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Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1) summary Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1) , series Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1) , book Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1) , pdf Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1) , Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1) d9c0f64ec7 The War Is Over, And Army Priest Tomas Piety Heads Home With Sergeant Bloody Anne At His Side But Things Have Changed While He Was Away His Crime Empire Has Been Stolen And The People Of Ellinburg His People Have Run Out Of Food And Hope And Places To Hide Tomas Sets Out To Reclaim What Was His With Help From Anne, His Brother, Jochan, And His New Gang The Pious Men But When He Finds Himself Dragged Into A Web Of Political Intrigue Once Again, Everything Gets ComplicatedAs The Pious Men Fight Shadowy Foreign Infiltrators In The Back Street Taverns, Brothels, And Gambling Dens Of Tomas S Old Life, It Becomes Clear The War Is Only Just Beginning

10 thoughts on “Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1)

  1. says:

    MY BLOGMY Woot This one went right into my favorites list Happy Freaking Day I loved almost every character in the book My favorite being Bloody Anne I don t want a fucking love spell, Bloody Anne snarled at him I ve paid you silver for wisdom, so you ll have the good grace to shut up and listen to the fucking question without interrupting me again or I ll nail you to your door with your fucking rat, you understand me Old Kurt stared at her for a moment, then laughed his thin, reedy old man s laugh That s me told, ain t it, he said I ll listen, my fine lady I ll listen to you She s Tomas second and she s bad to the bone Tomas is a fighter, a businessman and a priest just read the book I love these people and laughed my butt off at some of their antics I also give kudos to the author for having Tomas kill one of his own men that was going to rape a girl and also give a beating to one that hurt one of his brothel girls Also, there was no senseless animal killings in the book Hell yeah I mean I can t say what he will do in the other books but he got my full 5 stars for a great book and the forementioned is that even a word This is a grimdark my peeps and done in a way I could fully love and not cringe or skim Yes, there are blood and guts and stuff Uh, I did mention grimdark Anyhoo, I loved it and look forward to the rest of the books Happy Reading Mel

  2. says:

    Priest of Bones is a very ish book, very readable The prose is solid, the single first person character who delivers the story has a strong voice It s a very satisfying book to read, the plot never gets away from itself.Basically Priest of Bones is a story of organised crime with shades of the Godfather here and there Our protagonist returns from a horrific war with old friends, family, and new friends formally under his command I say friends, but Tomas Peity is a leader, sometimes a priest, always a soldier, he commands respect rather than friendship and he is returning to the city he was born in to pick up where he left off, ruling the streets of a sizeable district as its crime lord.Naturally others have moved in during his absence and heads have to broken, knee caps removed Things grow complicated and the plot thickens, but essentially this is about driving out other gangs, re establishing control, building an empire of brothels, pubs, gambling houses and the like.It sounds quite old school It really isn t The cast is diverse in terms of gender, race, and sexual preference It sounds grim and dark and it is but our priest of bones is quite the humanitarian for a ruthless crime lord, intolerant of rape, violence against women unless they are armed , child abuse, the drug trade, treating the poor badly, the list goes on It doesn t stop him leading an exciting life though and cutting his way through some very grimdark situations There s blood and shit in large measure.Tomas Piety is a good fighter but he leads by choosing the right man or woman for the job, be it Bloody Anne, Billy the Boy, Black Billy, Sir Eland, Kant the Cunt, Jochan Piety his wild brother, Will the Wencher, or any other of his crew of Pious Men It s fun to watch him rebuild his empire a piece at a time, ripping down someone else s as he goes.Given the single point of view, and the high tempo action, most of the characters remain little than nametags, but we get to know a few much better and it s well done.Fantasy enters the story through the sporadic appearance of sorcerers with a trainee on the home team The magic is definitely of the mysterious variety rather than the magic system sort I found it to be a really good read It s not a book that stuns you with originality, powerful prose, cunningly engineered plot it s just very fun to read It s a charismatic book I think it could do really well.EDIT now there s a cover Join my 3 emails a year newsletter prizes..

