Author: Peter McLean Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Well here we are again! And with the previous two instalments in this series, I have come to the end of the novel with a huge smile on my face (which is a little twisted of me, since this novel contains murder, torture and betrayal). I said in my previous review that I find authors lose quality as you move through the series, but McLean has maintained and improved as the novels continue. Tomas Piety is quickly becoming one of my favourite characters within any series.
I think it will only be fitting to start this review with the champion of this series – Tomas Piety. He is a character who fits perfectly into the grey area and this doesn’t change within Priest of Gallows. McLean has done a wonderful job of moving Piety on as a character, pushing him into more difficult choices, really challenging his ever changing morality. He never truly wants to murder or punish others, but he also doesn’t entertain those whose purpose is just evil. As the novel progresses you start to see Piety begin to shift and begin to challenge the situation he has put himself in. There is only one book left in the series, and it will be interesting to see what path he takes to get himself and his people out safety.
In this book we say good bye to Ellinburg and the focus is more on Dannsburg, which I was a little sad about because I had come to know Ellinburg well and we didn’t get to interact much with the Pious Men. We did get to travel to Dannsburg in the previous novel, but within Priest of Gallows you get a full exploration of this wicked city. Instead, the focus has shifted to the Queen’s Men, especially Vogel, who took quite a huge spotlight within the novel. The book highlights his ambitions more within the novel and the history behind his power, which I enjoyed but at the same time it took away from other characters like Fat Luka or Bloody Anne, who I would have like to delve a little more into their past. We also got introduced to some new characters, who without going into details, makes me shudder to my core – I am sure anyone who reads this novel will know exactly who I mean. We also got introduced to some new characters, who without going into details, makes me shudder to my core – I am sure anyone who reads this novel will know exactly who I mean. We also got introduced to some new characters, who without going into details, makes me shudder to my core – I am sure anyone who reads this novel will know exactly who I mean.
One thing I didn’t notice was missing until I read a few of my fellow bloggers reviews, and that was the lack of combat. But I feel that a good sign of a gritty and enticing fantasy, is when you don’t notice when their is a lack of fighting or no giant battle taking place. The novel is much more political in nature, but in the darkest way possible. The backstabbing and plotting, provided all the action that was needed. The power displayed by the Queen’s Men is frightening at times, some receiving a gritty and dark end to their lives. If I lived in Dannsburg, I would quickly learn to be quiet and know my place. Ellinburg was already dark, with its dangerous streets but it is nothing compared to Dannsburg. Dannsburg reminds me of somewhere like London – seems lovely and amazing from the outside, but it busy and messy on the street level and even messier underneath the surface.
The pacing in this novel has taken a slight increase – which I didn’t think was possible – this novel seems to jump from dark moment to betrayal to a dive into someones history, never letting off at any point. I really enjoy fast paced novels and I found it near impossible to put this novel down even for a second.
This is a brilliant series and McLean a even more fantastic writer! I can not wait to see what other stories he has in the pipe line. I can’t believe after catching up within this series, that now I have to wait until July. I have given this novel 5/5 and this series has easily become one of my favourites!