BOOK REVIEW | A RITUAL OF BONE BY LEE C. CONLEY & NARRATED BY RJ BAYLEY

Hello Bookish Folk!

Today I will be posting my review of Lee Conley’s book ‘A Ritual of Bone’. Firstly, I would like to Lee for sending me an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I also won a copy of audiobook for this book to through a Storyteller on Tour giveaway!

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: A Ritual of Bone
  • Author: Lee C. Conley
  • Narrated by: RJ Bayley
  • Series: The Dead Sagas (Book One)
  • Pages: 384
  • Narration Length: 9 Hours 49 Minutes

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

“Only valour and steel can stand against the rising dead”

Arnar is a land of warriors, its people as stalwart as the stones themselves. In a land of dark forests and ancient hill forts, a forgotten evil is awoken by curious minds. 

The Great Histories and the Sagas say nothing of this evil, long passed from the memory of even the studious scholars of the College. For centuries, the scholars of Arnar have kept these records and preserved the knowledge and great deeds of a proud people. The story of these peoples forever chronicled in the Sagas of the Great Histories. 

But now the evil spreads and the dead walk in its wake, terrible creatures roam the night and even the spirits are restless. The Dead Sagas could perhaps be the final chapters of these great records. 

Many threads entwine to tell this Saga, interweaving the tales of those who played their part in the search for answers and ultimately their fight for survival. Amid plague, invasion and terror, the inexorable rise of the dead sends a kingdom scrabbling to its knees.

This Dark Fantasy Epic combines dark malign horror and gritty survival adventure as the Dead Sagas unfold in a world where honour and renown is all, where beasts and savages lurk in the wilderness, and where sword, axe and shield is all that stands between the living and the grasping hands of the dead.

ORDER HERE: Audible | Kindle (Available on Kindle Unlimited too) | Paperback

Review:

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

  • ZOMBIES;
  • A brilliant fantasy-horror;
  • A brilliant Nordic influenced debut;
  • Skyrim vibes; and
  • A captivating cast of characters in a brilliant and atmospheric world.

The Audiobook…

The audiobook to this is great, I listened to maybe 50% of this book via audiobook and I really enjoyed it.

On to the full review…

A Ritual of bone is a book I didn’t know I needed, it is not often you see (or at least I can only think of one other example) zombies mixed with fantasy. There may well be other books out there but none that I know of, nor have I looked for them in all honestly, which works both to my advantage and my detriment. On the one hand I got to experience this book and really enjoy it as something wholly new to me, and on the other hand…I’ve been missing out. This book so finely straddles the line between horror and fantasy, and it works. Add in the nordic influences and you have a killer book.

Lee managed to weave many different aspects into one very enjoyable world, and he found a clear and expertly done balance in his use of these elements. The world building in A Ritual of Bone was great, and oh soo immersive. It sounds a wee bit odd but it really reminded me of the movie Sleepy Hollow, not for the story but how it was creepy and eerie. It was strange and you could feel how frightening it was for its characters. There is such a well built fear in these lands, they don’t have a clue what it is happening and it keeps happening in these smaller towns and no one thinks they are going to be believed, and rightly so. It is a great way to build drama and tension throughout this story.

Lee is a superb storyteller and really managed to showcase the level tension and constant ill feeling present. He also masterfully builds tension and constantly ups the stakes while giving you all the shock and awe you want in a zombies infused story.

Another aspect I really enjoyed about this was the college, it reminded a little of the College of Winterhold from Skyrim and I like that while they were clearly involved in the origins of this horror story they were detached enough from it too, and we were able to experience this scourge of sorts as it happens and grows and how all the people in this world react to it.

I was surprised to realise just how big the cast of this story is, I don’t know what I was really expecting but I am so glad for this books scope because it only added to its enjoyment. Each character has something unique and imaginative about them and each POV you read from was too good.

Overall, this is a great read, and as a person who hasn’t read any horror served as a nice introduction into a genre I would like to get into at some point!


THE RANKS: 

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

BUY THE PAPERBACK…I would definitely grab this in its paperback form and add it to my shelves. It is a great read and a gem when you think of how well it has blended several elements from two different genres together.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK TOUR: THE LOST SENTINEL BY SUZANNE ROGERSON

Welcome back to The Book in Hand, as you may know I’m Sam and I’m back working with Storytellers on Tour! I had such an amazing experience last time I couldn’t help but sign up to some more!

For full details about this tour then head on over to the Storytellers on Tour Book Tour Page.

My Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A few facts about The Lost Sentinel:

  • Title: The Lost Sentinel
  • Author: Suzanne Rogerson
  • Series: Silent Sea Chronicles (Book One)
  • Publisher: Self Published by Suzanne Rogerson
  • Pages: 363

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.

Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel – the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic? 

Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles.

Sound good? Get the BOX SET on Amazon UK | Amazon US

This epic fantasy box set contains:

The Lost Sentinel (Book 1)

The Sentinel’s Reign (Book 2)

The Sentinel’s Alliance (Book 3)

Review:

The Lost Sentinel is the first book in the Silent Sea Chronicles and we take a trip into the magical world of Kalaya. Kalaya has a small population of magic wielders called mystics. The Lost Sentinel follows a few of the typical fantasy tropes with a dwindling magic, the orphaned hero and a few more but Suzanne does well to write these in a way that they don’t feel tired and overused. The only issue with using these tropes is that there is an air or predictability to the story.

Suzanne manages to create a good level of tension throughout her story however with the fact that no one is really safe in the lands of Kalaya. We journey through Kalaya via a few different POV’s and I have to say I probably preferred the side characters as they were super interesting. Farrell was really interesting and fun to read.

The world that Suzanne creates is an compelling and interesting one, it was great to see the world through the different POV’s ad the challenges each character faced.

This is a fast paced book that is constantly moving so you tend to get through this book fairly quickly, and while I sometimes like a faster pace I did see this impact the characters and relationships. At 10% the main love interest had professed his love for our main character. I would have preferred greater character development and a better foundation for the romance but I imagine this is something that will be covered in the following books. The plot is filled with action and constantly moving parts.

This is a super short review compared to my others though don’t take that as a negative this book is still an enjoyable book and it is a good introduction to the series as we get a brief introduction to who our characters really are.

I think this book would be a good read for those just getting into fantasy or who don’t read it often but sometimes want an escape from their usual reading as it gives you all the things we love about fantasy just not in the detail a more seasoned fantasy reader would want.

About Suzanne..

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two children and a crazy puppy.

Her writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Now an author of four novels including the recently completed Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and a Czech translation of her debut, Visions of Zarua, Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!

She loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

Suzanne collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Ways to get in touch with Suzanne: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Newsletter

Thanks for reading guys!