Petrik’s Top 19 Books of the Year! (2023)

Petrik’s Top 19 Books of the Year! (2023)

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 (2023)

Between 1st January 2023 and 31st December 2023, I read 80 books + 177 manga/manhwa volumes (76.8k pages).

Please read this first. There will be three rules I set in this list 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 this year.

  • Rereads aren’t included.
  • One book per series.
  • The books listed here are not all exclusively published this year; the list consists of the top books I read for the first time this year. Non-2023 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. Honorable mentions are for two best novellas and two short stories I read this year. Without further ado, here are the top 15 (or 19) books I’ve read this year! (All full reviews of the books listed can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page.)


The Passing of the Dragon by Ken Liu

Publisher: Free to read on

“Ken Liu has done it again. The Passing of the Dragon is a brilliant and impactful story, I believe, should be read by every reader, reviewer, artist, and author.”


Jade Shards (The Green Bone Saga, #0.75) by Fonda Lee

Publisher: Subterranean Press

Jade Shards is the bittersweet and heartfelt prequel stories to send us off on our next adventures.”


Untethered Sky by Fonda Lee



The Ice (The Bound and The Broken, #3.5) by Ryan Cahill

Publisher: Self-Published


15. The Tyranny of Faith (Empire of the Wolf, #2) by Richard Swan

Publisher: Orbit Books

The Tyranny of Faith is a great sequel filled with wonderful characterizations, thought-provoking passages, and explosive ending sequences.”

14. Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Publisher: Dragonsteel. Tor Books (US) & Gollancz (UK).

Tress of the Emerald Sea was simply whimsical and wonderful. Starting the year 2023 with the first secret novel from The Year of Sanderson is the correct action for me. “

13. Waybound (Cradle, #12) by Will Wight

Publisher: Self-Published.

“Packed with enormous action scenes, Waybound closed the final chapters of Cradle fittingly.”

12. The Silverblood Promise (The Last Legacy, #1) by James Logan

Publisher: Tor Books (US) & Jo Fletcher. First published in: April 2024

“From the engaging investigations, murder mysteries, dialogues, and characters you will gradually come to love, The Silverblood Promise was an exceptionally riveting and captivating fantasy debut novel.”

11. The Vanished Birds  by Simon Jimenez

Publisher: Del Rey (US) & Titan Books (UK). First published in: January 2020

The Vanished Birds is a beautiful, heartfelt, and tense standalone space opera story about kindness, choices, love, pain, ambition, and found family.”

10. Mother of Learning: ARC 4  (Mother of Learning, #4) by nobody103 or Domagoj Kurmaic

Publisher: Wraithmarked (Indie)

Mother of Learning: ARC 4 is my favorite of the entire series, and this is one of the relatively few series consistently superb from the beginning to the end.”

9. Esrahaddon (The Rise and Fall, #3) by Michael J. Sullivan

Publisher: Self-published

“Reading Esrahaddon as the 19th book in Sullivan’s universe granted a rewarding reading experience.”

8. Eleventh Cycle (Mistland, #1) by Kian N. Ardalan

Publisher: Self-published.

Eleventh Cycle is one of the best books I’ve read. Berserk and Dark Souls fans, this page-turning epic grimdark fantasy novel is written for us.”

7. Of War and Ruin (The Bound and the Broken, #3) by Ryan Cahill

Publisher: Self-published.

Of War and Ruin is Cahill’s golden ticket to the pantheon of fantasy greats.”

6. The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1) by Tad Williams

Publisher: DAW Books (US) & Hodder (UK). First published in October 1988

“Incredible. The Dragonbone Chair is an absolutely brilliant transition from classic to modern epic fantasy.”

5. Blood Over Bright Haven by M.L. Wang

Publisher: Self-published

“Bloody, brutal, creative, and intelligently crafted… Blood Over Bright Haven is indisputably another standalone masterpiece from M.L. Wang.”

4. Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson

Publisher: Dragonsteel. Tor Books (US) & Gollancz (UK)

“This was utterly brilliant and satisfying. Yumi and the Nightmare Painter will be the best of the secret project novels, and it is easily one of Sanderson’s finest books in his career.”

1. Light Bringer (Red Rising Saga, #6) by Pierce Brown

Publisher: Del Rey (US) & Hodder (UK)

Light Bringer is a bloodydamn near perfect space-opera masterpiece.

1. Demon in White (The Sun Eater, #3) by Christopher Ruocchio

Publisher: DAW Books (US) & Gollancz (UK). First published in July 2020

An absolute masterpiece. Demon in White is a genuinely epic space opera fantasy at its paramount shape.

1. The Will of the Many (Hierarchy, #1) by James Islington 

Publisher: Saga Press

“This is not an exaggeration. The Will of the Many by James Islington is the best fantasy book with a magical school trope I’ve ever read since The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss… It IS one of the best books I’ve ever read.

This post is a month late. I totally notice this. I apologize. Life has been insanely busy, and it took me days to finish this blog post, which is a written list of The Best Books of 2023 video I posted last month. If you want to know more about each book I listed here, you can check out the video on my YouTube channel. Or even better, check the full spoiler-free review of each book here on the blog. Other than that, thank you so much to every one of you who keeps on supporting me. And to every author, publisher, and friend who sent me books to read and review in 2023. Here’s hoping 2024 will be better for all of us! 🙂

I also have a Booktube channel

Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!

My Patrons: Alfred, Aliysa, Ambrosius, Andrew, Andrew W, Annabeth, Arliss, Barbara, Biskit, Brad, Cade, Chris, Christopher, Ciprian, Cullen, Dan, David, Donuts, Dylan, Edward, Elaine, Elias, Francesca, Frank, Garrick, Gary, Gregory, Hamad, Helen, Jenn, Jesse, Joie, Jonathan, Jordan, Katrina, Kristina, Lara, Lourdes, Luis, Melinda, Michael, Michael, Mike, Miracle, Mordie, Nicholas, Norbert, Radiah, RCT, Redmischief, Samuel, Sarah, Sarah, Scott, Shawn, Steph, Stephanie, Tiffany, Tracy, Trish, TS, Wendy, Wick, Woodman, Xero, Yosi, Yuri, Zoe.

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