BOOK REVIEW | PRIEST OF BONES BY PETER MCLEAN & NARRATED BY DAVID MORLEY HALE

Hello and Happy Friday, Bookish Folk!

Well, the weekend is here and I imagine many of you are thankful for it, so why not start it of in the best way possible with news of a book you should definitely add to your TBR…

A few facts about this book and audiobook narration:

  • Title: Priest of Bones
  • Author: Peter McLean
  • Narrated By: David Morley Hale
  • Series: War of the Rose Throne
  • Published by Jo Fletcher Books
  • Pages: 352
  • Narration Length: 10 Hours 41 Minutes

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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 more complicated.

As 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.

ORDER HERE: Audible | Amazon.co.uk

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from this book:

  • A dark gangster inspired fantasy;
  • Brutal and gritty realness;
  • Cool named weapons;
  • Low-fantasy world;
  • Incredible characters you will love; and
  • A brilliantly paced and exciting story you are sure to consume in one.

A little about the narration:

Priest of Bones is a fine audiobook and well worth using a credit for. It is narrated by David Morley Hale, and he is perfect for this book. Though, I have to admit at first I wasn’t sure. When I first started listening I thought he was a little dry, but once I realised and felt comfortable in the tone of the book (which is pretty quickly) it became a so so narration to an outstanding one. Hale perfectly represents Tomas in this audiobook and the misery that this book is filled with, it isn’t all roses in this world and these men have just come back from a harrowing war…

On to the full review…

Ok, so while don’t really like comparing books to other books though I do sometimes state if a book gives me certain movie/TV Show vibes and Priest of Bones is one of the books. This book gives me SERIOUS Peaky Blinder’s vibes, sometimes it is jarringly similar and other times you can simply see it may have been the thing that gave McLean an idea but he makes it his own. Though, I don’t feel too bad saying that as I hear the book was inspired by Peaky Blinders and it, in my opinion, it superior to the show and I loved the show so that is saying something.

As my first Peter McLean book I was really impressed with the prose, there was some repetition of phrases but it was done well to my mind (see what I did there…). It created a clear and distinct character voice and while I noticed it sometimes I didn’t always clock the phrase because it felt fitting to the dialogue and not like McLean had just thrown it in for good measure. 

McLean is another author who has written in first person and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recently reviewed Ed McDonald’s Blackwing and mentioned that, despite my preference for third person, I really enjoyed the first person narrative. I can safely say the same for Priest of Bones too, it is refreshing to gain a deeper insight into our main character and what drives them, and shows a great degree of skill that other characters can still shine despite the first person narrative.

And shine they do!

I thought, the concept of Tomas being a priest was brilliant and I loved how McLean incorporated it into not only the plot but the storytelling too. It allowed us to see deeper glimpses into out other characters, be that an awful past that made them who they are today or a hilarious prank on another person, yes simple Sam, I’m looking at you pissing in Jochan’s drink and farting on his sleeping face.

McLean has created such a diverse and varied cast of characters and yet they all gel together really well. We have characters such as Bloody Ann the grizzled veteran who isn’t used to this type of life; Billy the Boy the young but unnervingly clever and skilled boy; Cutter the silent killer; and Jochan the slightly psychotic brother. We obviously have Tomas too, and what a character he is. He is thoughtful, respectful, a crime boss, a killer and a priest. So much and yet he is an incredible character.

Priest of Bones has so much to offer, it has incredible action sequences that put fear into any opposing gang, emotional struggles and heartfelt encounters but also cleverly woven political machinations. Not everything is as it seems in this fascinating world.

Priest of Bones’ fantastic characters and its entertaining plot make this book an excellent paced first instalment that you just can’t put down. There is so much progression in this book, McLean makes use of every word and it feels brilliantly paced for it. It isn’t so fast that you don’t appreciate the build up and isn’t slow that your just waiting for something to happen. It is so even and comfortable for the reader. If pacing can be described as comfortable, mmmm, mehh I’m still going to use it!

Overall, I was SO impressed with this book and I absolutely can not wait to continue it with Queen Timy from Queen’s Book Asylum in February!


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

BUY THE FOOKIN HARD BACK Y’ALL! This is an incredible dark gangster fantasy in a low-magic world with such an incredible cast of characters! You are sure to love it.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!

6 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW | PRIEST OF BONES BY PETER MCLEAN & NARRATED BY DAVID MORLEY HALE

  1. Pingback: BOOK OF THE MONTH | JANUARY | _ The Book in Hand _

  2. JonBob

    Feel like we’re reading a lot of the same grimdark books recently! I loved this one too, and I DID wonder if it was directly inspired by Peaky Blinders cos there are a lot of massive similarities. Agree with you as well about Tomas Piety’s ‘voice’; the way he speaks in particular, oft-repeated phrases definitely makes him come to life when it had the potential to start grating. Peter McLean did a very good job with that. I listened to the audiobook too and thought it was absolutely spot on for the character and the vibe of the story. All round great book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: BOOK REVIEW | PRIEST OF LIES BY PETER MCLEAN & NARRATED BY DAVID MORLEY HALE | _ The Book in Hand _

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