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The Priest, by Rowan MacAllister

The Priest by Rowan McAllister

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The Priest, by Rowan MacAllister

Book Info

Book Series
The Chronicles of the Riftlands, Book 2
About the Author
Rowan McAllister is an unapologetically romantic jack of all trades and a sucker for good food, good cocktails, rich fibers, a great beat, and anything else that indulges the senses. In addition to a continuing love affair with words, she likes to play with textiles, metal, wood, stone, and whatever other interesting scraps of life she can get her hands on. She lives in the woods, on the very edge of suburbia—where civilization drops off and nature takes over—sharing her home with her patient, loving, and grounded husband, three furry rescues, and a whole lot of books, booze, and fabric. Her chosen family is a madcap collection of people as diverse as her interests, all of whom act as her muses in so many ways, and she would be lost without them. Whether her stories have a historical, fantasy, or contemporary setting, they always feature characters who still believe in true love, happy endings, and the oft-underappreciated value of sarcasm.
Publication Date
September 10, 2019
Available Formats
epub, mobi, pdf
Content Warning
mentions of punishment, sacrifice, beatings
Brother Tasnerek, one of the infamous Thirty-Six stone bearers, is facing a dangerous crisis of faith after uncovering a secret that could shake the foundations of the Brotherhood of Harot. When Tas is sent to protect a tiny village on the edge of Rassa’s borders from Riftspawn, he struggles to resume his duties, risking his life and the lives of those around him.

Girik has always been an outsider, but to help his sick mother, he agrees to be the village’s offering in a painful ritual deemed necessary by the Brotherhood. But when the priest has a crisis of conscience, Girik offers his help to untangle a web of lies—even if it means getting closer than he ever imagined and committing sacrilege in the process.

With a monster lurking in the forest, a wandering mage mysteriously appearing, and more secrets awakening to unravel the truths of their world, Tas and Girik must make grave decisions. A life without danger seems a far-off hope, but love just might be theirs… if they survive.

Editor review

1 review
Fantastic Sequel!
 POV: 3rd person, dual POV

 The Priest is an excellent companion and follow-up to The Wanderer. Full of fascinating fantasy world-building, engaging characters, and a new plot twist to the overall arc, it was everything I could have hoped for from a sequel. I can't wait for the next installment.

 The Chronicles of the Riftlands is a true series-arc. Like a puzzle made up of distinct, individual images, each book adds a new layer, another piece to the puzzle, and another image to add to the whole. In Book 1, we learned the story of Lyuc and his history with the Riftlands. We learned about the Anchor Stones, the Voloci and the Brotherhood of Rassa, who are the pain priests.

 What we learned in Book 1 has been added to, twisted slightly, and explored further in this installment. The Brotherhood are not just pain priests but so much more. And our MC Tas is part of that. Through him, we see someone with unmeasured faith have that faith shattered and broken by a revelation beyond his understanding. Through him, we see another side to the story, and explore all that is possible with the Anchor Stones.

 As a main character, Tas was endearing, engaging and sweet. A troubled priest questioning his holy orders, his purpose in life, despite having followed it blindly until now. Then Girik enters the story – a larger than life man who doesn't fit in, who has experienced the pain priests cruelty before, with a mother who is dying and needs him to endure once again. These two are brought together in unusual circumstances – Tas, the priest who must cause pain to charge his Anchor Stone, and Girik the willing Offering, to endure that pain in return for the safety of his village. With a Spawn on the loose nearby, Tas must recharge his stone through Girik's pain and fear, to vanquish the Spawn. But his new doubts stop him from being able to follow through, and it's only Girik's stubbornness that forces them to find another way. Another...intimate...way, that starts off some sizzling chemistry between them.

 I loved the progression of Tas and Girik's relationship. It wasn't a slow-burn, since they were intimate before they even knew each other, for the purpose of the pain, but the emotional side was a definite slow-burn that was adorable to watch. The way they supported each other, throughout, and went on a true journey of discovery together kept me reading page after page. Their story only took up 50% of the book, and then Lyuc and Yan returned at 57% to take things up a notch.

 It was brilliant to see Yan and Lyuc (and, of course, Bryn) back again. They were just as great as I remember from book 1. With the added new characters, and the faithful hound Bayor, I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the series. I'm excited to see what the Barbarians will be like.

 There was action, adventure, romance...I couldn't have asked for more. The Priest is a historical fantasy yarn with all the power of Lyuc's magic and all the gentleness of Yan's nature. Put them together and there's no way you can be disappointed.


 Favourite Quotes

 “You make a lovely melody together...for humans,” Singer opined.
 “Shut up or I'm putting you back in the box.”
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