Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Guest Post with Peter McLean - Priest of Lies

Photo Content from Peter McLean 

Peter McLean was born near London in 1972, the son of a bank manager and an English teacher. He went to school in the shadow of Norwich Cathedral where he spent most of his time making up stories.

By the time he left school this was probably the thing he was best at, alongside the Taoist kung fu he had been studying since the age of 13. He grew up in the Norwich alternative scene, alternating dingy nightclubs with martial arts and practical magic.

He has since grown up a bit, if not a lot, and spent 25 years working in corporate IT. He is married to Diane and is still making up stories.

I was born in 1972, but I never read a lot of children’s books when I was little. I loved Winnie the Pooh but hated Narnia with a passion. I was a strange kid. My mother, an Oxford English Lit graduate and devout Christian, despaired at my hatred of her beloved C. S. Lewis. In what I can only assume was a last-ditch attempt to save my literary soul (I was about eight at the time), she decided to read The Hobbit to me instead. 

I fell in love. This wasn’t posh kids from the Forties having twee Hidden Jesus adventures with their posh friends, this was a whole other world. I could relate to Bilbo and those wonderful Dwarves (mostly the Dwarves, in all honesty) in a way that I never could to the horrid Pevensie children. We tore through The Hobbit, and when it was done I eagerly asked Mum if Mr Tolkien had ever written anything else.

With no small amount of trepidation, I think, she took down a huge, single-volume edition of Lord of the Rings and started to read. That was it, I was a fantasy fan for life. Me and my mum didn’t always see eye to eye about a lot of things, and she’s long gone now, but I will always love her for that. 

My early 1980s years were mostly spent at the altar of Stephen King, James Herbert and Sven Hassel, and then when I was maybe fourteen or fifteen I discovered something else. In a musty old charity shop, I picked up a book called The Godfather. I’d never heard of it, but I liked the puppet strings motif on the cover and thought the blurb sounded cool, so I bought it and took it home. I have been absolutely addicted to gangsters and gangster family stories ever since.

I think those things, fantasy and horror and war and gangster stories all blended together in the back of my mind and over the years made a kind of alchemy between them. And that, after three Urban Fantasy novels, eventually turned into the War for the Rose Throne. Priest of Bones and now Priest of Lies are fantasy gangster war stories with horror novel pacing. That’s a long way to have come from The Hobbit, I grant you, but that was the starting point and I love it to this day.

I still can’t stand Narnia though.

Tomas Piety has been many things: soldier, priest, gangster...and spy. As Tomas's power grows, the nobility better watch their backs, in this dark and gritty epic fantasy series.

People are weak, and the poorer and more oppressed they are, the weaker they become--until they can't take it anymore. And when they rise up...may the gods help their oppressors.

When Tomas Piety returned from the war, he just wanted to rebuild his empire of crime with his gang of Pious Men. But his past as a spy for the Queen's Men drew him back in and brought him more power than he ever imagined.

Now, with half of his city in ashes and the Queen's Men at his back, the webs of political intrigue stretch out from the capital to pull Tomas in. Dannsburg is calling.

In Dannsburg the nobility fight with words, not blades, but the results are every bit as bloody. In this pit of beasts, Tomas must decide once and for all whether he is truly the people's champion...or just a priest of lies.


“Thomas Piety is back, with machinations, mayhem and blood aplenty. If you like your fantasy with a side of dark and gritty you won’t want to miss this.” —Christina Henry, author of The Girl in Red 


“A charismatic and very more-ish book with solid prose and a strong voice. Priest of Bones is a story of organised crime with shades of The Godfather. It sounds grim and dark … and it is … but our priest of bones is quite the humanitarian for a ruthless crime lord. With high tempo action it’s just very fun to read.” Mark Lawrence, author Red Sister

“I can safely say that this will be the book dark fantasy and grimdark fans will be raving about at the end of this year…[McLean] has presented a brilliant debut grimdark outing that is fascinating, gripping and has everything that I look for in a crime-focused novel.” 
Fantasy Book Review

“McLean’s writing is punchy and fast-paced…Anyone itching to read a high-stakes story should pick up this delightful combination of medieval fantasy and crime drama.” —Publishers Weekly

“A pitch-perfect blend of fantasy and organized-crime sagas like Puzo’s The Godfather or Pileggi’s Wiseguy, this novel….is very, very hard to put down. Expect word of mouth support from fantasy fans to turn this one into a genre hit.” Booklist

“Priest of Bones is sure to be among the favorite reads for grimdark fantasy fans this year.” —Grimdark Magazine

“An enjoyable read for lovers of small-scale fantasy, with a diverse cast of crooks. Priest of Bones can be effectively summarised as ‘gangsters in fantasyville.’ McLean manages to combine two of my most liked elements in fantasy – a quick moving plot, and characters with realistic relationships. Fans of Daniel Polansky’s Low Town books, Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns or dare I say Blackwing will find a number of similar themes put forward and I feel that’s the readership who will most appreciate this book.” —Ed McDonald, author of Blackwing

“Priest of Bones is a fresh and compelling take on grimdark fantasy and has done something I haven’t before seen in the genre. Mashing together soldiers, gangsters, magic and war into a heady mix that is a hulking big brother to The Lies of Locke Lamora, this is the first in an unmissable series.” —Anna Stephens, author of Godblind

“Priest of Bones is a fast paced fantasy filled with magic and combat, but with the intrigue and strategy of a crime thriller. McLean writes soldiers and their experience of returning from war like someone who has been there. There is excellent character development throughout; I’d follow the Piety brothers through any story.” —Michael Mammay, author of Planetside

“Managing to be exciting, narratively taut, and a commentary on the terrible things war and violence do to people is no mean feat, but Peter McLean manages it with Priest of Bones. I wish I had written this.”—RJ Barker, author of Blood of Assassins

“Absolutely sensational…The prose is smooth and easy to follow, and that combined with a flowing story, an even pace and a rising tempo, result in one of those books that you could easily read in one go. All in all, Priest of Bones is Low Fantasy at its finest, and I wouldn’t hesitate to call it the Fantasy Debut of the Year.” —Booknest

“If violence and planning, honor among thieves and treachery among lawmen, blood and profanity and spies and explosions are your thing, Priest of Bones is the book for you. Get it. Read it. Wait impatiently for the sequel.” —J.C. Nelson, author of The Reburialist

You can purchase Priest of Lies (War for the Rose Throne #2) at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you PETER MCLEAN for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of Priest of Lies (War for the Rose Throne #2) by Peter McLean.


  1. "What do you normally eat for breakfast?" Ideally, a giant slab of homemade chocolate sheet cake with very thick chocolate frosting, downed with an ice-cold can of Coca-Cola!

  2. I eat an English muffin for breakfast

  3. I often don't eat breakfast, but I would have to say I eat a variety of dishes when I do.

  4. French toast and bacon! Thank you

  5. I usually eat cereal for breakfast.