  3. says:

    Priest of Bones has been on my radar ever since I attended a book talk at SDCC 2018 It sounded so good a heavy dose of grimdark with all the usual nastiness and morally grey characters But I could not connect with a single character or event in this book no matter what I did.I m sure the right sort of reader will eat this up and add it to their favourites list It does seem to be garnering a lot of positive attention But, honestly, Tomas Piety war priest and crime lord just bored me He was not a narrator I cared for or could become invested in The only character of interest to me was Bloody Anne, but she alone was not enough to hold up the narrative.The dark themes didn t bother me on that further down , but I do think I took a particular and early dislike to the dick swinging, beer guzzling, woman raping BROS in this book Dark books should make me shudder, make me think, make me gasp they shouldn t make me frown and mutter morons under my breath.True to the genre, this is a dark read I expected and welcomed the darkness, though I think some additions were gratuitous, such as the pedophilia If you have any triggers or deep dislikes, they are probably in this book This is not an exhaustive list but warnings for sexual assault, pedophilia, alcohol and substance abuse, all kinds of abuse, graphic violence and torture, and child prostitution.Tomas Piety is a crime lord who returns to the place of his birth after fighting in a devastating war Under his command are a group of loyal soldiers who fought beside him and will now help him reclaim the streets he once ruled over It s a fairly generic tale of gangs fighting over the streets and torturing a few people along the way There s some magic thrown in, too, though it seems like this will be developed in the sequels.I think my problem was that there were several elements that make up this book and I found none of them compelling The story of gang warfare, for one, was uninteresting and unoriginal to me Tomas felt like any old crime boss with a little humanity towards women and children amid his ruthlessness I couldn t tell you anything about him that makes him different The world building, though suitably dark and dreary, was vague I like a bit detail painted into my fantasy worlds.Perhaps Priest of Bones would have also benefited from a third person perspective We are stuck inside Tomas s mind for the whole book and everyone else feels like little than a name, colourful as those names may be Bloody Anne, Black Billy, Kant the Cunt, Will the Wencher, Billy the Boy and .Not the gripping read I was hoping for, but there s some strong writing here Curious grimdark fans should give it a shot.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube

  4. says:

