I figured it was about time I reviewed this book. I actually thought I had but this book deserves more than the original temporary review I wrote 🙈😂
“Holy fucking wow! I have been way ill and have finally been well enough to finish this incredible book and just wow! I freaking love this series.”
What can I say? I have a way with words.
A few facts about this book:
Title: Priest of Gallows
Author: Peter McLean
Series: War for the Rose Throne | Book Three
Published by Jo Fletcher Books
Here are a few things you can expect from this book…
Gritty and authentic violence
Fantastic characters and bonds of brotherhood
On to the full review…
Priest of Gallows is as addictive as its two previous books and satisfies my fix for Tomas perfectly. I finished Priest of Gallows back in June and I find that I am still reeling waiting for Priest of Crowns.
If you don’t know already the War for the Rose Throne series started out heavily inspired by the TV show Peaky Blinders and is set in a fantasy world. It definitely falls in low fantasy in my opinion but do not think for a second that this book doesn’t stand out amongst its peers. In many cases, it exceeds and outshines other books in its genre. A bold statement I know but once you have read these books you will be inclined to agree. McLean writes gang warfare and violence like you wouldn’t believe, though he doesn’t sprinkle it in glitter no he packs all the emotional grit into it and I’m doing so showcases some of the best character relationships I have read while maintaining a single POV.
This being is the third book of the series and it has grown so much, and while McLean has retained all the elements I appreciated in the previous books he has also upped several other ones. For instance, in this book, we see more political maneuverings and intrigue as we explore new sprawling locations. The shift in this book was well done and completely natural.
“The world of intrigues wasn’t my natural environment. I was a soldier and businessman, for Our Lady’s sake. Politics was a foreign country to me, and I would have been quite happy for it to stay that way, but it seemed that wasn’t going to be the case.”
I don’t plan to go much into the areas I have already covered in my previous reviews but know this book stands out and deserves all the praise. Tomas is one of my favourite characters read, as it Bloody Anne. These characters are multi layered and fully fleshed out they are expertly written. The world is vast and interwoven into the plot with a finesse I rarely see.
Gritty and thought provoking Priest of Gallows is an incredible addition to an already addictive and captivating series.
“People may revere the idea of heroic veterans, but they very seldom have the time or the charity for the broken, battle-shocked men and women that are the reality of what war produces.”
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I would buy the hardback for this whole series and probably any future book McLean writes. Though, I highly recommend the audiobook for this series too as the narrator is perfect and increases the wow factor that comes with this books main character, Tomas.
We are now firmly settled into the new year, or at least I pretend to be! We are only 23 days into January. I thought I would change up my Sundays Seven a little and talk about a few of the new books coming our way next week. Hopefully I can find seven I want to sing about!
I am also going to throw in a few Sci-Fi books that intrigue me, as I don’t read much sci-fi even though I want to. Apparently I’m a little too comfortable with fantasy and romance!
ON TO THE BOOKS…
GOLIATH BY TOCHI ONYEBUCHI
Goliath is one of Tor’s upcoming releases and sounds incredibly interesting with a varying and fun cast of characters from all backgrounds. We have a journalist, a space dweller and a group of labourers all trying to make their way in a violent and harsh world!
In the 2050s, Earth has begun to empty. Those with the means and the privilege have departed the great cities of the United States for the more comfortable confines of space colonies. Those left behind salvage what they can from the collapsing infrastructure. As they eke out an existence, their neighbourhood’s are being cannibalized. Brick by brick, their houses are sent to the colonies, what was once a home now a quaint reminder for the colonists of the world that they wrecked.
A primal biblical epic flung into the future, Goliath weaves together disparate narratives—a space-dweller looking at New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiralling lover; a group of laborers attempting to renew the promises of Earth’s crumbling cities; a journalist attempting to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping—into a richly urgent mosaic about race, class, gentrification, and who is allowed to be the hero of any history.
I love monsters so a story about finding out your family are terrifying monsters calls to me. I am a little sceptical with it being romance and the protag being 16 but it might be a wholesome romance and not be smutty but we shall see!
I also really like this book cover, something about it just works form me.
