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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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Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Cover art illustrated by: Nico Delort

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

Pages: 480 pages (US Hardcover Edition)

Published: 10th July 2018 by Del Rey (US) & Pan Macmillan (UK)


If Uprooted is my Hell, then Spinning Silver is my Heaven.

Five years. It’s been exactly five years since I’ve read Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Honestly speaking, I never intended to read Spinning Silver. I consider Uprooted one of the worst fantasy novels I’ve read, and I had no motivation in trying out more of Novik’s works for five years. However, after hearing from many readers—one of them being my friend, Elliot Brooks—who disliked Uprooted that Spinning Silver worked wonderfully for them, my curiosity was piqued. And then, another good friend of mine—Mary—who also disliked Uprooted decided to sent me a copy of Spinning Silver. She said that Spinning Silver is one of the best standalone novels she has ever read. So here I am, nodding my head and adding my opinion to their praises; they were all 100% right. Spinning Silver is one of the best standalone novels I’ve read. This high rating you’re seeing is not a fairytale. It’s well-deserved, and Spinning Silver rightfully deserves the gorgeous cover art (US edition) illustrated by Nico Delort.

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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: The Bone Ship’s Wake (The Tide Child, #3) by R.J. Barker

Book Review: The Bone Ship’s Wake (The Tide Child, #3) by R.J. Barker

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

The Bone Ship’s Wake by R.J. Barker

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Tide Child (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy

Pages: 543 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 30th September 2021 by Orbit


I’ve completed two series by R.J. Barker now, and Barker stuck the landing in both Kings of Assassins and The Bone Ship’s Wake.

“Of all the people on the ship, the courser knew most what it was to be alone. And Joron, as Meas had once said, had found command was the loneliest place of all.”

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Book Review: Reaper (Cradle, #10) by Will Wight

Book Review: Reaper (Cradle, #10) by Will Wight

Reaper

Cover art illustration by: Patrick Foster

Reaper by Will Wight

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #10 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Pages: 465 pages

Published: 2nd November 2021 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


Will Wight, I’m so tired of saying this statement on so many books in Cradle, but once again, Reaper is the new best book of the series so far.

“An ant had a better chance of resisting a boot.”

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Book Review: The Justice of Kings (Empire of the Wolf, #1) by Richard Swan

Book Review: The Justice of Kings (Empire of the Wolf, #1) by Richard Swan

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

Cover art illustrated by: Martina Fackova

Cover designed by: Lauren Panepinto

The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Empire of the Wolf (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 432 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 22nd February 2022 & 24th February 2022 by Orbit


The Justice of Kings was totally addictive. A truly riveting tale about law, war, morality, and justice.

“Empires are built and maintained with words. Swords are a mere precedent to the quill.”

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Book Review: Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3) by Fonda Lee

Book Review: Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3) by Fonda Lee

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

Cover designed by: Lisa Marie Pompilio

Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Green Bone Saga (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 736 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 30th November 2021 by Orbit (US) & 2nd December 2021 by Orbit (UK)


Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best books I’ve ever read. Jade Legacy is an all-around masterpiece that certified The Green Bone Saga as my top favorite completed trilogy of all time.

“Good men are remembered with love by their friends… Great warriors are remembered with awe by their enemies.”

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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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Book Review: The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness, #3) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness, #3) by Joe Abercrombie

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

Cover illustration by: Tomas Almeida

The Wisdom of Crowds by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Age of Madness (Book #3 of 3), First Law World (Book, #10 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Pages: 529 pages (UK Hardback)

Published: 14th September 2021 by Gollancz (UK) & Orbit (US)


Joe Abercrombie is a genius storyteller. The Wisdom of Crowds is one of the best books of the year, a masterfully crafted conclusion to The Age of Madness trilogy.

“What is the point of gathering knowledge if one does not pass it on? What is the point of growing old if one does not try to shape the future?”

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Book Review: City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Book Review: City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

(This is a repost of an old review I wrote in May 2018)

Cover art illustrated by: Sam Weber

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series:The Divine Cities (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Urban fantasy, Post-apocalyptic, Horror

Pages: 452 pages (US paperback edition)

Published: 9th September 2014 by Broadway Books (US) & 2nd April 2015 by Jo Fletcher Books (UK)


A truly wonderful start to a trilogy and one of the most original world-building I’ve ever had the chance to experience in a novel.

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