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Book Review: Nolyn (The Rise and Fall, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Book Review: Nolyn (The Rise and Fall, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Read an early copy of the ebook as a Kickstarter backer

Nolyn by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars.

Series: The Rise and Fall (Book 1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy, classic fantasy

Publication date: 3rd August 2021 by Grim Oak Press


Nolyn was yet another well-crafted and enthralling tale from a masterful storyteller, who never fails to give me what I craved from the world of Elan.

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Book Review: The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Book Review: The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

Cover art illustrated by: Larry Rostant

The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Riyria Chronicles (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 422 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 6th August 2013 by Orbit


Rather than The Crown Conspiracy, I personally think The Crown Tower is a greater starting point to Royce and Hadrian’s story.

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TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2020

TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2020


2020 has been such a strange, stressful and complicated year.  I took a one-year sabbatical leave from work from mid-2019 and managed to do quite a bit of travelling for about six months before the world got completely turned upside down.  I’ve read/listen over 120 books this year, 73 of which was completed during the first half when I wasn’t working and the entire world was on lockdown.  Getting back to work during the second half in the midst of a global pandemic and a new challenging role did affect my ability to read and also write reviews on a regular basis.

Despite 2020 being such a watershed/dumpster year, it’s been an incredible one for my reading as I’ve completed a lot books ranging from great to masterpieces.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve added so many books onto my favourites shelf (many of which were from the same series).  If you’re curious/interested, you also can see my year in books for 2020 right here.

Similar to my previous list, I do not limit this to only books released this year.  There are simply too many great books that have been published prior and that I’ve yet to read, so there will always be older books included.  Below are the parameters that I’ve set for the list.

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • Not limited to books which are released this year.

None of these are ranked except for the top five.  The rest, I’ve listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  Almost all of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads, albeit some are quite brief.

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TS’s Top 11 Books Read in 2020 So Far (1st Jan to 30th June)

TS’s Top 11 Books Read in 2020 So Far (1st Jan to 30th June)


2020 has so far been a truly strange, stressful and complicated year, but reading wise it has been pretty incredible for me.  I’ve read/listen to 73 books during this first six months of the year and quite a sizeable chunk of these garnered 4-stars and above.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve added so many books onto my favourites shelf in the same period of time.  If you’re interested, you can see my year in books for 2020 right here.

Similar to my previous list, I do not limit this to only books released this year.  There are simply too many great books that have been published prior and that I’ve yet to read, so there will always be older books included.  Below are the parameters that I’ve set for the list.

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • Not limited to books which are released this year.

None of these are ranked except for the top three, of which two are tied for first place.  The rest, I’ve listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  All of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads.

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Book Review: Age of Empyre (The Legends of the First Empire, #6)

Book Review: Age of Empyre (The Legends of the First Empire, #6)

Age of Empyre by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Legends of the First Empire (Book 6 of 6)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy, classic fantasy

Published: 5th May 2020 (Grim Oak Press)


Age of Empyre proves once again that Michael J. Sullivan is a masterful storyteller that really knows how to captivate and conclude a well-crafted tale.  As I turned the final page, I couldn’t help feeling that I’m going to miss all the wonderful characters that I’ve grown to love.

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Book Review: Age of Death (The Legends of the First Empire, #5)

Book Review: Age of Death (The Legends of the First Empire, #5)

Age of Death by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Legends of the First Empire (Book 5 of 6)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy, classic fantasy

Published: 4th February 2020 (Grim Oak Press)


Age of Death took an astounding turn in the direction of the overall story, and it was brilliant!

This book is aptly titled as it would be the death of me. We have yet another cliffhanger ending as the second arc of
The Legends of the First Empire series is shaping up to be one continuous story. It was excruciating to say the least, but I can empathise with Sullivan in struggling to find a suitable point to break off for each volume, short of releasing it as a single doorstopper.  A single volume wouldn’t work for physical printing purposes, especially if collectors of the hardcovers want to maintain the aesthetics of the books.  And if you’ve seen their covers and how the hardcovers look like, you’ll want that consistency.  They are stunningly beautiful.

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TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2019

TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2019

The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions’ Top 20 List.


Hello everyone!  This is the first time I’m listing my top reads for the year 2019.  Initially, I wanted to opt for Top 10 but having read 100 books and rated a lot between 4.5 and 5 stars, I felt that I would struggle to limit it to ten.  The parameters for my list are as follows:

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • Not limited to books which are released this year.  Those not published in 2019 will be specified.

With exception of #1, none of these are ranked.  I’ve merely listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  I’ve also included my favourite classic read of the year as we’ve started the Novel Notions Classic Club in July. All of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads.

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Age of Legend (The Legends of the First Empire, #4)

Age of Legend (The Legends of the First Empire, #4)

Age of Legend by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A brilliant sequel which fulfilled both my eager anticipation and high expectations, Age of Legend takes the First Empire series to another level of greatness with the promise of a showstopper by its finale.

Age of Legend is structurally different from the continuous narrative in the preceding three volumes. This book has three sections; the first part is the shortest which deals with the immediate aftermath of the battle at Alon Rhist. The second section takes place one year after that, and there will be another five years’ time leap for the third and largest part of the book. Without needing to go into too much detail and dragging the narrative, the three-part story enabled the reader to appreciate how protracted the war was between the Rhunes and the Fhreys, before going into the more portentous events.

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Age of War (The Legends of the First Empire, #3)

Age of War (The Legends of the First Empire, #3)

I received an advanced reading copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Age of War marks a fine conclusion to the first act of the series, revealing the true story behind the legends spoken of in Riyria Revelations which was not all fairy tales, rainbows and butterflies.

Before I start, let us take a moment to admire the stunning cover for Age of War by the one and only, Marc Simonetti. In my opinion, this is the best cover he has produced for any of Sullivan’s books to date, and it is most fitting that the book dedication is made in his honour.

This book is dedicated to the artist Marc Simonetti. People are told not to judge a book by its cover, but so long as Marc is creating them, judge away.

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Age of Swords (The Legends of the First Empire, #2)

Age of Swords (The Legends of the First Empire, #2)

Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Age of Swords is a great sequel in developing the characters that I’ve grown to love in Age of Myth.

I could appreciate why the author named this as his favourite book of the series, even at this early stage. Every author should be fond of the characters that they have created, and writing that one book that brought most growth had to be the most fulfilling.

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