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Review: Priest of Crowns (War for the Rose Throne book 4) by Peter McLean

August 29, 2022

About the Book:

‘Praise be to Our Lady of Eternal Sorrows, and blessed be the Ascended Martyr.’ Those were the words on lips of the faithful: Blessed be the Ascended Martyr, and woe betide you if you thought otherwise. The word Unbeliever had become a death sentence on the streets in those days.

Gangster, soldier, priest. Governor, knight, and above all, Queen’s Man.

Once, Tomas Piety looked after his men, body and soul, as best he could. Then those who ran his country decided his dark talents would better serve in the corridors of power.

Crushed by the power of the Queen’s Men and with the Skanian menace rising once more on the streets of Ellinburg, Tomas Piety is forced to turn to old friends, old debts and untrustworthy alliances.

Meanwhile in the capital city of Dannsburg, Dieter Vogel is beginning to wonder if the horror he has unleashed in the Martyr’s Disciples might be getting out of control.

With revolution brewing and tragedy and terrorism running rife in the cities, Piety and Vogel must each weigh the cost of a crown.

My thoughts:

Wow. Book 4, Priest of Crowns is the conclusion to the War for the Rose Throne series and it is explosively, earth shockingly good.

From Ellinburg to Dannsburg, Tomas Piety’s journey from gangster to Queen’s Man through books 1-3 is a violent political awakening that builds and then wraps to a satisfying conclusion in Priest of Crowns. Tomas has realized the horrifying truth of Dieter Vogel’s plans and has a choice to make. He knows the slightest misstep will not only end in his brutal death but in the deaths of all those he holds dear. In the past he ruled the Pious Men with an iron grip and would do anything to keep his territory and his people safe. His territory has expanded almost beyond his reach now, his people too numerous to count and are almost beyond his control. But Piety has always been a man of the people – the common people – and he will have to return to these roots to stay alive. He must be cautious where he puts his trust and the circle of those he can trust is growing smaller by the day. His intentions mean that circle will grow even smaller. Death stalks Tomas Piety. And he will stand face to face with death before the end. His choices, his decisions, his actions will affect everyone.

Peter McLean has a way of writing that sucks you in and keeps you turning the page. This series has been a must read from book one – Priest of Bones and McLean doesn’t disappoint with how the series ends. It’s a read that flows well, with tight writing that leaps off the page, action scenes that you can’t put down and emotional payoffs that fit with every character. And speaking of character, McLean’s characterisations grip you tight and won’t let go. Every character is driven by internal demons and remain consistent to who they are throughout. Every decision made by each character makes perfect sense and even when Peter McLean tells you exactly who and what they are their actions will still surprise you. 

I just want to tell everyone who enjoys a good, brutal grimdark gangster political intrigue military fantasy to read this series as a matter of urgency.

Peter McLean has written a truly brilliant series here and if you like Game of Thrones and The Godfather then get on this series immediately because this is better! It is gritty, brutal, dark and delightful.

You can read my reviews of the rest of the series below

Book One: Priest of Bones

Book Two: Priest of Lies

Book Three: Priest of Gallows

From → Reviews

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