“Priest of Bones” by Peter McLean

priest_of_bones.jpg“Priest of Bones” is a fantasy gangster book that captivates the reader from the very first lines.

Tomas Piety is returning back to Ellinburg after almost three years, during which he has been fighting a war that wasn’t his to fight. Even though, he had to fight and get back home safe, to return to his people after his conscription had ended. Tomas may have become a priest in the army when their own priest was lost in battle, but before the war, he was a businessman, leading the Pious Men. Upon his return, he finds the Stink poor as hell and his businesses overtaken. His aunt is nowhere to be found. Tomas has to bring his crew together and get his businesses back. He will then be able to look after the people in his streets, his people.

What has happened in Ellinburg is bigger than him, bigger than anything he could imagine. Strange, foreign people have taken over the city while he and the other bosses were away at the war. And for that, he had to work for the Queen’s Men, no matter he liked it or not. When Queen’s Men approached you, you had no other option but to do as they say.

The book is narrated in first person, by Thomas himself. It is as if he is writing his memoirs and we only read his side of the story. Even so, this does not seem to be inadequate as we do get a lot of the action, without missing much. This Thomas Piety, sounds a lot like Thomas Shelby from Peacky Blinders. He is owning his streets and he is protecting them as well. He doesn’t allow mistreats, he doesn’t approve of hurting women, child abuse and drug trade. He is helping the poor and all people in his streets by giving them a job in one of his businesses or helping them restore their own. He earns his people respect.

Apart from Thomas, their is a great deal of other characters in the book, like Bloody Ann, who is second in command and his brother Jochan who has battle syndrome, but he could take down a small army only he and two or three more men. Thomas takes advantage of that as he always sends the right man for the right job. So step by step, we follow the story as he takes back his businesses.

The fantasy in the book comes with a magical twist. Those strangers are using magicians, respectable people with great power. Not everyone though likes them. Thomas needs his one magician if he wants to win this war, and he finds him. Because this is another was to be fought, and he needs every mean to win it!




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