Welcome to the latest review on my blog! Westu hal to you, I hope that you are staying safe and reading something awesome. I have a review today of a spooky, atmospheric, epic and fantastic book and one I rank as one of the best I have read this year. Welcome to my review of A Ritual of Bone by Lee Conley!
Firstly some housekeeping, my thanks to Justine and Timy from Storytellers on Tour for hosting me once again. Please also check out the awesome bookbloggers and bookstagrammers taking part via this link and give them some love.
Now the premise
“Only valour and steel can stand against the rising dead”
Arnar is a land of warriors, its people as stalwart as the stones themselves. In a land of dark forests and ancient hill forts, a forgotten evil is awoken by curious minds.
The Great Histories and the Sagas say nothing of this evil, long passed from the memory of even the studious scholars of the College. For centuries, the scholars of Arnar have kept these records and preserved the knowledge and great deeds of a proud people. The story of these peoples forever chronicled in the Sagas of the Great Histories.
But now the evil spreads and the dead walk in its wake, terrible creatures roam the night and even the spirits are restless. The Dead Sagas could perhaps be the final chapters of these great records.
Many threads entwine to tell this Saga, interweaving the tales of those who played their part in the search for answers and ultimately their fight for survival. Amid plague, invasion and terror, the inexorable rise of the dead sends a kingdom scrabbling to its knees.
This Dark Fantasy Epic combines dark malign horror and gritty survival adventure as the Dead Sagas unfold in a world where honour and renown is all, where beasts and savages lurk in the wilderness, and where sword, axe and shield is all that stands between the living and the grasping hands of the dead.
It sends shivers down your spine doesn’t it? Well dear friends, this book delivers on so many levels. My first point I must make is about the atmosphere that Lee creates in this book, its intense. There is a particular, around about the end of chapter 8 and through 9 which is so creepy and atmospheric it was quite hard to read. I for one enjoy the paranormal and everything related to it, so this book is wonderful in that sense.
Putting it simply, this is a blend of Saxon, Viking warriors against the rising dead. There is so much more to it than that, there are two cleverley woven in secondary stories which are linked and are just as intriguing. They play their part in making this such a brilliant book, why do I think this is so good? Well I am glad that you asked that.
The story is so wonderfully human, the curiosity which leads to the dead rising and the fight against them. The lives of the people disrupted, they are ordinary people in an extraordinary time and that really struck a cord with me. Also the sword’s and sworcery element is fantastic as well, with some brilliant fight scenes and undead creepiness to while October away. We get several points of view, the college servant and his master Eldrick. Bjorn, a legendary huntsman amond men on a special mission. Arnulf who is leader of the guards of Arnar and finally Nym, a a young girl living in a major city in the world called Arn. Of all the storylines I loved Arnulf’s the most, it starts so ominously in the middle of the book and really drew my focus as I identified with Arnulf the most.
The books pulls you along at a relentless pace, it has the “one more chapter” effect and I found this was the case. It really pulls the reader along, maybe further in to the depths of Lee’s spooky imagination perhaps? It felt like a journey and I am really happy to say that it is part one of a journey and I am lucky enough to have part two of The Dead Saga’s to read soon.
If you want an epic, atmospheric, creepy and brilliant story to read set in an epic land then look no further than A Ritual of Bone. My final point about the book is the lighter touches, the moments of peace or relaxation the characters get. It really felt like they had all been together for years, it’s wonderful to read an author who can meld characters like that together. This is a fantastic book that gets my seal of approval, Lee’s a brilliant author so what are you waiting for!
Lee is a musician and writer in Lincolnshire, UK. He lives with his wife, Laura, and daughters, Luna, and Anya, in the historic cathedral city of Lincoln. Alongside a lifetime of playing guitar and immersing himself in the study of music and history, Lee is also a practitioner and instructor of historic martial arts and swordsmanship. After writing his successful advanced guitar theory textbook The Guitar Teachers Grimoire, Lee turns his hand to writing fiction. Lee is now studying a degree in creative writing and working on his debut fantasy series The Dead Sagas as well as also generally writing speculative fiction and horror.
If anyone would like to sign up for occasional (once or twice a year) email of news and updates on Lee’s work, with the occasional competition or giveaway too, please sign yourselves up to Lee’s mailing list.
A final word, there is a great competition running that you can enter for free via this link. The grand prize is a signed hardback copy of A Ritual of Bone ( think how lovely it will look on your bookshelf) and there are some runner up prizes as well and it’s international as well.
Thank you as always for checking out my blog. Westu Hal to you, stay safe and read something awesome.