    4.5 5 starsPeeky fookin bloindah with a powerful one chapter syndrome.A confession first, I m not a fan of the TV show Peaky Blinders Despite the well acted performance of the casts, I gave up watching the TV series in the midst of season 2 because I was insanely bored with the snail pacing Yes yes, heresy right Feel free to mock me with no fighting no fooking fighting meme Hearing that Priest of Bones is inspired by the TV series was honestly the main reason why I haven t given this book a go until now Don t get me wrong, what they ve said about this being similar to Peaky Blinders is true the similarity and inspirations were myriad and some elements did felt a bit too similar, especially in the first half However, Priest of Bones, to my mind, has a significantly superior package compared to what I ve seen so far in Peaky Blinders When people have run out of food, and hope, and places to hide, do not be surprised if they have also run out of mercy The war in Abingon is over Tomas Piety and his companions return to Ellinburg only to find that his crime organizations have been stolen Seeing that the people of Ellinburg Tomas people have run out of food and hope, Tomas and his Pious Men are determined to reclaim his businesses back Priest of Bones, the first book in War for the Rose Throne trilogy, can be defined as a grimdark gangster story in a low fantasy world The plot was constantly entertaining, there were many great things about this book but if I were tasked to choose one that excels the most, it would have to be its pacing Priest of Bones is relatively a short book at roughly 350 pages, it s definitely shorter than the fantasy books I usually read which ranges between 500 1000 pages long The low number of pages plus the unputdownable pacing made this book a short read that made me crave for I finished it in two days but I could ve finished it in a single day I purposely spread it out so that I have days being inside this world Priest of Bones belongs in the grimdark and low fantasy genre magic was in the book but it wasn t too dominant to the plot and there s no coherent rule surrounding its usage However, I do think that the way the magic was utilized to increase the tension of the conflicts was well done Sometimes a man has to balance two evils in his hands and choose the lighter one The characters, especially Tomas, Billy the Boy, and Bloody Anne, were gradually fascinating McLean has implemented a unique manner of speech to Tomas s narration To my mind, and I can t let it pass were two phrases that Tomas purposely repeated throughout the book Arguably, some people will find this style of storytelling to be repetitive I personally think of it as a feature that adds distinction to the first person narration I feel like it s a great way to ascertain that every event of the book was clearly told and perceived from Tomas view it s what he thinks, other characters may have different opinions about the events that unfolded The characters interactions and their banter were engaging, funny, and heartwarming at times These characters have gone through a lot of shit at the war in Abingnon and McLean showed the damages that the characters had through their behaviors and actions rather than their internal conflicts Billy the Boy one of the side character was an interesting character and his development helped in making me glued to the story I also loved Bloody Anne She s such a charming character and she reminded me of Anne Bonny from the TV series Black Sails Without saying too much, I would easily say that Tomas s friendship with Bloody Anne, in particular, was one of the highlights of the book for me There s a comradeship in that, in drinking together and saying nothing, because no words need to be said Here s a sad fact about my reading habit this year, not only it s been three months since I ve read a fantasy book that used first person perspective narration, I ve actually read 54 books prior to this one within this year and it s only just now that I realized only two of them were written with first person narration It has come to the point where first person narration felt refreshing for me to read In a way, that s also why this book worked well for me I chose to read it at the right timing McLean s prose was utterly readable simple, vivid, and immersive I was in dire need of a fast paced reading experience that doesn t neglect characterizations and Priest of Bones delivered what I needed Men who have been through Hell together tend to stay together, if they can This is one of the books that have been recommended to me so many times Although I wasn t sure about this novel at first, I m truly grateful that I finally gave it a go Priest of Bones was exhilarating and incredibly compelling its addictive storytelling nature truly had me swiping through the pages of my kindle effectively I highly recommend this to readers who love grimdark fantasy that never goes complete nihilistic If you re a fan of fast paced gangster story, it s crucial that you read this book as soon as possible I look forward to reading the sequel, Priest of Lies, which luckily comes out in less than a month from now.You can order the book from Book Depository Free shipping You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

  5. says:

