Book Review: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

Book Review: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen


The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this novel from the publisher, Orbit Books, in exchange for an honest review.

I was drawn to The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by a two-pronged attack of adorable cover art and interesting comparisons. I was told that this book had Howl’s Moving Castle vibes, and I can only see that if I squint, and only as regards that personalities of the main characters. I was also informed that it was basically You’ve Got Mail but in a fantasy world, and I get this comparison even though I’ve never actually watched that movie. (Yes, yes. I know. I promise to rectify that eventually.) While romance hasn’t been my genre of choice this year because I read so much of it last year, I decided to give this a go anyway simply because I thought the premise sounded fun. And I’m so glad that I did, because The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy was a snarky delight of a rom-com housed in a fascinating fantasy world.

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Book Review: Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman

Book Review: Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman


Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I received an audio copy of this novel from the publisher, Harper Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but that’s what initially drew me to Pandora. While not yet officially available in the US, it’s been out in the UK since January of 2022, and I had read some mixed reviews about it. But something about it still called to me, and when the audio became available to request on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance. I’m incredibly glad that I did, because this story was incredible, and I actually don’t know that I would have enjoyed it quite so much in any other format.

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Book Review: Sons of Darkness (The Raag of Rta, #1) by Gourav Mohanty

Book Review: Sons of Darkness (The Raag of Rta, #1) by Gourav Mohanty

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

Cover art illustrated by: Micaela Alcaino

Sons of Darkness by Gourav Mohanty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Raag of Rta (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, Historical Fantasy

Pages: 668 pages (Paperback)

Published: 3rd June 2022 by Leadstart


Mahabharata imbued with A Song of Ice and Fire, The First Law, & Malazan Book of the Fallen, Sons of Darkness is the best fantasy debut of 2022.

‘Whenever men found it hard to justify success, they inevitably fell back on luck as the reason. And if the success was completely unimaginable to their feeble minds, they called it magic.’

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Book Review: Until the Last (The Last War, #3) by Mike Shackle

Book Review: Until the Last (The Last War, #3) by Mike Shackle

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

Cover illustration by: Tomas Almeida

Until the Last by Mike Shackle

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Last War (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

Pages: 784 pages

Published: 21st July 2022 by Gollancz


The Last War is over. Another favorite ongoing series concluded.

The Last War trilogy by Mike Shackle has been one of my favorite ongoing series since I read both We Are the Dead and A Fool’s Hope in 2020. Now that it’s finished, I can safely say this has become one of my favorite fantasy trilogies. And it is undoubtedly one of the most underrated fantasy series out there. Despite talking and shouting about this series so many times for the past two years, it seems like I still need to shout about it more because it seriously deserves so much more recognition. It is shocking how relatively few fantasy readers talk about this trilogy. I don’t think you can go wrong with reading The Last War trilogy if you love reading a war story or military fantasy series. Especially if you love reading a fantasy series that revolves around ordinary people rising up to do everything they can to survive and fight back. At all costs.

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BOOK REVIEW: PRIEST OF CROWNS (WAR FOR THE ROSE THRONE, BOOK 4) BY PETER MCLEAN

BOOK REVIEW: PRIEST OF CROWNS (WAR FOR THE ROSE THRONE, BOOK 4) BY PETER MCLEAN

Priest of Crowns by Peter McLean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Political Fantasy
Pages: 481 pages (Kindle Edition)
Published: 4th August 2022, Jo Fletcher Books


For three books, Tomas Piety’s memoirs have tracked his evolution from soldier to priest to gangster to Queen’s Man. Priest of Crowns takes what you know and burns it all down into glorious wreckage, and it was a brilliant and unexpected journey that caught me flat-footed.

Be very wary of an old man in a young man’s game.

Tomas Piety is a meticulous man. He plays every move close to his chest, and his clever and careful actions have allowed him to ascend far up the ladders of both politics and crime. But living in the capital city of Dannsburg, it’s not just about ascension anymore, it’s about survival. As a Queen’s Man, rubbing elbows with those who turn the gears of government, one wrong move—hell, one wrong comment—and Piety will find himself swinging from the gallows come morning. Thus, one of the more interesting struggles that McLean writes for Piety is a deep insecurity about the amount of respect he gleans from his companions. He is compelled to be the boss, even from those he calls friends. He craves respect and is willing to sacrifice the bonds of friendship to fulfill his need to be the alpha, in all situations. Therefore, it was great fun seeing Tomas out of his comfort zone, facing enemies more powerful than himself, or dealing with allies who were unreliable and borderline insane.

