Priest of Bones

Priest of Bones

3.98 (3,834 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Charismatic and very more-ish' Mark Lawrence, bestselling author of Red Sister

'Sixty-five thousand battle-shocked, trained killers came home to no jobs, no food and the plague. What did Her Majesty think was going to happen?'

Tomas Piety takes his duties seriously: as a soldier, as a priest of Our Lady of Eternal Sorrows and as a leader of men. He has come home from the war to reclaim his family business, to provide for his men and to ensure the horrors of Abingon can never happen in Ellinburg.

But things have changed: his crime empire has been stolen and the people of Ellinburg - his people - have run out of food and hope and places to hide. With his best friend Bloody Anne, his war-damaged brother Jochan and his new gang, the Pious Men, Tomas sets out to reclaim what was his.

And as Tomas is dragged into a web of political intrigue by the sinister Queen's Men, forced to work against the foreign infiltrators lurking in the backstreet taverns, brothels and gambling dens of the Stink, one thing becomes clear.

The war has just begun.

'Fans of Daniel Polansky, Mark Lawrence or, dare I say, Blackwing will most appreciate this book' - Ed McDonald, author of Blackwing
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 130 x 200 x 24mm | 240g
  • Jo Fletcher Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 178747349X
  • 9781787473492
  • 175,009

Review Text

Peaky Blinders with swords
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Review quote