Plus, I am always intrigued about debuts and what makes them stand out in todays market, so let us see!
It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.
But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.
As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .
Apocalypse. Impending death sentence. Team of outcasts. Thief. Hunted by enemies…
It is like this authors just got all the things I like to read and threw them into one awesome sounding book!
A gifted student foretells an apocalypse. Her reward is a sentence of death.
Fleeing into the unknown she is drawn into a team of outcasts:
A broken soldier, who once again takes up the weapons he’s forbidden to wield and carves a trail back home.
A drunken prince, who steps out from his beloved brother’s shadow and claims a purpose of his own.
An imprisoned thief, who escapes the crushing dark and discovers a gleaming artifact – one that will ignite a power struggle across the globe.
On the run, hunted by enemies old and new, they must learn to trust each other in order to survive in a world evolved in strange, beautiful, and deadly ways, and uncover ancient secrets that hold the key to their salvation.
This book is out of my normal reads but it sounds really quite fun and a little dang emotional.
Imagine your brother vanishing and then coming back older and with news of a war…One of the elements I loved about Sword Of Kaigen was the family drama and the emotional punch it had so the fact I loved that, despite the difference in books, is really drawing me in to this one.
Every family has issues. Most can’t blame them on extraterrestrials.
Evie Shao and her sister, Kass, aren’t on speaking terms. Fifteen years ago on a family camping trip, their father and brother vanished. Their dad turned up days later, dehydrated and confused—and convinced he’d been abducted by aliens. Their brother, Jakob, remained missing. The women dealt with it very differently. Kass, suspecting her college-dropout twin simply ran off, became the rock of the family. Evie traded academics to pursue alien conspiracy theories, always looking for Jakob.
When Evie’s UFO network uncovers a new event, she goes to investigate. And discovers Jakob is back. He’s different—older, stranger, and talking of an intergalactic war—but the tensions between the siblings haven’t changed at all. If the family is going to come together to help Jakob, then Kass and Evie are going to have to fix their issues, and fast. Because the FBI is after Jakob, and if their brother is telling the truth, possibly an entire space armada, too.
The perfect combination of action, imagination and heart, Light Years From Home is a touching drama about a challenge as difficult as saving the galaxy: making peace with your family…and yourself.
Ohhhh this book has me hella interested. It sounds different and filled with drama. Warrior women, mothers, queendoms and so much more. this one could truly be something amazing.
A centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born in this sweeping epic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Circe.
Five hundred years of peace between queendoms shatters when girls inexplicably stop being born. As the Drought of Girls stretches across a generation, it sets off a cascade of political and personal consequences across all five queendoms of the known world, throwing long-standing alliances into disarray as each queendom begins to turn on each other—and new threats to each nation rise from within.
Uniting the stories of women from across the queendoms, this propulsive, gripping epic fantasy follows a warrior queen who must rise from childbirth bed to fight for her life and her throne, a healer in hiding desperate to protect the secret of her daughter’s explosive power, a queen whose desperation to retain control leads her to risk using the darkest magic, a near-immortal sorcerer demigod powerful enough to remake the world for her own ends—and the generation of lastborn girls, the ones born just before the Drought, who must bear the hopes and traditions of their nations if the queendoms are to survive.
I was recently introduced to Staveley’s work and loved it so just based off his previous work I am really excited for this book. Though I do want to finish his other works first before tackling this.
The Annurian Empire is disintegrating. The advantages it used for millennia have fallen to ruin. The ranks of the Kettral have been decimated from within, and the kenta gates, granting instantaneous travel across the vast lands of the empire, can no longer be used.
In order to save the empire, one of the surviving Kettral must voyage beyond the edge of the known world through a land that warps and poisons all living things to find the nesting ground of the giant war hawks. Meanwhile, a monk turned con-artist may hold the secret to the kenta gates.
But time is running out. Deep within the southern reaches of the empire and ancient god-like race has begun to stir.
What they discover will change them and the Annurian Empire forever. If they can survive.
This one has been on my radar for a while now as I received an ARC of it a good while ago! I have waited and waited to read this but I have a week off now so it is time to dive into this!
