Priest of Gallows by Peter McLean
As you know I have recently read The War for The Rose Throne series by Peter McLean (see the site for the earlier review of Priest of Lies). This is a series that I have been meaning to read for ages and finally did.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Gangster, soldier, priest. Queen's Man. Governor.
Tomas Piety has everything he ever wanted. In public he's a wealthy, highly respected businessman, happily married to a beautiful woman and Governor of his home city of Ellinburg. In private, he's no longer a gang lord but one of the Queen's Men, invisible and officially non-existent, working in secret to protect his country.
But when the queen's sudden death sees him summoned him back to the capital, he discovers his boss, Dieter Vogel, Provost Marshal of the Queen's Men, is busy tightening his stranglehold on the country.
Just as he once fought for his Pious Men, he must now bend all his wit and hard-won wisdom to protect his queen - but now he can't always tell if he's on the right side.
Tomas has started to ask himself, what is the price of power? And more importantly, is it one he is willing to pay?
If you didn't know, with the release of Priest of Crowns, one of the series that was on the top of my list was The War for the Rose Throne by Peter McLean.
I originally read the Priest of Bones last year, but read it again this year. I then went on to the second book Priest of Lies not so long ago, and had every intention of reading a book a month. However, things did not go according to plan. With the combination of Peter McLean''s compulsive writing and characterization,, and add to that David Morley Hale's excellent narration, I ended up devouring the books one after the other. I was hooked!
If Priest of Lies changed direction and headed Tomas Piety into choppy waters, then Priest of Gallows sets the course and sets sail for what is the end in Priest of Crowns.
The Priest of Gallows does lower the pace a little in respect of the crime and gang stuff in favour of political machinations and the discovery of secrets. Not only that there is some manoeuvring of characters that you know are going to be important later on. The story is intricately plotted, with each new revelation adding to the oncoming storm.
In amongst this, Peter McLean manages to bring on board some new characters, such as Mina, a magic user who becomes Billy's girlfriend. Mina is in one respect quite funny,due to the fact that she has to use extremely foul language to gain access to her powers, but on the other hand utterly terrifying! In fact she makes Billy look like he is years behind her in terms of learning about his magic, and ends up learning some new skills from Mina.
In addition to that we get Beast, who becomes quite close to Tomas.
Now, it is without doubt that Peter McLean''s writing is violent. However, it so much more than that! It is funny, and very sympathetic to the trauma that others have experienced. In particular highlighting the effects of war and its subsequent difficulties experienced by those that fought, and this is not just in this fantastical made up world, but how 'battle shock' affects those who have fought in real life wars.
In War for the Rose Throne, Peter McLean has created some of the most memorable characters in fantasy. Even the minor supporting ones in their own way endear to your enjoyment, and I think that this, along with everything else makes it one of the best pieces of modern day fantasy. Whilst there is not a proliferation of magical beasts, races of little people etc, and the fact that magic is used only to engage in war and violence there are tons of fantastical elements. However, the fantasy is not the main element of this story, it is the character of his main protagonist/antogonist, Tomas Piety, who definitely fits both sides of the coin.
I again read and listened to this story due to the fact that I own both audio and book, so I was flitting between the two which only serves to make the experience of reading The War for the Rose Throne that little bit more immersive.
Priest of Gallows is amazing,and again Peter McLean defies expectations, managing to both shock and awe in this episode of the story!