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Book Review: Wintersteel (Cradle, #8) by Will Wight

Book Review: Wintersteel (Cradle, #8) by Will Wight

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Cover illustration by: Patrick Foster

Wintersteel by Will Wight

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #8 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Pages: 540 pages

Published: 6th October 2020 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


Wintersteel is the most action-packed volume, with some of the finest action scenes, within the series so far.

“There are a million Paths in this world, Lindon, but any sage will tell you they can all be reduced to one. Improve yourself.”

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Book Review: Uncrowned (Cradle, #7) by Will Wight

Book Review: Uncrowned (Cradle, #7) by Will Wight

Uncrowned by Will Wight

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #7 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Published: 26th September 2019 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


The Cradle series has been relentlessly fun and tremendously addictive, and Uncrowned might be its best yet if not for the rather abrupt ending.

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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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Manhwa Review: Solo Leveling (Season 1) by Gi So-Ryeong & Jang Sung-Rak

Manhwa Review: Solo Leveling (Season 1) by Gi So-Ryeong & Jang Sung-Rak


Solo Leveling by Gi So-Ryeong & Jang Sung-Rak

Series: Solo Leveling (Season #1)

Genre: Fantasy, LitRPG, Progression Fantasy, Urban Fantasy


Petrik’s Review: 5 of 5 stars

I will level (pun fully intended) myself with you; this was by far the most badass and engaging LitRPG I’ve ever read.

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Book Review: Uncrowned (Cradle, #7) by Will Wight

Book Review: Uncrowned (Cradle, #7) by Will Wight

Uncrowned by Will Wight

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #7 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Pages: 336 pages

Published: 26th September 2019 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


Uncrowned is filled with emotional weight, and it showcases my favorite duels in the series so far.

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Book Review: The Brightest Shadow (The Brightest Shadow, #1) by Sarah Lin

Book Review: The Brightest Shadow (The Brightest Shadow, #1) by Sarah Lin

ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Brightest Shadow by Sarah Lin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Brightest Shadow (Book 1)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression fantasy, Wuxia

Published: 6th March 2020 (self-published)


Eastern-inspired with great classic wuxia elements, The Brightest Shadow is a commendable fantasy entry with impressively thoughtful worldbuilding, and an interesting diverse cast of characters.

I grew up watching a lot of wuxia classics, the most famous being The Legend of the Condor Heroes. Sarah Lin paid homage to these great classics by incorporating cultural and martial arts elements which would feel very familiar to wuxia fans into her new fantasy series, The Brightest Shadow. The worldbuilding in this novel is really impressive and well thought out with multicultural people that although share some common traits are quite distinct from one another. Aside from physical looks, the differences could be demonstrated from the food they eat to the way martial arts are practised. Even the concept of sien (somewhat akin to qi in our world sense) differ from one people to another.

“A person who wants for nothing, who is at peace with themselves, cannot be seduced by simple stories.”

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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.”

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Book Review: Ghostwater (Cradle, #5) by Will Wight

Book Review: Ghostwater (Cradle, #5) by Will Wight

Ghostwater by Will Wight

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #5 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Pages: 310 pages

Published: 31st May 2018 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


Started a bit stale for me but it ended up being a gripping and entertaining story with Dungeon Crawl element.

For this review, let’s start with why I haven’t given any books in the series a full 5 stars rating, shall we? If you want to know what the premise is about, read the official blurb at your own risk. Ghostwater is the fifth book in the Cradle series, and it didn’t start off as smoothly as I hoped. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the series very much and I continue to do so; my rating for each installment pretty much speaks for themselves. However, I want to love it more, if I were to be brutally honest, Cradle has been missing one crucial aspect that’s, more often than not, is very necessary for me to love a book even further: an empathizing main character. Up until now, the side characters—Yerin, Eithan, Orthos, Jai Long, Little Blue—were the characters that made the series shine for me. This notion of mine was proven even further with the inclusion of a new character in Ghostwater, an A.I named Dross which I loved ever since its first appearance. I don’t think I need to explain further how much I loved Eithan, Yerin, Mercy, Orthos; I have enjoyed reading about all the side characters more than I enjoyed reading about Lindon.

“And I can see your face so much clearly now! It’s…well, at least you have a wonderful spirit. Yes, indeed. That spirit of yours, wow.”

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Book Review: Skysworn (Cradle, #4) by Will Wight

Book Review: Skysworn (Cradle, #4) by Will Wight

Skysworn by Will Wight

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #4 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Pages: 292 pages

Published: 30th September 2017 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


Wei Shi Lindon may not have any advancement happening to him in this book, but the series did. Skysworn, just like each respective previous books, once again upgraded the overall quality of the Cradle series.

I honestly think that Skysworn was even better than Blackflame; imagine my surprise when I found out that many readers thought of this one as a downgrade for the series. I respectfully disagree. What happened in Skysworn is the direction that the series needs, although I highly enjoyed Blackflame, I didn’t have that uncontrollable urge to continue with the series. But now? I might be having nightmares if I don’t continue with the series.

“I don’t have any love for the Jai clan, but as for you, if I saw you on fire I’d hold an umbrella for you so the rain didn’t put you out.”

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Book Review: Blackflame (Cradle, #3) by Will Wight

Book Review: Blackflame (Cradle, #3) by Will Wight

Blackflame by Will Wight

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #3 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Pages: 370 pages

Published: 30th April 2017 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


The dragon advances; Blackflame advances Cradle into an addictive series to read.

If I were to defined Unsouled as an invitation to Cradle, Soulsmith would be the appetizer, and Blackflame would be where the main course begins. Don’t get me wrong, the first two books were fun, they were great, and they were necessary installments full of proper foundations that made the ravaging Path of the Blackflame so compelling to read, but it truly felt like the meat of the story begins here. The cast of characters has been expanded, and the protagonists and antagonists are clearer now.

“The Path of Black Flame was stolen from ancient dragons. It is the art of pure destruction.”

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