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Book Review: The Hunger of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga, #2) by John Gwynne

Book Review: The Hunger of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga, #2) by John Gwynne

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

Cover art illustrated by: Marcus Whinney

The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Bloodsworn Saga (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 656 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 14th April 2022 by Orbit (UK) and 12th April 2022 by Orbit (US)


The Hunger of the Gods tempestuous final chapters have successfully prepared readers for the grand conclusion to come.

So here we are again, another year and another book by John Gwynne, one of my top favorite authors of all time. The Shadow of the Gods was one of the best books released in 2021 for me. The Hunger of the Gods, the second book in The Bloodsworn Saga, is my second most anticipated books—the first one belongs to The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson—of 2022. Before I talk about what worked so well for me in this continuation, it is mandatory for me to give my praises towards the publisher—Orbit Books—and the cover artist: Marcus Whinney. If you somehow haven’t seen the cover art of The Shadow of the Gods and The Hunger of the Gods, do it now. Orbit Books and Whinney has created another epic and distinctive cover seller. The scope of Lik-Rifa and Ulfrir in the cover arts is massive, and the realism looks downright stunning

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Book Review: Empire of Dirt (The Echoes Saga, #2) by Philip C. Quaintrell

Book Review: Empire of Dirt (The Echoes Saga, #2) by Philip C. Quaintrell

Cover art illustrated by: Chris McGrath

Empire of Dirt by Philip C. Quaintrell

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Echoes Saga (Book #2 of 9)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 480 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 27th November 2017 by Quaintrell Publishing (Self-Published)


Empire of Dirt is better than Rise of the Ranger in practically every aspect, and it seems promising that the steady increase in quality within each book is unstoppable now.

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Book Review: The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, #5) by Robert Jordan

Book Review: The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, #5) by Robert Jordan

Cover art illustrated by: Dan dos Santos

The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Wheel of Time (Book #5 of 14)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Classic Fantasy

Pages: 926 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 15th October 1993 by Tor Books


You’re not in Tel’aran’rhiod. The flaming ta’veren has indeed pulled me back into this series.

“Mat had not learned the lesson that he had. Try to run away, and the Pattern pulled you back, often roughly; run in the direction the Wheel wove you, and sometimes you could manage a little control over your life. Sometimes. With luck, maybe more than any expected, at least in the long haul.”

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BOOK REVIEW: DAUGHTER OF REDWINTER (THE REDWINTER CHRONICLES, #1) BY ED MCDONALD

BOOK REVIEW: DAUGHTER OF REDWINTER (THE REDWINTER CHRONICLES, #1) BY ED MCDONALD

Daughter of Redwinter

Daughter of Redwinter by Ed McDonald

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Redwinter Chronicles (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 352 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 28th June 2022 by Tor (US) & 30th June 2022 by Gollancz (UK)


Mysterious, honest, and exciting from start to finish, Daughter of Redwinter has the goods.

As a fan of Ed’s Raven’s Mark series, I had been looking forward to seeing what he had in store next. I’m happy to say that Daughter of Redwinter hits the bullseye in many satisfying ways.

Raine is a engaging character, with a strong and singular voice. She’s only seventeen, so she makes some dumb teenager mistakes that are relatable and honest. But she also has a heart of stone and a peerless resolve, which makes her very easy to root for. She has an extremely cool curse/power she was born into, and it gets more and more interesting as the story progresses. I enjoyed how it plays a key role in shaping the core of her worldview instead of simply augmenting it.

Another source of enjoyment was how unexpectedly different the writing was from Raven’s Mark. Ed writes a tight, clean prose and this felt especially well-edited and polished. Not a page or paragraph wasted; every passage was pertinent and compelling and drove the plot forward while developing the characters further. Raven’s Mark was grim, but I would not classify Daughter of Redwinter as a grim story, though it does have some dark moments and heavy themes. Altogether this book felt like a tightly-packaged, well-produced, very well-written story, start to finish. My only complaint is that I’m not a huge fan of the cover. The font and colors feel off-tone to what the story portrays.

This was less of a classical hero’s quest or a rousing good vs. evil story. More than anything, this book had the structure of a good, dark mystery novel. All grey characters whom you didn’t know what side they were on until they end, some good surprise reveals and misdirections, and some well-developed toxic relationships that are unfortunately all too tangible.

