Review Detail

The Priest, by Rowan MacAllister
Books EW Elaine White October 10, 2019 549
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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