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.A Ritual of Bone by Lee C. Conley
That cover and that synopsis. Perfection. That’s it. That’s my review. What else is needed??
Okay, so the cover art is absolutely phenomenal and that synopsis just screams pick me up and read me, NOW! I am a huge fan of cover art and with A Ritual of Bone it tells you everything you need to know about the story inside. Dark, gritty, action packed, the undead and axe wielding heroes. What’s there not to like?
A Ritual of Bone definitely lived up to its beautiful cover. We are instantly thrown into suspenseful action and Conley does not let up at all. The story flowed nicely and remained action filled the entire time. There was no significant sections that slowed up. Intense is how I would describe the flow of this read.
I am always a little anxious when I find out there are multiple points of views and storylines in a book. They can often fail spectacularly to materialise how the author envisioned however Conley hit the nail on the head with A Ritual of Bone. The storylines converge towards the end perfectly and not once did I feel lost when POVs changed. They differ hugely in setting and characteristics so you know exactly when things change.
I want to get across the point that this is not a typical zombie novel so don’t let that put you off if that’s not your thing. Lee Conley merges the zombie aspect nicely with the medieval fantasy setting. This gives the book an interesting twist to the usual zombie theme. Right, I need to stop saying zombie. I have written it far to much already.
The world building in A Ritual of Bone is some top tier stuff. Conley has really proven that a good focus on world building goes a long way to gripping the reader and immersing them in the story. The world is eerie, the world is dark but the world is also beautiful and I long to explore more of Arnar alongside the host of characters.
I feel like I should balance out this review with a downside or something I didn’t enjoy about the read but there isn’t really anything I didn’t enjoy about it. I suppose if I was to be really nit picky then there are a few times where solutions to problems the characters face can sometimes feel a little to much of a coincidence. This really is me being picky though and this does not subtract from the story at all. If anything it helps keep the story moving which we can all agree is a good thing.
Overall A Ritual of Bone is an extremely enjoyable read and lives up to the praise it has received in other reviews and I hate myself for not reading it sooner. I will be promptly reading A Ritual of Flesh, the second book in The Dead Sagas, which I handily have a copy of already. Thank you to Lee for sending me a copy. My thoughts were not swayed in anyway by this factor. If you enjoy you fantasy dark then grab yourself a copy. If you enjoy the imposing doom of the undead then grab a copy. And if you fancy changing these up from your normal reads then I will recommend A Ritual of Bone as a good place to start as it opens up both dark fantasy and zombie genres.