Browsed by
Tag: Petrik’s Favorites

Book Review: The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy, #1) by James Islington

Book Review: The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy, #1) by James Islington

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington

Petrik’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

TS’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series:  The Licanius Trilogy (Book #1 of 3)

Genre:  Fantasy, Epic fantasy

Pages: 736 pages

Published:  3rd August 2014 (self-published). 8th November 2016 by Orbit (US) & 10th November 2016 by Orbit (UK).

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Crimson Queen (The Raveling, #1) by Alec Hutson

Book Review: The Crimson Queen (The Raveling, #1) by Alec Hutson

The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Raveling (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 423 pages

Published: 28th November 2016 by Alec Hutson (Indie)


This book should’ve earned more fame and praise. A familiar and utterly well-written start to an epic fantasy series with prose redolent of Brian Staveley’s writing style; I loved it.

Back in 2017-2018, when I was still a reviewer for Booknest, I was one of the judges for SPFBO 3 held by Mark Lawrence. In that year’s SPFBO, The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson won the joint runner-up spot together with Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe. My ex-blog chose this novel as their pick for the best book of the competition. Admittedly, I didn’t get assigned to reading The Crimson Queen, I didn’t know how good it was, but Celeste, one of my co-blogger from back then (and now) did read it, and she occasionally reminded me to give this book a go because she loved it very much. Two years since SPFBO 3 has ended, here I am finally getting around to reading this book, and I will say this: my ex-blog made the right choice. I would’ve personally chosen The Crimson Queen as the top book for SPFBO 3 myself if I had read it back then.

“The arrogance of writing comes not from the finished creation, but from the very act itself. What hubris is required for a single mind to believe that its thoughts should populate the world? What unbridled arrogance is it to disperse ideas like the petals of a dandelion in the wind, allowing them to float free, to germinate in the minds of others like an invasive weed?”

Read More Read More

Book Review: Ravencaller (The Keepers, #2) by David Dalglish

Book Review: Ravencaller (The Keepers, #2) by David Dalglish

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

Ravencaller by David Dalglish

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Keepers (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 576 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 19th March 2020 by Orbit (UK) & 17th March 2020 by Orbit (US)


There is no lull moment in Ravencaller, this action-packed sequel brings well-written morally grey characters and bloody macabre into one package.

First of all, I’m usually not a fan of sudden cover changes in the middle of a series, but this is, in my opinion, one of those rare cases where the new cover artist did a better job than the previous artist. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the cover art of Soulkeeper, but I LOVE the cover art of Ravencaller that’s done by Paul Scott Canavan; it looked spectacular, and it’s more fitting for the series. Second, look at the Ravencaller in the cover art, it reflects what’s written in the text of this book and—this is very important—it reminded me of Eileen the Crow from one of my favorite games: Bloodborne! Lastly, I know I mentioned last year in my Soulkeeper review that I’m going to read more of Dalglish’s books, especially his Shadowdance series, I’m ashamed to say that I wasn’t able to achieve this yet. After reading Ravencaller, it’s even more evident that I HAVE to read Dalglish’s Shadowdancer series because this sequel was even better than the first book which I already highly praised.

“Humans have always been reactionary creatures obsessed with the present, ignorant of the past, and fearful of the future.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: Underlord (Cradle, #6) by Will Wight

Book Review: Underlord (Cradle, #6) by Will Wight

Underlord by Will Wight

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #6 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Pages: 308 pages

Published: 1st March 2019 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


The release of Underlord last year marked the exact moment I decided I have to read Cradle this year, and I can agree that this is the best of the series so far.

To elaborate upon what sparked my curiosity further, Underlord has a consistent and insanely high rating ever since its publication day. During the time of posting this review, the average rating of Underlord on Goodreads sits at 4.69 out of 6,450 ratings; on Amazon (US) it has an average rating 4.9 out of 1,049 ratings, and no one rated it below 3 stars on Amazon. These numbers and the barrage of personal recommendations from other readers were the two sole reasons why I ended up giving this series a go earlier than planned. What made Underlord even more awesome? A lot, but if I were to narrow it down to one main feature, it’s the significant characterizations and development given to the main characters.

“The baby squirrel had finally left the nest and grown into a…well, squirrels never turned into anything scary. Call it an ancient sacred squirrel.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: A Time of Courage (Of Blood and Bone, #3) by John Gwynne

Book Review: A Time of Courage (Of Blood and Bone, #3) by John Gwynne

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

A Time of Courage by John Gwynne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Of Blood and Bone (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 672 pages (UK hardback edition)

Published: 2nd April 2020 by Pan Macmillan (UK) & 7th April 2020 by Orbit (US)


A Time of Courage is one of the best final books to a series I’ve ever read in my life. It was truly a bittersweet, satisfying, and masterfully crafted finale to conclude Of Blood and Bone and the entirety of The Banished Lands saga.

Permit me to start this review with words from Gwynne himself:

“So, finally we come to the end of this series, and with it, the end of the Banished Land’s tales. Although Of Blood and Bone is a trilogy that can be read as a standalone series, it is also the final chapter of a longer history that involves the four books from The Faithful and the Fallen series. When read together they form around a one-hundred-and-fifty-year history of the Banished Lands, and a sizeable chunk of my life. Roughly seventeen years have flown by, I think, since lifting my pen and writing down my first ideas. I hope that you’ve enjoyed your time spent here, and that this book feels like a fitting and satisfying conclusion to all that has gone before.”

Read More Read More

Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2019)

Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2019)

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


Click here if you want to see the list of all the books I’ve read this year: Petrik’s Year in Books (2019)

Here we are, we’re reaching the end of 2019 very soon! This year, I’ve read and reviewed 115 books (96 traditionally published books + 19 indie books.)