I could go on about the interesting magic system in the world, or the religion and lore, but it’s best to go into most of it blind. All in all, this was a real page-turner, one that kept me guessing, and pulling the rug out from under me. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but tensions are kept high while new questions kept rolling in. This is an exciting entry to a new series and I’m already looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel.

Book Review: Rise of the Ranger (The Echoes Saga, #1) by Philip C. Quaintrell

Book Review: Rise of the Ranger (The Echoes Saga, #1) by Philip C. Quaintrell

Cover art illustrated by: Chris McGrath

Rise of the Ranger by Philip C. Quaintrell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Echoes Saga (Book #1 of 9)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 538 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 5th May 2017 by Quaintrell Publishing (Self-Published)


Rise of the Ranger is a promising beginning to another classic fantasy series told with a modern voice.

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Book Review: Illborn (The Illborn Saga, #1) by Daniel T. Jackson

Book Review: Illborn (The Illborn Saga, #1) by Daniel T. Jackson

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

ILLBORN by Daniel T. Jackson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Illborn Saga (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 714 pages (Paperback Edition)

Published: 19th March 2021 by Troubador Publishing (Indie)


By the Lord, this was amazing. Illborn is an absolutely compelling character-driven epic fantasy debut.

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Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2021)

Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2021)

This list is also available on my Booktube Channel if that’s what you preferred: https://youtu.be/wZY-JG9HUgQ

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 (2021)

It’s that time of the year again, y’all. 2021 is ending in a week. This year, I managed to read 130 books. This number includes 72 traditionally published books, 21 self-published/indie books, 37 manga volumes (I’ve read so many more manga volumes but I’ve decided to only include 37 here.)

In comparison to the previous years, whether it’s by pages count or the number of books, this is my lowest reading performance so far. There are details behind this reason, but really when it comes down to it, it’s because this is the first full year I became a Booktuber. In addition to reading and writing reviews, now I also record, edit, and upload videos to my YouTube Channel. My reading “performance” definitely suffers because of it, but not going to lie, I’m happy to make that sacrifice. As for the quality of the books I read, this is another incredible reading year, so let’s get to it immediately. As usual, I will be applying a few rules into this list:

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-2021 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 20 books I’ve read in 2021! (All full reviews of the books listed can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page

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Book Review: Of Blood and Fire (The Bound and the Broken, #1) by Ryan Cahill

Book Review: Of Blood and Fire (The Bound and the Broken, #1) by Ryan Cahill

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

Cover art by: Books Covered

Of Blood And Fire by Ryan Cahill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Bound and the Broken (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 494 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 20th March 2021 by Ryan Cahill (Self-published)


Of Blood and Fire may not bring anything new to the genre, but it’s certainly another great modern take on classic fantasy.

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Book Review: To Ride Hell’s Chasm by Janny Wurts

Book Review: To Ride Hell’s Chasm by Janny Wurts

Cover art illustrated by: Janny Wurts

To Ride Hell’s Chasm by Janny Wurts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 704 pages (Mass market paperback edition)

Published: 1st January 2002 by Harper Voyager


A great fantasy standalone that will make you know how it feels to live for five days in a fantasy world.

This is the first time I read Janny Wurts’s solo work; prior to this, I’ve read The Riftwar: Empire trilogy that Wurts co-write with Raymond E. Feist within this year. The Riftwar: Empire trilogy, to me, has become one of my favorite trilogies; I am stunned that it took me this long to finally get around to reading that trilogy. Janny Wurts is often well known for her work on Riftwar: Empire trilogy and her magnum opus: Wars of Light and Shadow. I’m fully intended to read her magnum opus but before I get around to reading Wars of Light and Shadow, I thought it might be better for me to read her standalone novel first. The reason behind this is that many fans of her works have mentioned that it’s better to read To Ride Hell’s Chasm first to get an idea of Wurts’s prose, which is significantly more difficult than the one in The Riftwar: Empire trilogy, and they’re not wrong on this. I will talk about this more in the review below.

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Book Review: The Spider’s War (The Dagger and the Coin, #5) by Daniel Abraham

Book Review: The Spider’s War (The Dagger and the Coin, #5) by Daniel Abraham

The Spider’s War by Daniel Abraham

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Dagger and the Coin (Book #5 of 5)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 519 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 8th March 2016 by Orbit


The best of the series; The Spider’s War is an unconventional and incredibly satisfying conclusion to an underrated fantasy series.

“The world has never been fair. Often beautiful. Sometimes kind when kindness was not deserved. But never fair.”

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