Bardic Fool Reviews

indie book reviews for writers who want to improve their craft

Some Operating Instructions

Here’s what you need to know about this blog.


What do you review?

I tend to read the same sorts of books I edit: fantasy, science fiction, the occasional romance or contemporary, and a smattering of nonfiction. That said, I read voraciously in many genres and audience age ranges, so you’ll be seeing many different kinds of books here. My only real rule for these reviews is that they’re for independently published books only.


Why are you claiming these reviews are for writers? I thought writers weren’t supposed to read reviews!

I do think authors are generally better off not reading reviews of their work. But as a writer myself, I’ve noticed that most of what I learn about writing these days is from (metaphorically) chewing on what I read. What worked? What didn’t? And most importantly, why?

My hope is that these reviews will serve both readers and writers–and help the indie community share their work more widely.


Why indies?

While there are loads of fabulous Booktubers, book bloggers, and #profesh reviewers out there, it can be tough to find reviewers willing to read indies. I wanted to create a repository of reviews that gives indies a chance to shine.


What’s your rating system?

I use a system fairly similar to what you see on Goodreads:

gold stargold stargold stargold stargold star I can’t talk to you right now because I have to reread this immediately and possibly sleep with it under my pillow.

gold stargold stargold stargold star This book was delightful, and while I might’ve been pulled out of the story here or there, I still had a blast.

gold stargold stargold star This was a pretty decent read. There were a few things that didn’t quite work for me, but I’m glad I read it.

gold stargold star I enjoyed this for the most part, but my frustration levels were pretty high.

gold star While the premise was engaging, the execution really wasn’t my jam.

I don’t review books that I DNF.


What do these reviews look like?

Every review includes:

  • A brief blurb
  • A look at three things that worked really well
  • A look at three things that didn’t work so well
  • A summary
  • Some takeaways for writers


Where do I find the rant reviews/worst books of the year/tea spillage??

I can’t deny that those sorts of things can be LOLtastic. But I want Bardic Fool Reviews to be more than just clickbait. If you’re looking to see an author get dragged, this is not the place for you.

That said, as you can see from the previous question, these reviews are honest and cover both what’s working and what isn’t.


Will you review my book?

If it’s an indie–and you’ve taken the time to get professional editing and formatting–feel free to ask over here. Before submitting, please take a look at the other reviews on this blog and make sure our interests overlap.


Where do you post your reviews?

The full reviews live on this blog. I also post truncated versions on Amazon and starred ratings on Goodreads.


I have a different question.

Sure thing! You can contact me here.

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