphere (in the first half rather regency-inspired and then bordering on gothic in the second half). The writing flew seamlessly and elegantly and retained a classic charm with no trace of the dullness or prolixity that makes some classics so unapproachable or difficult to read.

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