    I received an advance reading copy of Priest of Bones in exchange for an honest review I would like to thank Peter McLean and Ace for the opportunity The crime boss, soldier, and priest Tomas Piety has spent the last three years fighting a war he was conscripted into Although victorious, it all seems hollow with the death, destruction, plague, and famine that has ravished the land We join Tomas and his crew of trusted mercenaries as they are venturing home, warworn and looking to return to their previous lives Upon reaching Ellingberg the city where Tomas and his gang the Pious Men once controlled the streets he soon realises that his businesses have been stolen whilst he has been away spilling blood and guts for his Queen With his crew of loyal military veterans at his side, he decides it s time to reclaim what is rightfully his It is soon unravelled that there is going on in the city than meets the eye this time and the turf war skirmishes of his previous business regime are the least of his worries To quote the back of the advanced reading copy The war is not over It s only just beginning I can safely say that this will be the book dark fantasy and grimdark fans will be raving about at the end of this year It is reminiscent of McDonald s Blackwing for the mercenary crew camaraderie, Puzo s The Godfather or Lee s Jade City for the crime family intricacies, and Horowitz s House of Silk for a few very uncomfortable moments This narrative is presented in the first person perspective as if Tomas is dictating or writing his memories Within the first chapter, I was gripped by the voice, the flow, and Tomas thoughts and opinions Essentially, being inside the mind of a crime boss, we are privy to all of his views, ambitions, agendas, and secrets which none of the other characters in the dramatis personae are This cleverly ascertained instant empathy pulled me in and even though you d never call Tomas an unflawed person you will than likely be on his side throughout There is a pretty sizable cast of characters in Priest of Bones and for a relatively short book, I intially thought there would be too many The way it s written as if we are following Tomas train of thought and views makes it easy to recognise, differentiate between and feel for the wide range of many different individuals within the ensemble Many of the players including our narrator have hidden objectives, motives and a secret past existence As the first of a proposed trilogy, not all questions regarding the characters are answered but enough nuggets and reveals are presented that it s truly enticing although often gritty and I m excited to find out going forwards Especially with reference to three of my favourite characters including Tomas second, the scarred veteran Bloody Anne, his brother the slightly disturbed but warrior berserker Jochan, and his mysterious, cunning, and adopted 12 year old nephew Billy the Boy There is also a character called Cutter who is described as a professional murderer with a mysterious past who I can t wait to find out about in the rest of the series I ll point out that it is a coincidence that he shares a name with an assassin in Malazan Book of the Fallen McLean himself described the first entry in War for the Rose Throne as being influenced by a combination of Peaky Blinders and The Godfather, but set in Tudor era Edinburgh crossed with Industrial Revolution London I can readily see all these influences, however I also analysed it as having a sort of medieval Irish twang and in addition, it features lots of fantasy greatness such as deadly magicians, named personal weapons and secret assassin groups The world building is exquisite and it mostly takes place within Ellingberg as the Pious Men are trying to rebuild their business empire and find out about who their opposition is Who is this Bloodhands who is just described as a very, very scary man I m sure a map of the city will be featured in the final edition but McLean painted perfect imagery with his lexical choices so that it felt that I was walking down the streets of the Stink or the Wheels and even feeling as if I was with the gang drinking in the local tavern before an inevitable ruckus occurred My only negative of this story is very minor I felt that occasionally there was slight, in my opinion, needless repetition of statements that had been said in chapters before yet that didn t take anything away from my enjoyment An extra point for me to mention is that this book is a complete standalone and all wraps up nicely That being said there are enough loose threads and intrigue that it sets up the next entry expertly and I will definitely be continuing this series There is a segment in the last chapter that hints at what may follow in book 2 and it s an exciting prospect I m pretty certain Priest of Bones will be one of the finest grimdark books of the year Dark fantasy alumni such as Mark Lawrence, Ed McDonald, and Anna Stephens have already posted glowing reviews regarding Priest of Bones and I believe it will be fans of the above mentioned who will find a lot to enjoy here Although McLean s released the Urban Fantasy series The Burned Man previously, in Priest of Bones he has presented a brilliant debut grimdark outing that is fascinating, gripping and has everything that I look for in a crime focused novel.

  6. says:

    Gritty, violent and highly addictive This book kept me glued to the pages until the very end The story begins with our badass protagonist, Tomas Piety, returning to his hometown after fighting in a long, brutal war He brings with him a hodgepodge group of men, including his righthand man Bloody Anne, and the mysterious child, Billy the Boy Not far behind comes his younger brother, Jochan, with some of his men, returning as well The two groups band together and set out to reclaim the territory and businesses previously owned by Piety that have been pirated during his absence This story has everything I am looking for when I open a grimdark fantasy I want dirt Lots of it Dirt, grime, blood, stink, cussing, fighting and no mercy Just me This book had all of those things in spades but it also had a lot It deals with some heavier topics that I think were handled really well rather impressively in fact For example, a lot of the men returning from the war were struggling with issues relating to PTSD In the novel, they refer to it as battle sickness and it didn t gloss over that fact it discussed it, showed what that meant amongst the men and how they helped one another It also examined the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse, the effects that has as an individual is growing into an adult There are issues with grief, with guilt, and sexual identity This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few that I noticed and appreciated That is pretty much all I want to say on the plot, as I don t want to reveal anything else that may spoil the paced reveal of the story to anyone All you want is blood, and fucking death, and it s never enough for you, is it You ve become a fucking priest of bones I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes Grimdark Fantasy particularly people who may like stories like, The Song of Ice and Fire series, that have a lot of political intrigue in them and complex relationships This story left off in the perfect place for the second book to start and trust me, I cannot wait to get my hands on it Well done, Peter McLean, well done Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to hearing what other readers think of this incredibly dark and delicious story

