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Category: Petrik’s Reviews

Book Review: Grievar’s Blood (The Combat Codes Saga, #2) by Alexander Darwin

Book Review: Grievar’s Blood (The Combat Codes Saga, #2) by Alexander Darwin

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

Grievar’s Blood by Alexander Darwin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

eries: The Combat Codes Saga (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Science fiction, Dystopia, Martial Arts

Pages: 340 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 28th January 2020 by Insight Forge Press (Self-published)


Grievar’s Blood is a daring sequel to The Combat Codes. The cast is bigger and the stakes are higher than before.

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Book Review: The Lords of the North (The Last Kingdom, #3) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: The Lords of the North (The Last Kingdom, #3) by Bernard Cornwell

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The Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #3 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 401 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 22nd May 2006 by HarperCollins


This was a good but slightly weaker volume compared to its predecessors. It’s so good to finally meet Sihtric and Finan for the first time, though.

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Book Review: The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties, #1) by Marina Lostetter

Book Review: The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties, #1) by Marina Lostetter

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

Cover art illustrated by: Sam Weber

The Helm of Midnight by Marina J. Lostetter

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Five Penalties (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

Pages: 464 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 13th April 2021 by Tor Books


This is an incredible book. Character-driven and bloody thrilling; The Helm of Midnight has pretty much confirmed its spot in one of my favorite books of 2021 list.

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Book Review: The Forever Sea (The Forever Sea, #1) by Joshua Phillip Johnson

Book Review: The Forever Sea (The Forever Sea, #1) by Joshua Phillip Johnson

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

Cover art illustrated by: Marc Simonetti

The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Forever Sea (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 464 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 26th January 2021 by Titan Books (UK) & 19th January 2021 by DAW Books (US)


Wonderful world-building and beautifully written, but unfortunately it’s a bit lacking in characterizations and pacing.

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Book Review: The Combat Codes (The Combat Codes Saga, #1) by Alexander Darwin

Book Review: The Combat Codes (The Combat Codes Saga, #1) by Alexander Darwin

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

Cover art illustrated by: Felix Ortiz

Cover art designed by: STK.Kreations

The Combat Codes by Alexander Darwin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Combat Codes Saga (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Science fiction, Dystopia, Martial Arts

Pages: 410 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 31st October 2015 by Insight Forge Press (Self-published)


Fun, tense, and entertaining; The Combat Codes is an MMA-inspired sci-fi debut with heart and well-written combat scenes.

“A perceived weakness is strength, and a flaunted strength is weakness.”

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Book Review: The Pale Horseman (The Last Kingdom, #2) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: The Pale Horseman (The Last Kingdom, #2) by Bernard Cornwell

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The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #2 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 432 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 3rd October 2005 by HarperCollins


Another great installment about loyalty, power, faith, friendship, and ambition.

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Book Review: The Two-Faced Queen (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #2) by Nick Martell

Book Review: The Two-Faced Queen (The Legacy of the Mercenary King, #2) by Nick Martell

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ARC provided by the publisher—Saga Press & Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Richard Anderson

The Two-Faced Queen by Nick Martell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Legacy of the Mercenary King (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 592 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 25th March 2021 by Gollancz (UK) & 23rd March 2021 by Saga Press (US)


Overall, The Two-Faced Queen a good sequel. Similar to its predecessor, the first half was a bit of a struggle for me, but the second half was great.

“To be forgotten feels more like death than death.”

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Book Review: Pawn’s Gambit (Mortal Techniques) by Rob J. Hayes

Book Review: Pawn’s Gambit (Mortal Techniques) by Rob J. Hayes

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ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Felix Ortiz

Cover art designed by: STK.Kreations

Pawn’s Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Mortal Techniques (Book #2)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Wuxia

Pages: 315 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 26th January 2021 by Rob J. Hayes (Self-published)


A great Wuxia adventure with an empathizing redemption arc.

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Book Review: The Councillor by E. J. Beaton

Book Review: The Councillor by E. J. Beaton

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

Cover designed by: Adam Auerbach.

The Councillor by E.J. Beaton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Councillor (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 448 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 2nd March 2021 by DAW Books


The Councillor is a Machiavellian fantasy novel I didn’t know I wanted.

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Book Review: The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom, #1) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom, #1) by Bernard Cornwell

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The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #1 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 353 pages (UK Kindle edition)

Published: 4th October 2004 by HarperCollins


Uthred, son of Uthred, it’s finally time for me to read your story in its prose form.

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