The Hunter, searching for a beast… tracking it over mountain passes and through deserted villages.
The Apprentice, aiding his Master in their search for eternal life… the experiments are too much for him, rune-covered bodies mutilated in their investigations.
The Ship at Sea, occupied by sailors, slaves, and a nasty illness. An illness that lingers and infects.
The Village Watch, the signal bell has rung. They run to help. Only to lose their men and have them come back as the undead.
All over the vast continent, men and women are meeting their doom. How and why? Is there a way to stop this plague?
A Ritual of Bone is zombie/ fantasy mashup that really adds to both genres. Two things that can shape a good zombie book is the setup and the sensory details that add to the atmosphere. An attack on page 1 won’t get you far… and Conley definitely doesn’t fall into that trap. He works the tension well and the threads begin to find each other about halfway through. The suspense is drawn to its height and then it’s look out!
The fantasy elements are drawn well also. A pair of Masters from a local college with two apprentices are studying ancient ruins… a chance to extend life. A lone wanderer… all characters I like to see in this genre.
My only criticism lies in the organization of the chapters… I understand that this is a book that utilizes multiple points of view, but some of those POVs were spaced out a bit too far and some chapters were back to back narrated by the same character. This led to me forgetting a bit too much about some of the characters, especially when the chapter left off on a cliffhanger.
Overall, The Hunter, Bjorn, and The Lord of the Watch, Arnolf, kept me turning the pages. They were brave and definitely likable. One a solitary wanderer and the other a formidable leader.
A Ritual of Bone is a good book that delivers a good balance of characterization, action, and lore.