  7. says:

    The war at Abingon is over, but the scars remain Thomas Piety and his small band of war brutalised ex soldiers have no use to the Crown now the conflict has been won they have been set adrift, one group among many let loose in a land already devastated by famine and plague However, these may just be luckier than most, for Thomas Piety, leader of the feared Pious Men, had certain criminal interests before the war, and once again there s hard cash to be made in Ellinburg for those with the balls to do it First though, they have to take back what s theirs from a shady unknown faction bent on much than just illegal moneymaking, threatening to bring the horror of foreign wars right to the Pious Men s doorstep And that just won t do That won t do at all.It takes no time at all for this fight to get going, the stakes further raised by the arrival of a Queen s Man, a deadly agent of the Crown with their own agenda To and fro turf battles play alongside the larger issue of malignant overseas interests, building a thrilling, savage pace that lasts right till the final page Even so, this is not violence porn Murder is a means to an end as well as a message, but for the most part these are soldiers and when they want people dead, they push a sword through them Oh, there s flair and inventiveness too, but the brutal efficiency of it is all the frightening This world is dark to the core, but not gratuitously so All the sadistic aspects of this life are there, whether as part of a character s past or in contemporary Ellinburg society, but it s set up pretty quickly, in the way Piety deals with one of his men attempting rape, that such transgressions will receive his own style of harsh justice And that tends to be pretty final So while the book ostensibly seems like it might be straight up grim, it s much nuanced than that Don t get me wrong, there s still lots of stabby fun, but its a long way from the nihilism that characterises true grimdark The first person narrative has the feel of epic poetry, of Homer a story of war and of heroes returning to find their home changed, seized by outsiders Piety talks directly to his audience and his voice has a preciseness to it, a kind of dry, distancing effect that clashes effectively with the bloody, personal nature of his tale It has the repetition and musicality of oral storytelling, with him reminding us frequently of what has come before, as I have written , as any storyteller does to emphasise and focus attention He repeatedly returns to one refrain these are the times we live in Both reiterations add a sense of rhythm and connectedness to his story, as well as highlighting himself and the present state of affairs as two interwoven strands, combining to produce an inevitably bloodstained pattern It works to explain his own actions as well as those around him, but isn t there to absolve him, or them, of responsibility The introspection at the end certainly suggests this in trying to prevent war, he has brought death and destruction on an unprecedented scale What does that mean for his position in the future I can t wait to find out Above all, he is a practical man He might be a priest, but he doesn t hold to any kind of religious morality Instead, he will do what needs to be done He provides action based, effective solutions to problems, whether it be dealing with people or removing the competition with bloody finality That s not to say that he doesn t have his own ethical framework He looks after his own His mantra is the right man for the right job And in this book, man means anyone He actually has a rather enlightened attitude to women and race as well as deep loyalty to those who have bled and fought for him None of the women are treated as lesser, quite the opposite From Gutcutter leader, Ma Aditi, to his ex soldier aunt, Enaid, and his second, Bloody Anne, the women are capable, clever, and frightening enough to freeze your blood solid Cross them and they ll soon be carving you open to see just where that sort of stupid came from It has the same kind of equal opportunities badassery as Malazan and the tone to match Though the reader sees everything through Piety, there s still some scope for these other characters to shine and the small amount we learn about them all only serves to whet the appetite for .This is a compelling blend of historical style fiction, gangland, and magic, with a fascinating main character in Thomas Piety and a voice that s thrillingly original I have been lucky enough to read some cracking books this year, but I have no doubt this will sit high in my best of 2018 list.ARC via Netgalley

  8. says:

