‘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 – hispeople – 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.
I read Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1) by UK author Peter McLean.
After the War of the Roses and the fall of Avignon, Tomas Piety and his brother Yoacham, return broken in body and soul with the band of soldiers who had been in their commandment before the disbandment of the armies. The Pious brothers lead their so,ideas back to their home in the city streets of Ellinburg – the industrial city where the brothers ruled parts of the city and businesses as gangsters.
Return to Ellinburg is to find the Pious businesses overrun by unscrupulous Nordic overlords. Tomas soon finds himself forced into business partnerships with the Queen’s spies who manipulate and manoeuvre Tomas to take uncomfortable lengths to reclaim his city.
Priest of Bones is a complex novel where historical fantasy meets grimdark thriller. The characters are highly unique and individualised with each undergoing the traumas of war – both the mental and physical tolls of war. Despite the darkness of the background to this story, there is a dark humour and thriller aspect of the Grimdark antiheroes. It is lavish, mysterious and filled with thoroughly human characters.
Highly recommended for readers who enjoy historical fantasy, grimdark, supernatural, strong characters and thrillers. The next three volumes promise to be just as intoxicating!
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