The Justice of Kings, the first in a new epic fantasy trilogy, follows the tale of Sir Konrad Vonvalt, an Emperor’s Justice – a detective, judge and executioner all in one. As he unravels a web of secrets and lies, Vonvalt discovers a plot that might destroy his order once and for all – and bring down the entire Empire.
As an Emperor’s Justice, Sir Konrad Vonvalt always has the last word. His duty is to uphold the law of the empire using whatever tools he has at his disposal: whether it’s his blade, the arcane secrets passed down from Justice to Justice, or his wealth of knowledge of the laws of the empire. But usually his reputation as one of the most revered—and hated—Justices is enough to get most any job done.
When Vonvalt investigates the murder of a noblewoman, he finds his authority being challenged like never before. As the simple case becomes more complex and convoluted, he begins to pull at the threads that unravel a conspiracy that could see an end to all Justices, and a beginning to lawless chaos across the empire.
There you have it, seven books that I have found that are releasing very soon and looking back at them 2022 looks pretty damned promising. We have futuristic and intriguing sounding books and some awesome sounding fantast too!
Welcome to my first addition to the site. The five people who read my blog may know me already, but if you do not, my name is William, a life long rural New Yorker in the United States. I love Fantasy, but am also a fan of Science Fiction & Horror. For my introduction here I bring you my review of Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. This is book one of Muir’s Locked Tomb series. I have to say, I’m impressed. Gideon the Ninth is such a unique story. It combines Soft Science Fiction, Necromantic Fantasy, and Punk Rock Insanity. I honestly cannot come up with a more suitable description than that. I had wanted to read this before it was even available. I only put it off so long because it seemed so insane and knew more books were going to follow it. Finally, needing something different to dive into, I give you my review of Gideon the Ninth.
“One flesh, one end, bitch.”
This book aptly follows Gideon Nav, an indentured servant of the Ninth House within a Galactic Empire. She is the young adult ginger warrior of this series, complete with skull face paint, dark cloak, sword, and snarky attitude. Quite the picture painted for you there. Even as an indentured servant of a Necromantic space faring empire with an Immortal God Emperor, she gives zero shits about angering anyone. To say she is confident would be an underrepresentation of an amazing character.
“Why was I born so attractive?”
In the beginning of this, depending on your sense of humor, Gideon may overwhelm some readers. Her humor hits me just fine, but others maybe not. Do not fear though dear readers. Gideon has to adjust quite quickly, based on new circumstances that forces her to alter how she interacts with others. You will find much of her over the top attitude is directed toward our other major character, Harrow, the Ninth House’s Heir. While Gideon is a master with the sword. Harrow is a master of Necromancy. Quite the dysfunctional duo. What they do have in common is that they are both amazingly written. A servant and an heir. Completely different statuses. Different personalities. Different viewpoints. A great adventure for us.
“Because everyone would have throttled you within the first five minutes otherwise”
While this is a very character driven story there is much going on in the backdrop. This galactic empire has nine noble houses. The Ninth house guards a locked tomb for the empire and are essentially a death cult. You will get to meet and learn about all the houses in this book though. Muir does this without revealing much about the wider universe. She’s super tricky here. Another thing she is quite good at is there is not much future tech, or weapons in this book…yet you won’t care. The only thing that really lets you know there is space travel, are spaceships. Even then we do not get much of even them. This is a brave choice, but one that works exceptionally well in this book.
“I cannot conceive of a universe without you in it”
This space faring empire relies heavily on Necromancy and swords as their primary fighting tactic. Though how they wage war will be interesting to see. I cannot imagine other civilizations rely on necromancy and swords. We get teased that there is a war against someone out there, we will need to wait on that it seems. This intro book is mostly a complex mystery that takes place in a huge, haunted structure, perfect! All the heirs and their cavaliers (specially trained bodyguards) are invited to this place to seemingly compete to become a Lyctor. Lyctors are powerful immortal Necromancers that work directly with the emperor. This is of course Harrow’s seemingly main goal and as for Gideon, well, she just wants her freedom. Well actually she also wants to be awesome. These characters grow exceptionally well throughout this mysterious place full of death and intrigue. You will be trying to figure out what is happening and every time you think you might know, you’re wrong!
