cover image Priest of Bones

Priest of Bones

Peter McLean. Ace, $16 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-451-49021-6

In this ebullient first War for the Rose Throne dark fantasy, McLean introduces Tomas Piety, a nefarious crime lord turned priest. After being away at war for many years, Tomas comes back to find that Ellinburg is changed: his people have lost their wealth, and the city is overrun by a foreign power. With his gang of Pious Men, Tomas embroils himself in cutthroat politics and epic barroom brawls to win back the city that once was his. McLean’s writing is punchy and fast-paced. Tomas is an intriguing protagonist, and the rest of his crew round out the novel as a tight ensemble cast. Magic is scattered throughout (one of Tomas’s gang is an up-and-coming sorcerer), but the focus remains on the violent turf war unfolding in Ellinburg. Anyone itching to read a high-stakes story should pick up this delightful combination of medieval fantasy and crime drama. Agent: Jennie Goloboy, Donald Maass Literary. (Oct.)