Storytellers On Tour Book Tour Day 5-Review and Giveaway!!
GENRE: Dark Fantasy/Horror
AGE GROUP: Adult
PUBLISHED: June 17, 2019
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
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.
My Review – 4 Star read!!
Thank you Lee, and Storytellers on Tour, for including me on the tour. Its always an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I have yet to feel anything close to disappointment with any aspect of this process, in fact, each time has been very memorable. This book was no exception.
This year has been full of science fiction for me, so any opportunity to get a good darker style fantasy read is a nice breath of fresh air. Lee Conley’s A Ritual of Bone was the perfect scratch for that itch. Plus, I’ve been on the lookout for something a bit on the scary side for awhile now. Although I was sent a copy of the book, I also purchased an audiobook version to help me overcome my lack of reading time lately, and it was a great book to have narrarated. Props to narrator RJ Bayley!!
I agree with a number of other readers that Lee successfully incorporated that movie feeling, in regards to the setting, dialogue, and the way we see this “oh shit, the dead are coming back to life, they are really hungry, and I think they want to eat me” spreading event. My point though is that, the narrator really added to that experience. The characters became increasingly more realistic to me, each person was voiced very distinctly, and really added to my image of the time and place of the story.
From the beginning, I was engaged. It was really easy to sink into. A large group of academics have been on a survey, and living in a camp far from their school, and out in the forest and rock filled landscape.
They are in the midst of an ancient set of ruins, with the remains of mysteriously, and extremely large carved stone structures. What the expedition leaders are up to, is more than just collecting artifacts. Experiments are being conducted on ancient remains, and more recent remains from battle. The main apprentice has become very apprehensive about what is happening during these experiments, and for good reason.
Of the results of these eerie experiments using the dead along with some ancient words, I will only say that the repercussions impact the lives of many, and as the world they know is encountering these horrific transformations, we get to see, first hand, lives torn apart.
I enjoyed the gruesome and bloody scenes more than I expected. The writing is as tasteful as its possible to be without becoming in any way, too much, or too tropy. The dead coming back is an idea humans will always be fascinated by. I personally, am NOT a huge fan of a lot of the popular zombie stuff. I Loved I Am Legend and there’s a few movies that I thought were great, and I didn’t realize that a lot of this book would be in that vein. It’s unique though. In this pre technology, axe carrying, ale swilling society, it is a great visual and theme.
Although it gave me that escapist warm and fuzzy feeling I get from a good fantasy novel, there isn’t the typical hero and magic comeback kid stuff. Its grim, its got the lone hunter who finds out that the mystery of suddenly empty villages he was hoping to find an answer to, is up against more than he would ever have imagined, but does his best to survive, if only to spread the warning. I loved Bjorn, favorite Character for sure. There were some great moments of dialogue between him and those he encountered.
It would be sad to neglect to leave out the gore factor here. Some scenes were pretty horrible, and not for the squeamish. However, Lee makes you feel the sadness and despair that one might feel in the grasp of a thirst and hunger that is more powerful than the love for you children, and feeling yourself dissolve into something monstrous.
I apologize that this review has come out a bit unorganized, but, that’s about where my head is at these days. This book was a welcome escape from some of my stresses, and in the end, I felt appreciative of this opportunity to read it and absolutely look forward to the next in The Dead Sagas series, called “A Ritual of Flesh” which is a must read for me now.
Make sure to enter for a signed hardback as well as the audiobook down below. Thank you again to Storytellers on Tour for including me, and of course, thank you to Mr. Lee Conley, who wrote a perfect horror, grimdark fantasy that I loved, and for also going out of his way to send me a copy of the book!
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)Starts: October 18th, 2020 at 12:00am EDTEnds: October 26th, 2020 at 11:59pm EDT
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.
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