“Yes you can, it’s just less great and less hot”
The fact that Muir combines fantasy and science fiction but doesn’t reveal too much about either while giving you amazing character work shows me that she is an author to watch. The characters in Gideon the Ninth feel extremely unique, special in their own right, they really come alive. You would think a bunch of noble necromancers would be similar, but they’re oddly not. Muir is able to break apart fields in necromancy and types of house personalities exceptionally well. I cannot wait to read book two to see how she expands on this. Of course, I should also warn people as a world of necromancers there will be a lot of gross descriptions of blood, sinew, corpses, bones…well you get the idea.
“Maybe it’s that I find the idea comforting…that thousands of years after you’re gone…is when you really live. That your echo is louder than your voice is.”
Personally, the most important thing I took from this book, is that we are not all so different. As a thirty-nine-year-old heterosexual male, I felt connected to this young gay warrior woman in a futuristic landscape. Representation in media is important for this very reason. We’re all not so different as we believe. I digress though. Gideon and Harrow are two characters that have shot up my favorites list. Not just as individuals, but as a duo. Book two I know will be from Harrow’s perspective and I’m betting it will be quite wild to get the PoV of a necromancer in this world. If you’re looking for something quite different in the SFF genre I highly recommend this book. I will be keeping an eye on Tamsyn Muir as her career grows.
Thank You for choosing to read my first write up for the site. If you wish to connect with me more I’m quite active on Twitter @thatdarkrogue.
Here are a few things you can expect from this book:
An main character with a HUGE personality and a wee bit of a potty mouth;
A fun adventure read;
A truly fascinating world; and
dark happenings you didn’t quite expect.
On to the full review…
The Library of the Dead was such a fun and wild ride, Ropa is the bread and butter of this story. She such an interested kid with so much charisma and personality you cant help but love her spunk! I can’t lie, I do like the whole reluctant hero from time to time, and Ropa was such a fresh take on it. It was the same old trope but because Ropa is such a character and the people that surround her are just as great it didn’t feel repetitive.
I love that Ropa was this quirky and clever girl, her situation is not to great and she makes do with what she can in a world which doesn’t give you anything, so seeing that despite her struggles she still had a heart of gold was endearing to say the least.
The Library of the Dead also has some quite dark moments, despite its almost joyous feel the world is dark, bad things happen and it does not shy from bloody violence when the story requires it.
I think the decrepit world that Huchu has created is great, it was fun imagining this world and all the ghosts that fill it. It has dystopia feels and you can tell that the Scotland of this story is not in a good place, it has unjust and scummy police, gangs and clans and so much more. It is a truly fascinating world Huchu has created. Then infuse that with magic and the paranormal it becomes quite a unique setting. It was fun to see the way the Scottish people live and work in this world, and how the dead still have their roles to play, although some encounters really didn’t feel necessary for the story they were a good tell of what the world was like and how it operated.
Which leads me to what I think is the main weakness of this book. Its plot. It is quite uneven at times, and as I said has full sections of unnecessary encounters, while they are still fun to read because Ropa is amazing they just weren’t necessary.
Though this book is definitely a character driven book it isn’t my typical character driven book, you can feel the youth of Ropa and her cynicism is fun too but it isn’t a deep and complex character story. However, she is a young 14 year old lass and her character and its development was amazing and appropriate to that.
I quite liked the magic within this story too, I didn’t really expect it to be so scientific or structured, when dealing with the ghosts and ghouls is felt quite soft and easy, a little whimsical but this is not the case as we find out when Ropa begins learning it in more depth.
Overall, this was such a fun read set in a unique world, it is a clear page turner and will have you laughing, cursing and even feeling all warm and fuzzy! Ropa is a distinctive and utterly brilliant main character, she was a joy to read as she is just the right amount of bad mouthed, kookiness you will no doubt love.
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I would pick this up in either audiobook from eBook, it is a great debut and worth a read, especially in the spooky season.
Todays review will be, as the title suggests, a review of Ring Shout! I read this book as a part of my last stand, the last stand against the impending Goodreads Challenge of 2020 and I am glad I managed to fit it in.
