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Petrik Leo’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2018)

Petrik Leo’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2018)

Time really flies huh? Another year is coming to an end soon! This year I’ve read and reviewed 129 books. It’s been another fantastic reading year. Considering the high amount of 4.5 and 5 stars books I’ve rated this year, I’ll even say that this year miraculously ended up being my best reading year so far. There will be four 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.

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • The book listed here are not exclusively published this year.
  • Outside of the two top spots (for good reasons), none of these are in particular order. All have merit, and most have different strengths that make them stand out from each other; putting a rank on them feels odd to me, especially when every book in this list now resides on my ‘favorite books’ shelf.

All the books listed below received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here are the top 20 books I’ve read in 2018! (All full reviews of these books can be found on my Goodreads page; some are already available on this blog.)


Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy, #1)

Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy, #1)

Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Forge of Darkness displayed Erikson at the top of his prose but unfortunately, the book was bogged down by too much too much too much TOO MUCH philosophies.

Before I get to that though, let me just say that it’s quite baffling that there’s a list that recommends starting Malazan from Forge of Darkness instead of Gardens of the Moon. I’ve read and loved the main series but this novel took the cake for being the most difficult to get into. If I haven’t read the main series, this would be at best a 2 stars read. I’m not kidding, the saving grace of this novel was Erikson’s prose and the knowledge on what the characters will do in the future, this is only possible if the reader has read the main series, Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10)

The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10)

The Crippled God by Steven Erikson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Epic, masterful, and scintillating in every sense of these words; The Crippled God is an unforgettable magnum opus that concludes Steven Erikson’s genre-defining series: Malazan Book of the Fallen.

11,216 pages (Bantam paperback edition) and 3.3 million words read in exactly two months and two weeks; I’m done, it’s finally over. The entire ten-volume of Malazan Book of the Fallen has been in my TBR pile for almost two years long, and now it has been read, dusted and shelved. Erikson has raised the benchmark for Epic/military fantasy ridiculously high with what he created in this series. Together with Wrath by John Gwynne and Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb, The Crippled God stands among the top of the best final book of a series I’ve ever read, and there’s a definite probability that it will always stay on that list.

“I have enjoyed our long conversation. What’s three and a half million words between friends?” – Steven Erikson

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Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)

Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)

Dust Of Dreams (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Dust of Dreams lived up to its name, the book sent me to dreamland almost every chapter.

Erikson mentioned at the beginning of the novel that his idea of a finale was so huge that the story had to be done in two books: Dust of Dreams for the first half and The Crippled God for the second half of the story. I haven’t read The Crippled God yet and because of that, I simply have no idea how all the plotlines will converge and concludes in the last entry of the series. However, I’m going to say this, Dust of Dreams to me is easily the weakest book within the entire series, even weaker than House of Chains. If it weren’t due to the fact that marks the ninth and penultimate installment of the series, I would’ve DNFed the book/series; it was that painful and boring to read.

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

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

Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8)Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Against all odds, Toll the Hounds blew my mind away and became one of my favorite installment within the series.

Toll the Hounds, just like House of Chains, is one of the installments which I heard plenty of mixed things about; they’re there for valid reasons. However, unlike House of Chains which disappointed me a lot, I actually found Toll the Hounds mesmerizing, a treasure trove for philosophies, and also one of the most rewarding books in the series so far. The story of the novel focused on the characters in Darujhistan and the Tiste Andii race. That’s right, we’re finally back in Darujhistan after seven books and we finally get to see the story focusing almost completely on the Tiste Andii.

Picture: A fanart of Anomander Rake by artsed-d8joaqa

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Reaper’s Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7)

Reaper’s Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7)

Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7)Reaper’s Gale by Steven Erikson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Reaper used his scythe to chop onions in an attempt to bring tears to my eyes. Unfortunately, he didn’t succeed.

By this point of the series, I think it’s safe to say now that Malazan Book of the Fallen will never break my heart the way it did a lot of readers. People always told me that Erikson was more brutal towards his characters more than George R. R. Martin or all the conclusion of his books will leave my soul crushed; I strongly disagree with these as I found none of the books in the series so far to ever move me to the point of making my soul crushed or on the brink of tears. This series is amazing in many other aspects but for characterizations (which is the most important aspect of any story for me), in my opinion there are several authors who did it better.

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The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)

The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)

The Bonehunters (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6)The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brilliant is an understatement, The Bonehunters is a leviathan of a masterpiece in convergence.

With this installment, Steven Erikson has cemented himself as an irreplaceable author for the genre of epic and military fantasy. This is the already the sixth book in the series and it’s simply unbelievable how he was able to keep producing such an amazing book. I thought Memories of Ice would end up being the absolute best installment of the series but as it turns out, The Bonehunters ended up being another best of the series so far; it’s truly up to the masterpiece quality of Memories of Ice and I can’t decide which one I loved more between the two. Let’s just say I’m honestly shocked by how incredible this installment was. It took six books of the series but I’m extremely confident about putting Erikson into my list of favorite authors of all time now.

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Night of Knives (Malazan Empire, #1)

Night of Knives (Malazan Empire, #1)

Night of Knives (Malazan Empire, #1)Night of Knives by Ian C. Esslemont
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Just like the main series, I was determined to finish the Malazan Empire this year but I may have to rethink that decision after my experience of reading this book.

Night of Knives is the first book in the Malazan Empire series, a spin-off to the main series that’s written by the other creator of the Malazan universe, Ian Esslemont. A lot of people mentioned that Esslemont is not Erikson (these four words must’ve haunted Esslemont for years by now) and usually, I’ll say that it’s really not really fair for everyone to endlessly compare these two; it’s obvious that every author has a different style. But in this special situation, I must say that the comparison is really well deserved because both of them write canon stories in the same universe which they created together.

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Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)

Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)

Midnight Tides (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5)Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After the huge disappointment I had with House of Chains, Midnight Tides brought my love for Malazan Book of the Fallen back magnificently.

Midnight Tides marks the fifth book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. That’s right, this means that I’m halfway through the series now! Knowing that this is the fifth book in the series, it surprised me at first that instead of continuing the story from everything that has been built in the previous four books, the narrative shifted its focus back to several years before the time in Gardens of the Moon; in a completely new continent with a new conflict and shockingly—with the exception of one character from House of Chains—a completely new set of characters. I mean, this is the fifth book of the series already! Isn’t it crazy that we don’t get to see the majority of the previous four book characters in it? Well, it IS crazy but please don’t be intimidated by this fact.

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Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3)

Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3)

Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3)Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A peerless and jaw-dropping epic installment; I consider myself damn lucky to have witnessed this powerfully evocative tale.

I’ve stated that it’s mandatory to read at least two books of the series in order to truly find out whether you’ll love this series or not. I retract that statement and change it to three books instead. Trust me, if you don’t love Memories of Ice, you might as well drop the series now. And that would be okay because no series can work for everyone. Honestly speaking, I had a bit of doubt about the series but this incredibly mesmerizing installment has convinced me to finally become a fan of the series.

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