Thank you so much to Storytellers On Tour and Lee C. Conley for having me on this tour for A Ritual of Bone! I can not for the life of me picture a more perfect dark fantasy/horror novel for this time of year and I’m so glad to have read it. Book two in the series, A Ritual of Flesh, was actually published earlier this month and I’ll tell you right now that I already bought it and can’t wait to start reading.
Anyway, here we go!
- Title: A Ritual of Bone
- Series: The Dead Sagas, #1
- Author: Lee C. Conley
- Publisher & Release: Wolves of Valour Publications – June, 2019
- Length: 384 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ YES for all my dark fantasy, horror, warrior and Elder Scrolls loving friends
Here is the synopsis:
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.
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 book is just everything my Spooktober reading list needed to be complete, and so much more. The country of Arnar is finally at a tentative peace with it’s neighbor, while all hell breaks loose within the kingdom itself.
A master scholar from the College brought back and modified a long forgotten ritual that seems to have awoken some old and ancient evil, unleashing plague and sickness and zombies. YES, picture Skyrim-esque warriors with great axes, swords and shields and bows, discovering and battling the walking dead. Cold mountain passes, savage cannibalistic tribes in the wilds, ancient stone ruins left over from long extinct peoples.
The combined setting, atmosphere, and writing style in this book is incredible. There are four or five distinct storylines being told that start with the evil being unleashed, and then tell of various characters in different parts of the country discovering and dealing with the early consequences. Each of these storylines is going to converge in the second book and I am so excited. Back to the atmosphere though – the permeation of evil, unsettled emotions, fear, dread, loss, and chills just are equally potent through each storyline so that each was interesting and my attention never drifted. Whether the warrior Arnuld, the girl Nym, the Hunter Bjorn, or the apprentice, each story had me rapt between the character’s plight, flight, and loss. I think the atmosphere is what really tied this book together.
Of course there is plenty of gore and blood and grief as well… I mean there ARE zombies. Partially self aware zombies at times. It really was more than a little horrifying at times but also amazing.
Even with a few slight editing mishaps, I happily give this book every star imaginable. As a debut novel I honestly expected a lot worse and had an amazing surprise when I ended up hooked from page one, and rapt until the end. I recommend it fully to all adult fans of the genres!
Equally important are the links to the other blog tour stops and giveaway!! Please find the tour schedule here
Prize: A Ritual of Bone – Grand Prize: One (1) signed hardcover (international), Runners-Up: Five (5) winners, choice of audiobook codes (US/UK) or ebooks (international)
Lastly I hope that you will check out the author’s links!