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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: 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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Guest (Adam) Book Review: Empire of Shadows (The Coraidic Sagas, #3) by Alicia-Wanstall Burke

Guest (Adam) Book Review: Empire of Shadows (The Coraidic Sagas, #3) by Alicia-Wanstall Burke

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by Adam Weller

Cover art illustrated by: Pen Astridge

Empire of Shadows by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Coraidic Sagas (Book #3 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 610 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 25th January 2022 (Self-Published)


Alicia Wanstall-Burke’s Blood of Heirs fashioned one of the more devious second-book cliffhangers in the trilogies I’ve read in recent years. Up until the last few chapters, the story of Lidan, Loge, Ran, Sellan, and others twisting the fates of the Northern and Southern empires was an entertaining saga with strong-willed characters you could get behind. But its last few chapters really stood out, as it set the story careening off into truly exciting territory, and I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Empire of Shadows to see how the final pieces were going to fall.

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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: Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel, #2) by Josiah Bancroft

Book Review: Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel, #2) by Josiah Bancroft

This review was written the 2nd of July 2017

Arm of the SphinxCover art by: Ian Leino

Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Books of Babel (Book #2 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk Fantasy

Pages: 381 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 28th July 2014 by Josiah Bancroft (Self-published) & 22nd August 2017 Orbit Books


Raven’s Shadow by Anthony Ryan, The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan, and now, The Books of Babel by Josiah Bancroft; I’ll be surprised if this series doesn’t end up becoming the next successful self-published to traditionally published fantasy transition.

Arm of the Sphinx is the second book in The Books of Babel series by Josiah Bancroft. The story continues months after the end of the previous book. Each chapter still begins with memorable and philosophical quotes such as:

“We are, each of us, a multitude. I am not the man I was this morning, nor the man of yesterday. I am a throng of myself queued through time. We are, gentle reader, each a crowd within a crowd.”

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Book Review: The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter (The Riyria Chronicles, #4) by Michael J. Sullivan

Book Review: The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter (The Riyria Chronicles, #4) by Michael J. Sullivan

Cover art illustrated by: Marc Simonetti

The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Riyria Chronicles (Book #4)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 480 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 5th December 2017 by Riyria Enterprises, LLC (Self-published)


As always, another great book in the series, and now I’m fully caught up with The Riyria Chronicles. I hope it won’t be too long for Drumindor to come out.

“Things will change, but not all at once… You can’t obtain respect at the point of a sword, not from people who despise us. Respect needs to be earned. Trust needs to be built up over time, over generations.”

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Blog Tour: The Path and the Way (Ringlander, #1) by Michael S. Jackson

Blog Tour: The Path and the Way (Ringlander, #1) by Michael S. Jackson

Hi everyone! Petrik from Novel Notions here. We, the team at Novel Notions, are very thrilled and honored that we were asked by Michael S. Jackson to participate in the blog tour for the The Path and the Way, the first book in Ringlander series. On this interview, we asked Jackson a few questions related to his writing and debut. Without further ado, here’s my interview with Michael S. Jackson!

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Book Review: Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1) by Josiah Bancroft

Book Review: Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1) by Josiah Bancroft

This review was written on the 29th of June 2017

Cover art by: Ian Leino

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Books of Babel (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk Fantasy

Pages: 371 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 18th February 2013 by Josiah Bancroft (Self-published) & 22nd August 2017 Orbit Books


If you need extra proof that a self-published fantasy can be on par/superior compared to traditionally published fantasy books, Senlin Ascends is it.

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Book Review: The Death of Dulgath (The Riyria Chronicles, #3) by Michael J. Sullivan

Book Review: The Death of Dulgath (The Riyria Chronicles, #3) by Michael J. Sullivan

Cover art illustrated by: Marc Simonetti

The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Riyria Chronicles (Book #3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 408 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 15th October 2015 by Riyria Enterprises, LLC (Self-published)


The Death of Dulgath is the best volume in The Riyria Chronicles so far.

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