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  • Priest of Bones

  • War for the Rose Throne, Book 1
  • By: Peter McLean
  • Narrated by: David Morley Hale
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (162 ratings)

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Priest of Bones

By: Peter McLean
Narrated by: David Morley Hale
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Summary

'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. 

©2018 Peter McLean (P)2018 Quercus Editions Limited

Critic reviews

"Charismatic and very more-ish." (Mark Lawrence, best-selling author of Red Sister)

"Fans of Daniel Polansky, Mark Lawrence or, dare I say, Blackwing will most appreciate this book." (Ed McDonald, author of Blackwing)

What listeners say about Priest of Bones

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disappointed

Maybe it wasn't for me, after all this book seems to be much loved by many. I only finished because I wanted it to come good. it's basically Peaky Blinders, theres too many similarities between the two.

3 people found this helpful

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grimdark fantasy at it's very best

amazing book wonderfully narrated. Didn't want it to end. Gritty, dark and violent. I can't wait for the sequel.

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic story well told by a brilliant narrator.

I loved this book and cannot wait for the sequel it's like the peaky blinders but flat out better. Fantastic stuff.

3 people found this helpful

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Game of Thrones meets Peaky Blinders!

I really enjoyed this mix of genre. The story is fast paced but also takes time to build emotion and you really emphasize with some characters. It's also very well narrated.

2 people found this helpful

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Peaky Boners

While I enjoyed this and the narrator’s skills, there’s a couple of things I couldn’t get around in the story. I won’t put spoilers but there’s a glaring problem with the ending and I couldn’t picture the Pious Men, Piety and his brother in particular, as anything other than the Shelbys.

Some good ideas though and I liked the ‘rebuilding a criminal empire’ part of it. Not bad at all.

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Dark crime fantasy

Listened to Priest of Bones and thought it was fantastic, enjoyed the whole thing and raced through it. I liked the crime and city setting, and the way magic and fighting was used was very impactful.

2 people found this helpful

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Gripping fantasy crime drama

The narration by David Morley Hale was brilliant, really added to the quality of the story. I recommend the audio version. Great start to a new series following soldiers returning from war to their dreadful home life as street thugs; the story is a combination of the Gangster genre, political intrigue along with magic mixing things up. The major influence of Peaky Blinders in particular shows, as well as hints of classics like The Godfather, but with plenty of differences to make this story stand out for me. The story touches on plenty of social topics and how the main protagonist Tomas Piety deals with his harsh reality. This helps Tomas standout as more than a thug, skirting the line of antihero. Like many good stories that involve magic I was left intrigued as to how the metaphysics works. As someone with a broad experience of fantasy and numerous role-playing games, the magic will seem familiar, but it felt to me that there were enough hooks hinting at more depth for even a veteran of diverse magic systems. I found the tale gripping and I was heavily invested in finding out what happened next. I really enjoyed the story and eagerly look forward to the next part, highly recommend.

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Great listen

A Fantasy, Elizabethan Peaky Blinders. Great stuff!! Will definitely be buying the series. More please.

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Interesting Peaky Blinders story

Honestly a really enjoyable listen. Would recommend to anyone. some slight magic/fantasy involved. My only issue was that a third of the book could have been removed by taking out the phrases 'To my mind' and 'Harsh justice'. I was screaming internally every time these were said and I kid you not it must have been 4-5x a chapter if not more.

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Intriguing

Enjoyable but left me feeling flat, I know it’s meant to be grim dark but a bit of humour would not go amiss and there was a lot of repetition that became frustrating

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  • Marta Dahlig
  • 22-10-21

Unoriginal, unengaging, unconvincing.

The performance was good and for that I give two stars.

as for the story... uh. A waste of time.

The plot is WAY too close to Peaky Blinders for comfort. The few original ideas like the magic system are simply not enough to make the book worth listening to.

Worst of all though, except for a scene or two, there is exactly zero emotional impact in the story. The author was unable to generate any kind of feeling... And that is because he states facts, instead of making us believe them. To give an example: if a war experience was so terrible, that it becomes the main character's motivation and basis for his actions, make us feel WHY. Make us understand HOW it drives him... Engage our emotions at least minimally... Because saying "oh this war was terrible, so I don't want it to happen again" is just poor, poor writing.