Priest of Bones, by Peter McLean

Peter McLean's new novel Priest of Bones centers around someone competently handling an unusual job (one of my favorite things to read about!), but features loads of sexual violence (one of my least favorite things to read about!). Your enjoyment of this book will hinge upon your interest in the former, and your tolerance for the latter.

At its heart, Priest of Bones is a story about a crime boss getting organized. Army priest Tomas Piety has returned to the Stink, the small section of Ellinburg he and his crew once controlled. Before the war, Tomas ran a tidy operation—sure, he required everyone to cough up protection money, but in return he made sure that they were safe and fed. Now he has come home to find his operation destroyed, his assets stolen, and his people in despair. Tomas immediately sets about reclaiming his old life, but there are political games afoot that threaten everything he's trying to accomplish.

Priest of Bones boasts nuanced characters and detailed, inventive world-building. (I always like the montage scenes in movies where the protagonists put things in order, and that's basically this entire book... although it features more graphic violence than most movie montages.) Unfortunately, I just couldn't handle all the rape and attempted rape scenes, some of which could have been cut entirely, and nearly all of which could have been made less explicit. I'm invested in seeing how this series turns out, but if future installments contain as much sexual violence as this one, I'll have to content myself with online spoilers.

Review based on publisher-provided book.
Posted by: Julianka


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