    Absolutely sensational What Low Fantasy should be.Tomas Piety returns from war to see everything he has worked so hard for in his life taken from him While he was fighting for his country and his Queen, foreigners invaded his city and took all of his businesses and therefore his throne as one of the city s most powerful crime lords But while he once used to lead gangsters, he now leads soldiers, forged and hardened in the fires of Abington Soldiers that he won t hesitate to use in order to bring the Pious Men back in power, and harsh justice to those who dare stand in his way I looked down for a moment and gave thanks to Our Lady of Eternal Sorrows for my victory She hadn t guided my hand, I knew that much Our Lady doesn t help Not ever She doesn t answer prayers or grant boons or give a man anything at all however hard he might pray for it The best you can hope for from her is that she doesn t take your life today Maybe tomorrow, aye, but not today That s as good as it gets, and the rest is up to you She was a goddess for soldiers and no mistake Before I tell you what I think of this book, I ll first delve into its nature I ve seen Priest of Bones described as Grimdark, and although several of its aspects are usually seen in that sub genre, I find its main thematic elements closer to Low Fantasy a morally ambiguous, gritty and realistic world, a complex and flawed social order with consecutive power struggles, a limited use of magic, and a lack of heroism or interest in it.Priest of Bones is beautifully written and well thought out While you meet a big portion of the rather numerous characters from the very first chapter, you re still able to set them apart from their distinctive personalities and traits The purpose of such a large cast is clear in the same chapter, when a seemingly important character is promptly killed and disposed in a surprising and shocking manner While the story is told by a single POV in a character driven way, the rest of the cast gets enough spotlight throughout the story, making the reader care for their fate, which is rather unsettling at places due to the aforementioned purpose of their large number The plot is kept tight from beginning to end, and while a couple of sub plots naturally emerge to introduce fresh purposes and motives, they don t steal much of the spotlight The rather small portion of the world introduced in the story is beautifully portrayed and well fleshed out, but most importantly aptly suited to the story The magic, although scarcely used, is still there, playing a role rather than serving a purpose, which is what sets apart Priest of Bones from a number of other fantasy debuts of the past few years The prose is smooth and easy to follow, and that combined with a flowing story, an even pace and a rising tempo, result in one of those books that you could easily read in one go All in all, Priest of Bones is Low Fantasy at its finest, and I wouldn t hesitate to call it Debut of the Year.

  9. says:

