Priest of Lies by Peter McLean – Review

Cover- Priest of Lies

Published: July 2, 2019

Publisher: Ace Books

Series: War for the Rose Throne #2

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 368 (Paperback)

My Rating: 4.5/ 5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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.

Ohhh man, the Pious Men are back at it, trying to keep their streets from the Skanians that have infiltrated the city of Ellinburg.  I got exactly what I expected from Priest of Lies and that was a bloody, edge of your seat adventure. It was brutal, with scenes that made me cringe, or alternately, pump my fist in the air.

Tomas Piety, head of the Pious Men and husband to the lovely and cunning Ailsa (of the Queen’s Men) enters new territory in this book – that of high society. It’s just as dangerous as running his business on the streets but requires far more in the way of social graces and he’s an outsider. Tomas’s time in Dannsburg is well spent, meeting some new players in the great game in which he’s merely another piece and getting a  feel for what’s at stake.

I think the characters in this series are extremely well-written and none of them are portrayed as “just another tough guy/gal”, they’re many faceted and have weaknesses, dreams, and loves. I was glad to learn more of certain characters, particularly Cutter, in this installment and I also enjoyed seeing how Tomas handled working for the Queen’s Men – ended up watching him squirm a few times as he tried to explain reasonings for certains actions.

Priest of Lies is a story with a lot of heart and if you’re in the market for a new grimdark series, I won’t hesitate to recommend this one. It’s got magic, gangs, war, and spycraft so basically everything cool one could ever want in a book except dragons. No dragons here, but I guess that would have been just a little extra, you know?

4 thoughts on “Priest of Lies by Peter McLean – Review

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