Here are a few things you can expect from Ring Shout:
Prohibition era Georgian historical fiction meets dark fantasy;
Monster hunting magic with a little witch doctor vibes;
Distinct and loveable characters;
A cultural and historical work of art; and
Utterly fabulous writing.
On to the full review…
Would you look at that another horror infused book I LOVED! Still not a full blown horror but hello horror elements…but anyway to this book.
Ring Shout, genuinely, is one of those books that you really don’t think your words can accurately describe. There is so much to this book…it is a lesson in history; a journey of love, hate and friendship; an emotionally engrossing tale inspired by African lore; and a clever and thought provoking tale of racism.
This is my first time reading anything of Clark’s and it is fantastic, enough that I added much of this other works to my ever growing TBR.
I remember seeing this on Twitter, and reading the blurb and just thinking how fab this book sounded. I have never read anything like it and immediately pre-ordered it from Amazon. It is the KKK and in their truest light, hateful demons. The historical setting of Ring Shout is incredible, Clark has given you everything you need to truly feel the world in which Ring Shout is set from its people, culture and even its distinctive streets! There is a level of intent in everything Clark says, every word is used to maximise this tale, and it is incredibly done to say this is less than 200 pages. It is a fast paced ride that just keeps on giving, it is a clear page-turner that you really don’t want to stop reading and sure enough I was up until silly o’clock in the morning trying to finish this story. Then when you have finished you wish there was another 300+ pages with these people.
This story is told through the incredible voice of Maryse Boudreaux, and what a woman she is along with her companions Sadie and Chef. All three of these characters are deeply engaging and so utterly distinctive you can’t help but love them. There is something so authentic about everyone you encounter from our main characters to our bad guys. The world is also incredible, I felt everything. I was cold and eerie in the other place, I was revelling and trying not to smile at a drunk Sadie and so much more. Every encounter you experience in this novella you feel, every scene you are 100% involved in. I truly loved this book, and the level of detail to its world, culture and traditions are nothing short of inspiring.
I do not for one second feel like my words have done this novella justice. Ring Shout is an incredible story with its thrilling characters, a riveting world and utterly immersive world and so much more. 100% read this book folks, you won’t be disappointed.
BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE
HARDBACK. HARDBACK. HARDBACK. God lawwwd hardback all the damned way…this book is phenomenal. It is so much more than it’s 192 pages.
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Happy Sunday Bookish Folk!
I have been reading a lot more over the last two months, I read a lot anyway but I made a big push in December for the Goodreads goal and January saw quite a few books too. It was some of my January reads that actually inspired this post, two books in particular…The Bear and the Nightingale and A Ritual of Bone. These books were such atmospheric books, they truly transported you into their worlds and you felt the moods they imagined.
So, I’m ready to find more books of that nature. I truly appreciate brilliant world building but at the same time it is my least coveted aspect in a book. I am much more for character development and plot. Don’t get me wrong I want world-building but I sit firmly in the category of moderate world building. I don’t need everything told to me in explicit detail, I like to fill in the gaps myself but having read the above two book I now fid myself wanting more of them, not meticulous world building but immersive and atmospheric reads.
ON TO THE BOOKS…
The Bear and the Nightingale BY Katherine Arden
This is an amazing book, I had been told on more than one occasion that this book was really atmospheric, and it was honestly the first time I had ever heard a book be described as such. So, little ole me was like okkkk, good. It wasn’t until I read this book that I truly understood just how accurate this was.
It is the dark and stormy night that makes you shiver and feel like you need to throw a few more wooden logs onto your fire. The mood is clear and purposeful.
When I think of what atmospheric is, it is so many things but for this novel it is much about the mood. It is that obscure haunting feeling that fills you as you slowly reveal what this book gives you, the slowly unravelling of the books events…
I have spoken to this a few people about this book and all of them have said in some way or another that this is such an engrossing and enchanting book and made even more immersive by the beautiful prose.
Now, this one might seem like a little bit of an off one but one praise that comes up quite a lot for this book is that is des an incredible job at giving that dark and foreboding feeling with magic and strange creatures.