A charismatic and very more-ish book with solid prose and a strong voice. Priest of Bones is a story of organised crime with shades of the Godfather. It sounds grim and dark . . . and it is . . . but our priest of bones is quite the humanitarian for a ruthless crime lord. With high-tempo action it's just very fun to read * Mark Lawrence, author of Red Sister * Priest of Bones can be effectively summarised as "gangsters in fantasyville". McLean manages to combine two of my most liked elements in fantasy - a quick-moving plot and characters with realistic relationships. Fans of Daniel Polansky, Mark Lawrence or, dare I say, Blackwing will most appreciate this book * Ed McDonald, author of Blackwing * Fresh and compelling . . . Mashing together soldiers, gangsters, magic and war into a heady mix that is a hulking big brother to The Lies of Locke Lamora, this is the first in an unmissable series * Anna Stephens, author of Godblind * Peaky Blinders with swords -- Joel Cunningham * Barnes and Noble * Bringing to mind a fantastical Peaky Blinders, Peter McLean's new novel Priest of Bones is informed just as much by his favourite TV shows as by his love of 'swords and horses' fantasy fiction * SFX * I found myself immediately sucked in to the grim and very dark world McLean has created . . . I loved this book and can't wait for the next one. * Sue Tingey, author of Marked * Exciting, narratively taut and a commentary on the terrible things war and violence do to people . . . I wish I had written this * RJ Barker, author of Age of Assassins * Priest of Bones is a fast-paced fantasy filled with magic and combat, but with the intrigue and strategy of a crime thriller. McLean writes soldiers and their experience of returning from war like someone who has been there. There is excellent character development throughout; I'd follow the Piety brothers through any story * Michael Mammay, author of Planetside * Absolutely sensational . . .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 the Fantasy Debut of the Year * Booknest * If violence and planning, honour among thieves and treachery among lawmen, blood and profanity and spies and explosions are your thing, Priest of Bones is the book for you. Get it. Read it. Wait impatiently for the sequel * J.C. Nelson, author of The Reburialist * 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 . . . one of the finest grimdark books of the year * Fantasy Book Review * A rattling good time for anyone who wishes there was more mob in their genre lit * SciFiNow * Priest of Bones is an intoxicating blend of fantasy and gangsters that left me wanting more * Tattooed Book Geek * Priest of Bones is as fast moving and sure-footed as a stallion and as bloody as the battles from which Tomas Piety has returned * Geek Chocolate * I loved it all, it's damned near perfect. McLean deftly explores the nature of war, loyalty, revenge and redemption, whilst crafting a truly engaging tale. Action, introspection, wicked sharp blades and copious amounts of cheap brandy are the order of the day. It turns out down and dirty crime novels with a razor-sharp fantastical edge are my new favourite thing * The Eloquent Page * One hell of a page turner . . . Priest of Bones blew me away. Heck, for me, this is one of the best books I've read this year * The Fantasy Hive * The unputdownable rate is very high: the fast paced and fascinating plot keep you hooked till the end and you cannot stop reading as you want to see how the things are developing . . . A must read if you want a very good and enjoyable book * AnnaRelix * Priest Of Bones is a magnificent crime thriller that's set in a secondary fantasy world. Most crime readers would be forgiven if they momentarily forgot that this isn't set on Earth but some other world. Peter McLean proves himself to a very adept writer and joins the pantheon of brilliant British minds such as J. Abercrombie, M. Billingham, M. Lawrence, D. Mina, etc. Priest Of Bones is that rare title that straddles two different genres and showcases the brilliance of both * Fantasy Book Critic * A strong, entertaining read . . . The plot develops really well, there's a sense of ever growing threat and the pacing is absolutely spot on. I cannot fault the writing or the way that I was hooked to the page waiting to see what would happen next. I very much look forward to the next book * Lynn's Book Blog * A truly intense read . . . An excellent book, and the start of what looks to be a series worth following -- Corrina Lawson * Barnes and Noble * One of the finest grimdark books of the year . . . A brilliant debut grimdark outing that is fascinating, gripping and has everything that I look for in a crime-focused novel * You and I Books * With its fast-moving plot, intense conflicts, interesting characters, and compelling narrative, Priest of Bones is sure to be among the favourite reads for grimdark fantasy fans this year . . . A great read . . . Fans of the Black Company, Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, and the like will surely eat up Priest of Bones. Highly recommended * Grimdark Magazine * McLean's writing is punchy and fast-paced . . . Anyone itching to read a high-stakes story should pick up this delightful combination of medieval fantasy and crime drama * Publishers Weekly * One hell of a story . . . Priest of Bones defies classification in that it is a phenomenal story with sensational characters and should be read by everyone . . . Grab this one as soon as it is officially available and add it to the top of your reading list, you won't regret it * Out of This World SFF Reviews * All told, I really liked this one. It was fast paced enough that I never wanted to put it down, and slow-paced enough that I wanted to read it slowly and savor it * Superstar Drifter * Gritty, violent and highly addictive this book kept me glued to the pages until the very end . . . 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 * Meg's Book Rack * A fantasy gangster book that captivates the reader from the very first lines * Chill and Read * Priest of Bones is a gritty, realistic, emotional, diverse & entertaining beginning to the War for the Rose Throne series. Really looking forward to the next one! * The Grimdragon * With its charismatic merging of backstreet magic, gangland conflict and political power struggles in a city teetering on the edge of destruction, Priest of Bones launches a breathtaking opening salvo in the War for the Rose Throne series * BookPage * The best fantasy book I have read so far this year * Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell * I can't recommend this book highly enough * The Bookwyrm Speaks * A truly absorbing story with unexpected twists that reminds us that there's more than meets the eye . . . Expect a bloody and thrilling quest for conquest in Peter McLean's latest debut novel * Bookidote * Priest of Bones is an unexpected read that deals with faith, family and loyalty as much as it does gangland politics, and it's definitely worth your time . . . By the time you finish this novel, you'll definitely want to see more of it * Culturess * So damn readable . . . A compelling tale . . . If you like intrigue, blood, and fizzing character interactions, Priest of Bones is a novel for you * Geek Dad * There's a flavour of Scott Lynch's great Gentleman Bastards series in this fine fantasy opener . . . A book which by turns gets in a headlock then gives you a hug -- Jon Wise * Sunday Sport * A really original fantasy novel . . . Very enjoyable * British Fantasy Society * I give Priest of Bones 5 stars. It's something special * Rob J Hayes, author of The Ties That Bind series * Exhilarating and incredibly compelling . . . If you're a fan of fast-paced gangster story, it's crucial that you read this book as soon as possible * Novel Notions * If you are a fan of grimdark books and haven't read Priest of Bones yet, what are you waiting for? It is easily one of the best fantasy books I've read this year! * I Should Read That * The best books are those which feel alive. Those with a vivid voice, an engrossing story, and characters who feel so real that they jump off the page. Books that go beyond being just words on a page, and become an experience. Priest of Bones was one such book. * The Fantasy Inn * With prose as sharp as a knife to the throat and a plot that'll cut you in its bloody beats, it has everything a fantasy fan could want * Fanfiaddict *
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About Peter McLean

Peter McLean was born in London and went to school in the shadow of Norwich Cathedral, where he spent most of his time making up stories. He grew up alternating dingy nightclubs with studying martial arts and practical magic before settling to a career in corporate IT. The noir urban fantasy Burned Man series was followed by the highly acclaimed grimdark fantasy quartet, starting with Priest of Bones, Priest of Lies and Priest of Gallows. The final book about Tomas Piety will be Priest of Crowns.

You will find Peter Mclean on Twitter (@PeteMC666), on Facebook (@PeterMcLeanAuthor) and at his website,
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Rating details

3,834 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 32% (1,245)
4 42% (1,597)
3 19% (747)
2 5% (179)
1 2% (66)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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