Priest of Bones by Peter McLean

Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1)

by Peter McLean

'Charismatic and very more-ish' - Mark Lawrence, bestselling author of Red Sister

'Sixty-five thousand battle-shocked, trained killers came home to no jobs, no food and the plague. What did Her Majesty think was going to happen?'

Tomas Piety takes his duties seriously: as a soldier, as a priest of Our Lady of Eternal Sorrows and as a leader of men. He has come home from the war to reclaim his family business, to provide for his men and to ensure the horrors of Abingon can never happen in Ellinburg. 

But things have changed: his crime empire has been stolen and the people of Ellinburg - his people - have run out of food and hope and places to hide. With his best friend Bloody Anne, his war-damaged brother Jochan and his new gang, the Pious Men, Tomas sets out to reclaim what was his.

And as Tomas is dragged into a web of political intrigue by the sinister Queen's Men, forced to work against the foreign infiltrators lurking in the backstreet taverns, brothels and gambling dens of the Stink, one thing becomes clear.

The war has just begun.

'Fans of Daniel Polansky, Mark Lawrence or, dare I say, Blackwing will most appreciate this book' - Ed McDonald, author of Blackwing

Reviewed by Charli G. on

4 of 5 stars

It took me a good long time to read this book. I started reading it and I would stop, then I’d try to start it again. Then I decided to just buckle down and read the book. I have to say it was a pretty darn good book.

I wasn’t expecting it to be the first in a series, but as I started coming closer and closer to the end, I realized that it may well be part of a series – and I was right, it is. The book takes you on a journey of what happens in a medieval style world when someone comes home from war and realizes that a new war is brewing and it’s starting in his own city. The book is rather slow to start and at times doesn’t make sense, but anything that doesn’t make sense at the time will be clarified later in the book.

This particular novel is written memoir style – the narrator refers to his having written things which is an interesting concept. Usually you don’t see novels written as memoirs with the narrator stating that he or she had written something earlier. I fully expect that if this series were to become movies, that you’d find an old, wizened man at the end closing a notebook in which he’d written the entire sordid tale.

The book was well written and I have to admit, although it isn’t normally my type of book, I was into it. The characters were developed as much as they needed to be and the ones that aren’t, well, there’s a reason for it. Some of them don’t need it, some of them don’t need it right now. Read the book and you’ll see.

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  • 4 March, 2019: Reviewed