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Priest of Lies (War for the Rose Throne, #2)

Priest of Lies (War for the Rose Throne, #2)

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

Priest of Lies by Peter McLean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An outstanding grimdark sequel. Feel free to consider me a huge fan of this low-fantasy series now.

At the moment, I honestly don’t know whether I should be happy or sad about the fact that I finished this book already. In less than two weeks, Priest of Lies will officially be published, and I’m truly glad that I have the privilege to read this book earlier than its publication, but oh my lord, I’m in dire need the next book NOW and I’m sad that it’s nowhere in sight yet! Priest of Lies, the second book in the War for the Rose Throne by Peter McLean, is a huge step up from its predecessor; that’s saying a lot because I had a terrific time reading Priest of Bones.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

—Attributed to Abraham Lincoln

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Recursion

Recursion

Recursion by Blake Crouch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Recursion has become the first sci-fi standalone to be included in my favorite shelves.

As many readers probably did, my first experience with reading Crouch’s work was for Dark Matter. I was super impressed by it and after hearing that the author has a new sci-fi thriller that’s highly recommended for readers who loved Dark Matter gave me so much joy; it would be insane for me to not take a look at Recursion. Do note that taking a look at Crouch’s novel can be surmised as reading the novel non-stop until completion. This book was undoubtedly exceptional; it was so good that it made Dark Matter—which I loved and rated 4.5/5 stars—felt like a practice novel so that Crouch has the skill to unleash the full capacity of his brain towards the creation of this cleverly crafted insanity.

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The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #3)

The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #3)

The Poison Song by Jen Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Poison Song was truly an outstanding conclusion; someone needs to find an antidote to cure the severely underrated state of this series ASAP.

After twelve books in a row, I’m gratified that I finally finished a new book that I can rate 5 stars easily. Here we are, the third and last book in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. Now that I’ve finished binge reading this trilogy within a week, I can safely say that Jen Williams seriously deserves a much larger readership. C’mon, this last book was a bloody amazing read; it’s easily one of the best concluding volumes I’ve ever read. Even though this is the last of the series, there was still new content—such as Noon’s past, the Fell-witch’s background, the winnowfire’s origins—for the readers to learn about. It has all come down to this installment; the past two books and the first half of The Poison Song were preparations for the heart-hammering second half of this book. I honestly don’t think I’ve read many fantasy series that are as cleverly crafted and imaginative as The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. Williams made sure that each installment has its own main conflicts to resolve and, at the same time, she was able to stealthily build solid foundations for the searing conclusion of this series. The plotlines, the characters and their motivations, have been fully established and Williams was able to utilize them properly to deliver a glorious and unforgettable book; I found myself completely enthralled by William’s storytelling ability.

“What you brought back, darling, was the truth. Which is rarely comfortable and never painless, but often, ultimately, worth knowing.”

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The Blackest Heart (The Five Warrior Angels, #2)

The Blackest Heart (The Five Warrior Angels, #2)

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

The Blackest Heart by Brian Lee Durfee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m absolutely stunned by this 960 pages marvel.

Seriously, The Forgetting Moon was awesome already, but The Blackest Heart triumphed over its predecessor in every possible way. I don’t even have words to express how grateful I am that the author sent me these two books, which weren’t even on my radar, to review; it’s truly serendipitous that I found a new ongoing favorite series because of it.

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The Forgetting Moon (The Five Warrior Angels, #1)

The Forgetting Moon (The Five Warrior Angels, #1)

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

The Forgetting Moon by Brian Lee Durfee
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A severely underrated epic fantasy debut.

The Forgetting Moon is Brian Lee Durfee’s debut and it has been published for almost three years now. Honestly, it’s quite sinful that this book has less than 500 ratings on Goodreads at the moment; not only this is THE biggest fantasy debut I’ve ever read so far, The Forgetting Moon is also one of the strongest beginnings to an epic fantasy series I’ve come across. I’m truly flabbergasted by how underrated this debut is. Gorgeous cover art by Richard Anderson, a beautifully drawn map by Robert Lazzaretti, high-quality floppy paperback (yes, this is a plus), and most importantly, amazing content. Why is no one talking about this book!? I seriously wish someone had recommended this book to me; I never heard about this series until the author himself sent a review request to me and I’m gratified that he did.

Picture: My signed copy of The Forgetting Moon (I have to share this. Check out the badass signature!)

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Wrath (The Faithful and the Fallen, #4)

Wrath (The Faithful and the Fallen, #4)

Wrath by John Gwynne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Masterpiece.

Mark my words, if this series ever gets adapted into a television series with the same production value given to Game of Thrones, it will create a myriad of fan bases all over the world. Watch out George R. R. Martin, while you’re waiting for the breeze from the Winds of Winter to come, John Gwynne has appeared out of nowhere and he has conquered the genre; the apprentice has become the master.

Wrath is, in my opinion, the best out of the four books in the series, which means the series always got better with each installment and with its completion I’ve decided to include John in my list of favorite authors of all time. That makes him one of my very few auto-buy authors; along with Brandon Sanderson and Joe Abercrombie, I’ll be content with buying every book they write.

“It will be a dark day, a bloody day, a proud day, for this is the day of our wrath.”

I’ll start off my review with two simple questions.

1. Does this series provide something new to the genre?

No, almost every single plot device here has been done before.

2. Is it good?

No, good is a really huge understatement. It’s damn near perfection for its genre.

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Ruin (The Faithful and the Fallen, #3)

Ruin (The Faithful and the Fallen, #3)

Ruin by John Gwynne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Intense, brutal, gory, poignant, epic, and filled with love and vengeance; John Gwynne simply can do no wrong

“Two for vengeance. One for Love.”

Ruin, the third book in The Faithful and the Fallen series is a great example of how a penultimate epic fantasy installment ought to be written. This was even better than its predecessors; making this the best book in the series so far.

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Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen, #2)

Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen, #2)

Valor by John Gwynne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘War has erupted in the Banished Lands as the race for power intensifies’ and with that eruption, comes a well deserved 5-stars rating.

I gave huge praises to Malice, it was impressive but Valor, the second book in John Gwynne’s debut series was incredibly better than its predecessor. I included both Malice and Valor in one of my all-time favorite lists; that’s two out of four books of the series already. Judging from the quality progression of the series, I strongly believe the second half of The Faithful and the Fallen will follow that notion.

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Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen, #1)

Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen, #1)

Malice by John Gwynne
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Do you ever have this feeling, just after you finished reading the first book of a series, you knew immediately there’s a huge potential for the series to become one of your favorite series of all time? Malice, the first book in The Faithful and the Fallen quartet by John Gwynne is one of those rare cases for me.

What started out as a simple classic tale of Good vs Evil ended up being not as simple as I thought. As the story progressed, the story evolved darker gradually while keeping the theme ‘Good vs Evil’ at its heart. Has this theme been done before in the past? Yes, more than a million times already. Will I ever get bored with it? No, never. It’s my favorite kind of story; it’s the essence of the majority of epic fantasy books, video games, and movies. What this theme requires to reach greatness has always been a touch of creativity, to make the story unique, make it the author’s own story to share and this, John Gwynne did phenomenally.

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Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)

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

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The magic of rereading Red Sister strikes a gold mine.

Other than a few changes or grammatical fix, I rarely rewrite my full review. However, Red Sister merits one because I loved it so much more than my first read; the quality jumped from great to amazing in my criteria. I was pleasantly surprised by this. I decided to reread Red Sister in order to refresh my memory before I continue with the series, I didn’t expect to enjoy it this much and I certainly didn’t realize how much I forgot and failed to appreciate in my first read.

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