    This was a pretty good grimdark fantasy tale It was basically a gangster story set in a fantasy world so was not your typical epic fantasy tale in terms of scope but that worked well enough as the story was interesting and the fantasy world McLean created might have been an intimate one but for all that it was well crafted and intriguing The premise was good Tomas Piety, like most other males of his generation, has been fighting in the Queen s War in Abingon for years since being conscripted at the start of the war The story picks up in the aftermath of the fall of Abingon With the war over the majority of the conscripts in the army have been released to go back to their lives so Thomas Piety, like many others, heads back home to restart his life Of course things are a lot complicated as years of war have left the local economy in ruins so both jobs and food are in short supply and poverty is abundant Not ideal for the thousands of violent men cut adrift from their army pay packets For Thomas Piety the end of the war means he gets to go home to Ellinburg and resume his old role as gang boss of the Pious Men The Pious Men lord it over the Skints region of the city Well, they did until all the Pious Men got conscripted to the army Thomas returns home to find foreigners have seized his territory and business interests The good news is that with jobs in short supply Thomas has managed to convince a bunch of his old army brothers to return to Ellinburg with him His brother manages the same and soon the Piety brothers set about reminding everyone in Ellinburg that the Pious Men are not to be fucked with if one wants to keep their guts on the inside It ended up being a good story Thomas was not a particularly likeable guy but he was not so awful that he become too loathsome to tolerate He was a villainous gangster but he had a few morals and just enough charisma going for him that I felt myself rooting for him against his various enemies It definitely helped that most of them were gangsters who were even worse people than he was There was some added intrigue injected into the gangster elements of the story and that came from the fact that foreign agents were operating in Ellinburg and Thomas had been singled out by his countries equivalent of MI5 to root them out It gave the story that extra edge and delivered a fun wild card element to the happenings Peter McLean is a talented storyteller and he has an engaging writing style so it was easy to get sucked into this story and world The world building was good The Ellinburg setting was pretty intimate but we got hints of the wider world via peoples memories of the war and the intrigue delivered by the presence of foreign agents in the city This was a story low on magic but that is not to say there was none It remained a bit of a mystery but there was still a few mages and witches on the go in this fantasy world I do not think Thomas Piety was a super likeable guy but he was easy enough to root for most of the time and I do think that was an important upgrade from the protagonist of Peter McLean s Burned Man series Priest of Bones is definitely an upgrade on The Burned Man books as the tweaks I felt needed to be made to make Don Drake a tolerable protagonist to root for were made in this story with Thomas Piety It was all done without Thomas losing any of his grit and it definitely made a big difference to my ability to invest in and enjoy McLean s fantasy story Just as I thought it would The other big plus this series had was the pure fantasy setting It meant a lot of the cringey banter of the London setting of The Burned Man books was eliminated and that was a good thing for sure This series also lacked the humour which was to be found in The Burned Man series That was both a strength and a weakness It was a strength as it decreased the amount of cringey moments in the story The Burned Man did get a bit cringey when the humour went awry It was a weakness as well though as when McLean got the humour right in The Burned Man series he got it really right and there was some truly laugh out loud moments to be had That side of McLean s writing was not on display in this series On the whole this was a book with a fairly dark and serious tone but I did not feel like McLean went over the top with the violence or dark bits of the story The balance was OK Which is to say I was happy this was a dark fantasy story that did not end up being an overly depressing read I like dark fantasy but I m not a fan of misery porn and McLean did a great job of keeping on the right side of that distinction so this ended up being a fun and enjoyable tale despite its dark content and serious tone This is still Peter McLean so there was still some cringe to be had This time around it was mostly in the form of the nicknames No one was calling Thomas, Tom Boy, which was a blessing let me tell you, but we did get hit with the likes of Bloody Anne because she liked to kill people rather than because she was the only one menstruating on the crew , Cutter you guessed it, he liked to cut people , Simple Sam he was a bit dim , William the Woman he cried a few times , Black Billy has was not white, obviously , Billy the Boy he was a boy and Billy the Kid has already been ruined lol , Billy Big Baws the gangs notorious exhibitionist , and Milli Vanilli it was later revealed this dude was actually just called Billy but had been lying to folks to look cooler OK, I might have gotten carried away with a few of the nicknames towards the end but you get the picture They brought some of that trying to hard cringe that was in abundance in McLean s UF series On the whole I did feel the cringe in this series was greatly reduced and that definitely made a positive difference There was also less Goodkindisms in this one as McLean cut the old man technology rants and the kinky sadomasochism scenes I cannot say that I liked Thomas or any of his gangster friends but I was not praying for them to be brutally murdered and I was caught up in the story so I feel like this ended up being an interesting and engaging fantasy story Rating 4.5 stars I m not sure if I should round up or down This book was good but just lacked that special something to make it a real favourite and it had a few tiny flaws I ll go ahead and go with the 5 star rating as despite the flaws I was caught up in the story and that is what counts most for me It definitely helps that I ve just finished reading two books in McLean s Burned Man series so know what to expect from him as an author and am into the groove with his style of writing I do feel like I enjoyed his for having read Drake first Audio Note I went the US version of the audio which was narrated by John Lee The UK version was narrated by David Morely Hale I listened to an audio sample and he sounded competent enough but he had a lower class regional UK accent so I gave him a pass It likely fit the characters of the story but I was already familiar with John Lee as a narrator and felt I would enjoy this better with him doing the narration I like his neutral, if slightly aristocratic, accent John Lee gave a good performance of this story but my feel is that both the UK and the US versions of the audio ended up with decent narrators at the helm.

  10. says:

    I listened to the audiobook and I loved it A great, gritty story with a ton of complex characters It s written with air tight assuredness and perfect pacing, so that every chapter flows into the next The climax, especially, was brilliant, and the narration was unbelievably good Who knew there were so many varieties of swarthy Brit The beginning of something truly great, I can tell.

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