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Summary

Gangster, soldier, priest. Queen's Man. Governor. 

Tomas Piety has everything he ever wanted. In public he's a wealthy, highly respected businessman, happily married to a beautiful woman and Governor of his home city of Ellinburg. In private, he's no longer a gang lord but one of the Queen's Men, invisible and officially non-existent, working in secret to protect his country.

But when the queen's sudden death sees him summoned back to the capital, he discovers his boss, Dieter Vogel, Provost Marshal of the Queen's Men, is busy tightening his stranglehold on the country.

Just as he once fought for his Pious Men, he must now bend all his wit and hard-won wisdom to protect his queen - but now he can't always tell if he's on the right side.

Tomas has started to ask himself, what is the price of power? And more importantly, is it one he is willing to pay?

©2021 Peter McLean (P)2021 Quercus Editions Limited

What listeners say about Priest of Gallows

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    5 out of 5 stars

Dark, gritty, excellent. Can't wait for book four

Priest of Gallows follows on from the first two books in the series incredibly well. McLean doesn't simply rest on his laurels with all the stuff he has set up thus far, he expands upon it. Book three gives us a far deeper look into the inner workings of the Queen's Men, the special service type organisation that Thomas Piety found himself drafted into previously.

As a Queen's Man, Thomas has carte blanche to go where he pleases and to do as he pleases. With the freedom of the kingdom at his fingertips, Thomas discovers he's no great fan of the dastardly things he's expected to do now risen to the ranks of the Queen's Men proper. And this coming from a hardened gangster, no less.

Characters new and old are built and expanded upon in expert ways, even those that don't appear in this book for more than a short period feel as though they have grown immensely. Concepts already laid out are built upon; such as the cunning (McLean's magic system), the political set-up of the kingdom and the history that led to the world being as Thomas Piety currently knows it.

For those of you reading this review and wondering what on earth this series is about, a good way of describing it is as a fantasy gang-based series. Its dark, bloody, gritty and full of such painful situations that it makes you wince at the thought of them. If you've seen the show 'Peaky Blinders', and enjoyed it, chances are you'll love this series and all that goes into it. If not, and you just love a bit of dark fantasy, pick book one up and see if it takes your fancy.

As far as book three's go, I think McLean has nailed this one to the point of perfection. It would have been incredibly easy to write a filler novel just to rake in those ££s, but the author has obviously gone above and beyond with this and it has me seriously excited for book four. So many big things happened throughout the course of this novel that I just know book four will pack some serious wallop to it.

David Morley Hale's narration was wonderful. His northern accent suits Thomas Piety down to a tee. Zero complaints as far as the performance goes from me. I can really visualise things when Morley Hale talks of them, so top marks for that. The emotion he puts into the conversation parts is something that other narrators could learn from. So many just read the words put in front of them, narrators like Morley Hale bring said words to life.

I'm not certain, but I think book four might be the final book. If so, I'd be curious to see where McLean goes next. Regardless of wherever that may be, he's certainly an author that's going to be on my 'must buy' list going forward.

2 people found this helpful

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Oh my Grimdarkness

Whoa, Peter is such an amazing author, he fills these bleak evil books with such humanity and humour. Look if you liked the first two, buy this and you won't regret it. if you haven't.... buy the first one, I'll wait, do it now.

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Bloody and brilliant

All of the stars again, the plot continues with more twists and turns taken at a break neck pace. Strong f/f romance subplot is continued and I am looking forward to the conclusion

1 person found this helpful

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Just superb. A fantasy version of the Peaky Blinders

Like many of you, I hunt and hunt for something new and refreshing in this genre. The first three books are brilliant.
Father Thomas is a wonderfully gritty character surrounded by some almost as good ones. The world building is great, the description visceral and I can’t wait for the final chapter.
Peter McLean should take a bow, as should narrator, David Morley Hale.
It really deserves more reviews….

1 person found this helpful

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Not that Pious!

Another tale of Tomas Piety and his amoral journey into politics in the very grim, very dark workd that Peter McLean has crafted so superbly, listening to this you cam imagine what awful place to live it would, my only complaint is that Mr McLean constantly repeats the same sentences again and again, after the first 20 times it loses its novelty

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  • Robert
  • 29-05-21

My Favorite Author

Is John Lee deceased? Why in the name of all that is holy would you EVER change the narrator?? Two years waiting to hear John Lee read McLean’s final edition to this masterpiece! Shame.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Erkka K.
  • 22-08-21

1 star for changing the narrator

Good book, and nothing wrong with the narration either. But he's not John Lee. Changing established narrators needs to stop.

5 people found this helpful

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  • S. Horn
  • 29-05-21

And now we know what the series title means

NOTE: This is not a stand-alone book. You should read The War for the Rose Throne series in order. This volume ends with an event that leads into the next and final book in the series, rather than with any kind of a conclusion.

Priest of Gallows, the third volume of The War for the Rose Throne, brings Tomas Piety, Bloody Ann, Rosie, Billie, and a few other members of Tom's Ellenburg organization to the capitol city of Dunnsburg, summoned by the Provost of the Queen's Men, Vogel. The queen has died, leaving her insane, young daughter as heir, thus setting the stage for the political machinations in which Tom becomes entangled.

There are few reviews for this book, given it was only released two days ago, and some may be concerned about the change in narrator. Don't be. This is as seamless a transition as I've ever experienced. All charaters are unchanged and are masterfully voiced by David Morley Hale with the same inflection and personality as they were rendered by John Lee. You may not even notice the difference--high praise, indeed.

Peter McLean is an excellent author and storyteller. His dialogues are believable and consistent with the characters voicing them. His descriptions of places, characters, and situations are interesting, complete, and yet concise. His grammar is impecable. I can't tell you how much it adds to my enjoyment of a book, when it just flows. I don't remember rolling my eyes even once, due to a clunker of a simile or an inept quip.

Priest of Gallows is not quite as strong a book as the previous two in the series, but it's still head and shoulders above most books in its genre. My quibble with it is that it's just hard to believe that Tom Piety goes along with what he is asked to do as a Queen's Man and takes as long as he does to catch on to the big picture. Nevertheless, there were still lots of intrigue, action, and well-drawn characters to experience, and we're all set up now for the big finale in Book 4: Priest of Crowns. I'd put it on pre-order, today, but it won't be out until 2022, Ah well.

You may want to think twice about reading this series only if you're squeamish about cursing, drinking, gore, grit, filth, murder, torture, etc. I'm not. Perhaps I should think about that.... But anyway, as to torture, for the most part, we aren't immediate spectators. We are informed it has happened, rather than being required to experience it in detail, There are no explicit sex scenes in any of the books,

Unless you are offended by the above-mentioned indelicacies, I highly recommend this series to you. It's hours of adventure with Tom and the Pious Men. Just remember to take time to eat and sleep.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 17-06-21

Where’s John Lee?

The narrator is very good but not John Lee

The Author or whoever made the decision to go away from Lee was jarring and except for very few exceptions changing beloved voice actors between books is never a good idea.

Going forward if there is another book either stick with Hale or go back to Lee

4 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick
  • 08-12-21

Ok, worth listening to.

Good adult themed story, kind of gritty and dark. Narrator was very good even though he is different from the first two books.
My complaint is that it got repetitious. He explains how powerful the Queen's men are, then he explains it again every time one of the Queen's men performs any action. Yes we get the same explanation over and over again, it get into the double digits. He also explains how conniving and dangerous Vogel is over and over. We get it the first five times.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-11-21

Brandy, levers, aye

I swear every paragraph he is drinking brandy. Too many times does the author mention brandy it drives me nuts. The amount of brandy that Thomas drinks is enough to fill oceans.

The story changes, no longer is Tomas the enigmatic leader of the Pious men, he is now a queen’s men. The plot and intrigue is interesting but it is distracted by excessive exposition from Thomas. Every thought must be explained and restated later in the story.

I felt some characters also changed far too much for my liking. Billy went from strange “possessed” kid to regular teenager. His mysterious past and abilities unexplained and forgotten. Thomas went from shrewd gangster to a whipped dog. He does change in the story, but the intelligences displayed in the first two books seems nonexistent.

Overall a weak third book to the series. I hope the 4th ends up great

2 people found this helpful

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  • Zachary
  • 29-05-21

Yes

A great third installment


This series just gets better and better

Highly recommend all three books in the series and look forward to the fourth book

2 people found this helpful

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  • tjs390
  • 08-12-21

So Good! And David Morley Hale Is Great!

I have really enjoyed listening to the War for the Rose Throne series. I know many were upset about the change of narrator in Book 3 from John Lee in Books 1 and 2. I thought David Morley Hale was outstanding. I love listening to John Lee; he's the main reason I have purchased some of the audiobooks in my library. However, David Hale was also an excellent reader, and aside from a slight disorientation from having moved directly into book 3 from book 2, I found his narration very fluid and immersive.

Regarding the story itself, although it's difficult to warm up to an amoral anti-hero like Tomas, I really like that even he is struggling with the House of Law and Dieter Vogel's evil machinations. The main characters are multi-dimensional and are truly interesting people, even though I would hate to meet any one of them in a dark alley.

I'm looking forward to the final book in the series, and will definitely look up other Peter McLean and/or David Morley Hale audiobooks. It's definitely worth a listen, especially if you like the grimmer side of fantasy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mike Summers
  • 11-11-21

So So

Not nearly as action packed and engrossing as the first two books. Couldn’t put the first two books down, but caught myself wanting this one to end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • a.m
  • 25-07-21

Felt like a filler in

The story felt like a filter in and could be completely given a miss; also charging the narrator.. didn't help at all.. wish at least in the next installment we get the Thomas Piety that we can't to live in the first two books

1 person found this helpful