Priest of Crowns is full of surprises and savage heartbreak. Tomas’ evolution from man to boogeyman is a brilliant journey to witness, ingeniously constructed over four books and blown apart in its final moments. It questions the nature of sacrifice, and it dares you to re-read the series from the start with new perspective on it all.

‘Sometimes you have to weigh two evils in your hands and choose the lighter one.’
‘I’m not sure I believe that,’ Anne said.

I’m going to miss one of my favorite narrative voices in fiction, though he got the ending he deserved. A screen adaptation of War for the Rose Throne could easily stand beside prestige dramas like Breaking Bad, Peaky Blinders, and Better Caul Saul. McLean has crafted a remarkable story with a distinct voice on the state of modern politics, and a cast of colorful, vibrant characters that brought the story to life. Unputdownable.

Cover Reveal: Remnant (Divinity’s Twilight, #2) by Christopher Russell

Cover Reveal: Remnant (Divinity’s Twilight, #2) by Christopher Russell

Hi everyone! Petrik from Novel Notions here.

We have an exciting post today. Novel Notions will be one of the blogs hosting the cover reveal to Remnant by Christopher Russell. This is the second book in Divinity’s Twilight series. I’ve read and enjoyed Rebirth! I’m looking forward to reading this novel. Without further ado, here’s the cover reveal to Remnant by Christopher Russell!

Cover art illustrated by Chris McGrath


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Book Review: The Veiled Throne (The Dandelion Dynasty, #3) by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Veiled Throne (The Dandelion Dynasty, #3) by Ken Liu

Cover art illustrated by: Sam Weber

The Veiled Throne by Ken Liu

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Dandelion Dynasty (Book #3 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Silkpunk

Pages: 1008 pages (Hardcover Edition)

Published: 7th December 2021 by Saga Press (US) & 11th November 2021 by Head of Zeus (UK)


The Veiled Throne is a marvelous story. It is a unique and superbly-written first half to the concluding installment of The Dandelion Dynasty.

“Though each individual mortal experiences life for but a score of years, they can draw upon a store of stories left by all their forbearers. The race of humankind grows toward infinity, even as the nature of each individual is limited. Nature may describe tendencies and circumscribe potentialities, but it is within the power of each soul to nurture itself for another life, to imagine a course not taken, to strive for a different view. Through that yearning by the finite for the infinite, the portraits painted by all the mortal eyes may yet piece together a grander truth than our divine understanding.”

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Book Review: Always Never by Jordi Lafebre

Book Review: Always Never by Jordi Lafebre


Always Never by Jordi Lafebre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think reading this made my heart grow three sizes.

Always Never is one of the loveliest graphic novels, and most unique love stories, I’ve ever experienced. Spanish cartoonist Jordi Lafebre both wrote and illustrated this himself, and there’s a level of cohesion to the prose and the art that feels incredibly rare to me because of that. I was captured from the very beginning by both the art and the unique format.

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COVER REVEAL: THE SAPPHIRE ALTAR (THE VAGRANT GODS, #2) BY DAVID DALGLISH

COVER REVEAL: THE SAPPHIRE ALTAR (THE VAGRANT GODS, #2) BY DAVID DALGLISH

Hi everyone! Petrik from Novel Notions here.

We have an exciting post today. Novel Notions hosted the cover reveal to The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish in January. Today, we have the fortune to host the cover reveal for the sequel, The Sapphire Altar, as well! This is the second book in The Vagrant Gods trilogy by David Dalglish. I’ve read and enjoyed The Bladed Faith and also The Keepers Trilogy by Dalglish, and I’m so looking forward to reading this novel. Without further ado, here’s the cover reveal to The Sapphire Altar by David Dalglish! And don’t miss out on the full art with the visor open and closed! Chase Stone and Lauren Panepinto did an awesome job with this cover art.

Cover art illustrated by Chase Stone

Cover designed by Lauren Panepinto

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Book Review: Prey Without Ceasing by Andrew Franks

Book Review: Prey Without Ceasing by Andrew Franks


Prey Without Ceasing by Andrew Franks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I became friends with Andrew Franks on TikTok before I realized he was an author, because I enjoyed his taste and his content. When he reached out offering a code to the audiobook for Prey Without Ceasing, I was both excited and nervous. I tend to shy away from reading books written by people I’ve developed any kind of relationship with, because I try to be as (kindly) honest as I can be about every book I read, and this has cost me relationships in the past. But the synopsis of this book called to me so strongly that I accepted his offer and also purchased the Kindle book so I could tandem read and make notes. I made the right decision. This was definitely a book worth reading, and I related to portions of it so deeply that it was painful.

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