Browsed by
Tag: historical fiction

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Exquisite. That is the first word that comes to mind as I consider The Song of Achilles. Miller is a truly gifted author. The ways in which she was able to breathe new life and depth into characters who have been part of our collective consciousness for millennia is awe-inspiring. The story of Achilles and the Trojan War is one I have consumed in a plethora of formats and reiterations, but the way Miller tells the tale is without comparison.

“I am made of memories.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: War Lord (The Last Kingdom, #13) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: War Lord (The Last Kingdom, #13) by Bernard Cornwell

War Lord by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

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

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 333 pages (Hardcover edition)

Published: 15th October 2020 by HarperCollins


It’s over. I finally finished The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell, and it was an impressive conclusion.

Read More Read More

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

Read More Read More

Book Review: Sword of Kings (The Last Kingdom, #12) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: Sword of Kings (The Last Kingdom, #12) by Bernard Cornwell

Sword of Kings by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #12 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 346 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 3rd October 2019 by HarperCollins


Sword of Kings is the penultimate installment of The Last Kingdom series, if it wasn’t, I would’ve given up reading the rest of the series.

Read More Read More

Book Review: War of the Wolf (The Last Kingdom, #11) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: War of the Wolf (The Last Kingdom, #11) by Bernard Cornwell

War of the Wolf by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #11 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 401 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 2nd October 2018 by HarperCollins


The beginning of the end started with a bang.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

Book Review: Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

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

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 432 pages (US Hardcover edition)

Published: 2nd October 2012 by Ace (US)


A bleak historical fantasy/horror about life, death, faith, and hope.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Flame Bearer (The Last Kingdom, #10) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: The Flame Bearer (The Last Kingdom, #10) by Bernard Cornwell

The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #10 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 305 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 6th October 2016 by HarperCollins


The Flame Bearer has a strong start and concluding chapter, but this series has run its course, and I can’t believe there are still 3 books to go.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Night Came with Many Stars by Simon Van Booy

Book Review: Night Came with Many Stars by Simon Van Booy


Night Came with Many Stars by Simon Van Booy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, HighBridge Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I had few expectations of Night Came with Many Stars when I received the ARC on NetGalley. It’s not a book that had been on my radar at all; I hadn’t heard it mentioned on any of the sites and podcasts I follow for book news. I was immediately and completely captivated by the prose. But that’s not to say that said prose outshone the story itself, which was equally engaging. I knew very little about this book going in, and was pleased to discover that it was actually a multi-generational family saga. However, it’s a family saga presented in a way that felt fresh and unique. I ended up loving everything about it, and am so thankful for whatever serendipity brought it to my attention.

The writing style, especially in the first few chapters, is breathtakingly pretty, and very unique. I was reminded of Where the Crawdads Sing, but only slightly. The further the story progressed, the more clearly original it revealed itself to be. The author employs some truly unique metaphors and similes that had me going back and rereading (and re-listening) to lines, just to get my head completely wrapped around the comparisons. Every single one of them worked, even though I would never have come up with them myself.

I love the juxtaposition in perspectives and time periods. Life was so radically different for a thirteen year-old girl in the 1930s than it was for a boy of the same age in the 80s. This is a fact that anyone would know if they took a moment to think about that scenario, but the back-to-back jumping between the two drove that truth home on a far deeper level.

I also loved how the author kept pace as he swapped between these two perspectives. We see Carol and Samuel alternatively at similar ages and stages of life, which just further drives home how different their lives were based on gender and time period. And yet there were some beautiful parallels, as well. I very much enjoyed watching both of them grow.

What makes a family? Does shared blood mean more or less than love developed over the course of years? Watching Carol slowly build herself a family without noticing, and watching Samuel grow to appreciate his own family more and more, was absolutely lovely. The side characters in this story were just a beautifully full of life as the main characters, with a couple of notable exceptions. I found anyone with a villainous role in the novel to be a bit two-dimensional, but even that decision served the story well. While I loved all of the supporting cast, I developed a serious soft spot for Eddie and Joe, in particular.

Night Came with Many Stars is a hopeful, beautifully written story with a lot of depth and even more heart. I didn’t expect to be adding it to my list of favorite books of the year, but that’s exactly where it landed. Also, I can’t recommend the audio version highly enough. I’ll definitely be buying myself a physical copy in the near future. This is a book that deserves a place on my favorites shelf.

You can purchase this book from: Blackwell’s | Bookshop.org (Support Independent Bookstores)Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible | Libro.fm (Another way to support independent bookstores!) | Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)

View all my reviews

Book Review: Warriors of the Storm (The Last Kingdom, #9) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: Warriors of the Storm (The Last Kingdom, #9) by Bernard Cornwell

Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #9 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 325 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 8th October 2015 by HarperCollins


Warriors of the Storm has violence, funny moments, and an engaging turn of events.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Empty Throne (The Last Kingdom, #8) by Bernard Cornwell

Book Review: The Empty Throne (The Last Kingdom, #8) by Bernard Cornwell

The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Last Kingdom (Book #8 of 13)

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 353 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 23rd October 2014 by HarperCollins


The Empty Throne was an improvement over The Pagan Lord, and it somehow felt refreshing despite its formulaic structure.

“I wondered why the gods no longer came to earth. It would make belief so much easier.”

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: