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Lasraik

January 2021 Book: Priest of Bones Discussion Thread

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If you will be posting spoilers, please use the spoiler tag!

Just a few chapters in, and I've already found myself laughing out loud and being uncomfortable at the same time.

One of my favorite quotes so far (page 9)

Spoiler

"He was about as noble as my morning shit"

 


Steve IRL

Reading: Last Argument of Kings

► Personal Links:  YouTube (booktube)OTBSteve YouTube (MTB and cycling) ●  Strava  ●  Last.fm  ●  GoodReads ● Vero

 

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Spoilers for chapters 1 - 4

Spoiler

I like the exploration of the fragile balance between being a leader of soldiers like these and not being seen as weak, especially for men and women who have gone through what they've been through.  Taking responsibility and keeping the group together when it could fracture and break apart any second for any reason.   Not having that thread that keeps them all together could turn them against each other.

 


Steve IRL

Reading: Last Argument of Kings

► Personal Links:  YouTube (booktube)OTBSteve YouTube (MTB and cycling) ●  Strava  ●  Last.fm  ●  GoodReads ● Vero

 

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8 hours ago, Beauregard said:

I’m enjoying the banter between Tomas and his brother Jochan during these first few chapters.  

The banter is one of my favorite aspects of the book.  I've laughed out loud a few times at the back and fourth


Steve IRL

Reading: Last Argument of Kings

► Personal Links:  YouTube (booktube)OTBSteve YouTube (MTB and cycling) ●  Strava  ●  Last.fm  ●  GoodReads ● Vero

 

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Spoilers up to chapter 34
 

Spoiler

 

I wasn't expecting this book to be a grimdark organized crime book, but it reminds me a little of gangster movies or shows like Sons of Anarchy.  Charging a tax for protection and running the streets for the good of their people (or what they consider to be the good of their people) is classic mobster stuff. 

The magic surprised me during the battle for the gambling house 💣

 

 


Steve IRL

Reading: Last Argument of Kings

► Personal Links:  YouTube (booktube)OTBSteve YouTube (MTB and cycling) ●  Strava  ●  Last.fm  ●  GoodReads ● Vero

 

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Part 1 (chapters 1-23) thoughts (non-spoilers)

On the back of the book, it says that the war is over and Tomas sets out to reclaim what what was his once he has returned to his hometown.  I think this is exactly what Part 1 is all about.   It appears to me that the author has really focused on character development in this section.  I already have a few favorite characters and a couple I want to learn more about.  I’m intrigued to see how the author will develop Sir Eland, for some reason.  I feel that the puzzle pieces are being placed strategically around the board for what is going to take place in Part 2.  The back of the book ends with saying that the war is only just beginning.   I feel that is what Part 2 is going to be about.   Onto Part 2!

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1 hour ago, Beauregard said:

Part 1 (chapters 1-23) thoughts (non-spoilers)

On the back of the book, it says that the war is over and Tomas sets out to reclaim what what was his once he has returned to his hometown.  I think this is exactly what Part 1 is all about.   It appears to me that the author has really focused on character development in this section.  I already have a few favorite characters and a couple I want to learn more about.  I’m intrigued to see how the author will develop Sir Eland, for some reason.  I feel that the puzzle pieces are being placed strategically around the board for what is going to take place in Part 2.  The back of the book ends with saying that the war is only just beginning.   I feel that is what Part 2 is going to be about.   Onto to Part 2!

You're pretty much spot on, I like that it was focused on a select few characters and didn't overwhelm you with a world full of events in part 1.


Steve IRL

Reading: Last Argument of Kings

► Personal Links:  YouTube (booktube)OTBSteve YouTube (MTB and cycling) ●  Strava  ●  Last.fm  ●  GoodReads ● Vero

 

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Finished, SPOILERS for the book
 

Spoiler

 

I kept hearing about the abuse of children in this book, it wasn't until chapter 40 or so that we found out what happened to Tomas in his childhood and the Stables.  It got pretty heavy, but it was for the story and not gratuitous. 

The anticipation that built for each plan and battle was good, I want to hear what happens to Billy the Boy and how powerful he is.  Something has me wondering if he will become their enemy if his power becomes to great.  It was a story on a smaller scale, not a sprawling epic tale and I like that.  It was a gritty, street level kind of story that I love.  I'm definitely going to be reading the rest of the series.

 

 


Steve IRL

Reading: Last Argument of Kings

► Personal Links:  YouTube (booktube)OTBSteve YouTube (MTB and cycling) ●  Strava  ●  Last.fm  ●  GoodReads ● Vero

 

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Priest of Bones was a thoroughly enjoyable book and I look forward to continuing the series.  This book checked most of the boxes that I enjoy in fantasy: strong character development, low fantasy with less emphasis on magic, intense action sequences, and lots of swearing.  As the author describes, this is gangster fantasy.  He states his influences come from The Godfather and The Sopranos.  I love gangster movies and I really enjoyed reading this book.  Thumbs up to Lazraik for kicking off 2021 with a great book!   

My favorite character was Bloody Anne.  Gimme more Bloody Anne!

To further your enjoyment of all things Priest of Bones and Peter McLean, I’ve included a few links about both.   I don't believe there are spoilers in these 3 author interviews.

https://fantasy-hive.co.uk/2019/08/interview-with-peter-mclean/

https://civilianreader.com/2019/06/17/interview-with-peter-mclean-2/amp/

https://starlitbook.com/2019/07/02/interview-with-peter-mclean/

I’ve also listened to two podcast interviews with the author:

1) Authors on a Podcast Talking Books episode 14  

2) Negative HP episode 3

One YouTube interview I found:

1) Wilshire Libraries in conversation with Peter McLean

I enjoyed listening to the author and his perspective on all things War for the Rose Thorn.  Plus I got a few book recommendations to add to my TBR list.

Now for my spoiler thoughts:

Spoiler

Favorite quotes:

“Wisdom sought is wisdom bought, and I have coin to pay.”  said by Tomas.

“My dear sir, we shall kill them all most terribly fucking politely.” said by Jochan.

Two groups of people in the book included the Stinkers and the Wheelers.  Stinkers and Wheelers…sounds like a great name for a rock band. Or perhaps your next fantasy football team name?  Or pet names?  

I think it was clever that the author left no room for imagination regarding a few of the character’s names.  Examples were Nik the Knife, Bloody Anne, Sir Eland, Cookpot, Fat Luka, Simple Sam, Black Billy, Billy the Boy, Will the Woman.  Clever and humorous to learn some of their origin stories.   He did mention in one of the podcast interviews mentioned above on the importance of naming characters.  A few of these characters were developed beyond their "simple" names, which I appreciated.

Part II brought the action.  A gangster war breaks out and no one is safe.  The action picks up in the latter half which made it difficult to put the book down. 

I appreciated the author talking about PTSD (he calls it “battle shock”) and how it affected some of his characters – Tomas and Jochan, specifically.

Chapter 41 was intense!  I didn’t really care for that chapter, but I understand why the author included it to help show the reader why Tomas and Jochan are the way they are.  Tomas and Jochan did not grow up in a loving household by any stretch of the imagination.  Besides the intense nature of the chapter, I'm also reminded of the dangerous effect of alcoholism on families.  Intense!

I enjoyed a few of the made-up words and phrases the author used.  The new phrases were close enough to the common ones that I knew what he was talking about.  A few favorites: “bread and beer” instead of bread and butter; “when you’re given a horse, don’t count its teeth” instead of don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.   A few new words included “Lady” as a substitute for God, “cunning” as a substitute for magic, “bawdy house” as a substitute for whore house, and “flashstone” as a substitute for grenade.

I also enjoyed Cutter's character.  He reminded me a lot of Black Dow from the First Law series by Joe Abercrombie.

I wasn’t expecting Tomas and Ailsa to get married.  That plot twist surprised me.  Speaking of getting married, chapter 48 (the wedding) was extremely cinematic!  Wow!  I need to reread that chapter.  One of the best in the book IMO.

The cliffhanger at the end makes me want to start the next book soon.  Looking forward to reading Priest of Lies!

 

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We had similar take aways from this book.  It reminded me a lot of films like Goodfellas.

Thanks for sharing those resources, it's nice hearing more from the author.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6I7T5zCCd8


Steve IRL

Reading: Last Argument of Kings

► Personal Links:  YouTube (booktube)OTBSteve YouTube (MTB and cycling) ●  Strava  ●  Last.fm  ●  GoodReads ● Vero

 

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