It’s lower than the previous two years, but I must say that it’s been another incredible reading year for me. Putting the high amount of 4.5 and 5 stars books I’ve rated this year into consideration, I will be applying four rules into this list; doing this will help me give appreciation to more authors, and I’ll be able to include both new and older books (many of them still need attention) rather than having only a few authors/books hoarding the list every year.

  • Rereads don’t count.
  • One book per author.
  • Unless specified, the books listed here are published this year.
  • Number one spot aside, none of these are in particular order. All have merit, and most have different strengths that make them stand out from each other; it’s too difficult for me to rank them accordingly.

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 2019! (Full reviews of these books can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page.)


Read More Read More

Book Review: Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #1) by Brian McClellan

Book Review: Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #1) by Brian McClellan

sins type5

Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Gods of Blood and Powder (Book #1 of 3), Powder Mage (Book #4 of 6)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Flintlock fantasy

Pages: 604 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 9th March 2017 by Orbit (UK) & 7th March 2017 by Orbit (US)


That was amazing. So glad I ended up giving this a go. What an explosive return to McClellan’s beloved Powder Mage universe.

It’s been two years since I finished reading the Powder Mage trilogy. Honestly, I felt satisfied with the ending I got in The Autumn Republic that I thought I would’ve been fine with not reading the Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy. Thankfully, so many reviews and word-of-mouth have spread throughout the years, and they convinced me that this trilogy is even better than the first one. And it’s highly probable that they will be proven right. Just from the experience of reading this book, I know I would’ve made a grave mistake if I didn’t continue. I’ll go as far as saying that Sins of Empire alone is better than the first trilogy already.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2.5) by Patrick Rothfuss

Book Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2.5) by Patrick Rothfuss

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle (Book #2.5 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 159 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 28th October 2014 by Gollancz (UK) & 28th October 2014 by DAW (US)


Atmospheric, bizarre, and absolutely enchanting.

Before you start reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things, please make sure you read the author’s foreword first and set your expectations accordingly. Rothfuss has mentioned it himself, this is a different kind of storytelling from his main series, and we won’t get a continuation to Kvothe’s story here; I didn’t listen to his advice on my first read, and it indeed stopped me from enjoying the novella to its fullest potential. I expected something different, found myself disappointed, and I also made the mistake of rushing through the novella on my first read because I decided to read it in the middle of reading The Wise Man’s Fear.

Don’t do what I did on my first read.

On this reread, I savored each page, paying proper attention to the beautifully composed structure of words that gives life to Auri, one of the most enigmatic characters in The Kingkiller Chronicle series; I’m blown away by how much I loved this book upon rereading it.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Genghis: Bones of the Hills (Conqueror, #3) by Conn Iggulden

Book Review: Genghis: Bones of the Hills (Conqueror, #3) by Conn Iggulden

Genghis: Bones of the Hills by Conn Iggulden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Conqueror (Book #3 of 5)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 434 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 1st September 2008 by Harper Collins (UK) & 24th March 2009 by Delacorte Press (US)


A seriously astounding piece of historical fiction that left me speechless in many ways.

“We are not here to earn riches with a bow. The wolf does not think of fine things, only that his pack is strong and no other wolf dares to cross his path. That is enough.”

I can’t help but start this review by saying that I’m thoroughly impressed by Iggulden’s talent for the creation of this series. Genghis’ conquest on its own, even if they’re written or told in a textbook manner, are very attention-grabbing already, but Iggulden successfully elevated the quality of Genghis’ legend so that it became much more engaging and emotional. Genghis: Bones of the Hills is the third book in the Conqueror series, and it—along with the first installment—are my favorites in the series so far. In the previous book, the story focused on Genghis’ conquest of The Chin; this book centered on Genghis’ breathtaking conquest of the Arabs. I must remind you, this series—especially this book—isn’t for the weak of heart; the atrocities and devastations committed in this war were terrifying in every sense of the word. I’m talking about wars with casualties that reached more than hundreds of thousands of deaths; innocents were instantly marked for the afterlife just for living in the opposing city. Genghis: Bones of the Hills is a bleak, intense, and also bittersweet book; it’s heavily centered around war, death, loyalty, heritage, achievements, and what truly matters in life and what legacies will continue after death.

“All men die, Genghis. All. Think what it means for a moment. None of us are remembered for more than one or two generations.” He raised a hand as Genghis opened his mouth to speak again. “Oh, I know we chant the names of great khans by the fireside and the Chin have libraries running back for thousands of years. What of it? Do you think it matters to the dead that their names are read aloud? They don’t care, Genghis. They are gone. The only thing that matters is what they did while they were alive.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: Genghis: Birth of an Empire (Conqueror, #1) by Conn Iggulden

Book Review: Genghis: Birth of an Empire (Conqueror, #1) by Conn Iggulden


Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Conqueror (Book #1 of 5)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 403 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 2nd January 2007 by Harper Collin (UK) & 1st May 2007 by Delacorte Press (US)


Unbelievably good; this marked the first time I finished reading Iggulden’s work, and it’s VERY promising that this will become one of my favorite series.

Conn Iggulden isn’t exactly an unfamiliar name to me; despite the fact that he’s most well-known for his historical fiction works, Iggulden’s blurbs have been featured on some of my favorite fantasy books such as The Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne and The Realm of the Elderlings series by Robin Hobb, to name a few. For years I’ve been interested in reading his books, and from what I’ve gathered, his Conqueror series seems to be the most often regarded as his best works by his readers. And so here we are and my god, I seriously didn’t expect it to be this great.

“Mongolia is an unforgiving land. The boy, Temujin, was never cruel, and there is no record of him ever taking pleasure from the destruction of his enemies, but he was capable of utter ruthlessness.”

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: