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Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne…

Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne Book 1) (original 2018; edition 2018)

by Peter McLean (Author)

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Title:Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne Book 1)
Authors:Peter McLean (Author)
Info:Ace (2018), 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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Priest of Bones by Peter McLean (2018)


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I absolutely loved this book. This was one of those books that I was able to lose myself in for just a little while. This book first fell on my radar when it was listed on First to Read. I signed up for a copy but let it expire before I got around to reading it. As luck would have it, my local library had a copy and I was able to give it a try. Let me tell you, I should have read this book as soon as I had a chance because it was fabulous!

This was a fantasy that I found very easy to slip into its world. It is a rather dark story and you can expect to see a fair amount of blood and violence. I was hooked by this story pretty much right away. The story follows Tomas Piety who happens to be an army priest. The war is over and his group of soldiers that have looked to him for leadership still wish to follow his lead. The group goes back to his home known as the Stink where Tomas plans to put everyone to work in his businesses. When he arrives home, he finds that all of his businesses have been taken over by others and he will have to fight to get them back.

I liked Tomas right away and the more I read, the more I liked him. When necessary, he delivers swift justice but overall he is a fair leader. He is incredibly smart and is a natural leader that seems to know exactly which job would be the right fit for all of his men. He inspires complete loyalty from his men which he returns in full. Tomas is put in a position where he not only needs to reclaim his territory but must also work with a powerful group to help prevent another war. It is a delicate balancing act that he is able to maneuver with finesse.

I thought this book was really exciting. There is plenty of action to keep the pages turning but I found the strategizing to be equally entertaining. The entire book was really well paced. The characters were very well developed and I not only liked Tomas but also really grew to care for the other members of his crew. There were a few magical elements that I found really well done as well.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of darker fantasies. I was totally drawn into this wonderful story that I found almost impossible to set aside. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Penguin Publishing Group via First to Read and borrowed a print copy of the book from my local library. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Jan 30, 2019 |
This is quite grim. There's a high body count and a lot of messy wading through blood stuff going on here.
They conscripted Tomas Piety and while he served in the Army he became a priest, almost by default. Now he's back to his home town to find it changed and to find that there are things he will have to do to save his business, his town and possibly his country. His life will never be the same again and politics will take him from his ordinary life.

It's interesting, grim but you can see the reasoning for the grim, there is some of the violence that is a little over the top but he's a mob boss trying to reclaim his territory, this is all pretty much par for the course. Many of his underlings are well drawn and I cared for some of them. You can see Tomas' motivations and while some of them weren't things I cared about I could see where he was coming from. He cares about his people and will do anything for them but his definintion of his people is mutable.

It's interesting and well done and I'm looking forward to more in the series. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Nov 26, 2018 |
Damn that was one hell of a story! It is, without a doubt, my most favorite book of 2018.

McLean wrote you got to have "the right man, for the right job, always" well McLean was the right man to write The Pious Men's story! He fucking nailed it!

*I received this ARC from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

( )
  EmpressReece | Nov 8, 2018 |
It’s a good sign when the introduction of the dramatis personae has you chuckling before you even get to the story. Priest of Bones is just a little bit different from your typical fantasy, and that’s a good thing. Thomas Piety is an army priest on his way home from the war along with his brother Jochan and some of his soldiers. He’s returning to the Ellingburg streets he used to run as a thug/crime boss/businessman. Things have gone to hell in his absence, but the Pious Men are home now, and they mean to take back what’s theirs.

McLean keeps the plot continually moving forward even as he fleshes out his many characters. Descriptive nicknames are helpful placeholders for some of the characters until you get to know them better. The Piety brothers, Bloody Anne, Ailsa, Billy the Boy, Fat Luka are all characters that have both depth and mystery. The action is bloody, but it is never mindless. Politics are at play behind the scenes and Thomas Piety is caught up in the middle of it. There is a thoughtfulness to when violence is called for as well as consideration of its consequences. The marriage of this violence to politics is what draws comparisons to The Godfather.

Peter McLean has created a story with criminal complexity, layered politics, bloody violence, intrigue, and a surprising amount of heart. He has created a place in Ellinburg that feels real. From its gambling dens to its mansions to its taverns and the muddy, cold streets. He conveys the devastation that sickness and war have wrought on the city and the country. The action moves quickly from the beginning but hits another gear for a high-octane ending.

This first book in the War for the Rose Throne series is a great story, but it’s the characters who will hook you and have you coming back for more. This is a really good book. Highly recommended.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. ( )
  tottman | Oct 3, 2018 |
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'If you must break the law, do it to seize power'
Julius Caesar
For Diane, Always
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After the war, we came home.
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