Tas has trained his entire life to be a member of the Thirty-Six, those few amongst the Brotherhood chosen to bond with a singing stone. The stones and the power they represent are the foundation of Tas’ religious training. But now his faith his crumbling and Tas is struggling to find his purpose. Under the watchful eye of an untrustworthy Brother, Tas is forced to wrestle with newfound and life-altering knowledge while doing his work as a member of the Thirty-Six.
The small village where Girik has lived his entire life is under threat from Spawn. To ensure that his mother is cared for, Girik offers himself as sacrifice. His pain and fear are required to charge the stone that Tas will use to defeat the Spawn. At least that’s what everyone, including Tas, has been told. But now, even that, seems to be suspect information. Tas and Girik will challenge centuries old traditions while trying to save an ancient people from enslavement. It’s no small task, but with help from a Wanderer, his lover, and a sarcastic Spawn, they might just be able to change the world.
I love a We-have-to-have-sex-to-save-the-world book! Or in this case, We-have-to-have-sex-to-save-a-village. The Priest is the second in the Chronicles of the Riftlands series and follows The Wanderer. This series really must be read in order. There is so much world building that takes place in The Wanderer that it really helps set readers up for The Priest.
As with The Wanderer, excellent characters drive The Priest. Tas is actually kind of annoying and there were times I wanted to smack him, but his jumbled personality is believable and makes sense for someone in the middle of a religious and existential crisis. He’s constantly torn between doing the right thing and accepting the weight of his responsibilities. He’s somewhat caustic and haughty, but as a reader, I could sense so much of that was the bluff and bluster. He’s essentially a man whose entire sense of self is under attack. Girik is less well defined, but I think this was intentional on the part of the author as this was really Tas’ story. But his devotion and willingness to support Tas make Girik easy to like. He’s sort of the perfect boyfriend.
There is further world building here and at times it can be a bit confusing. But I think the author has done a good job of taking a lot of complexity and making it user friendly. There’s a lot to unravel, but there’s never so much that I felt overwhelmed or lost. And the world building is really critical to what makes The Priest so much fun to read.
The Priest is another excellent addition to the Chronicles of the Riftlands. It has the same fantastic character development and riveting story arc that made The Wanderer so amazing. The story sets readers up for a third book, so I’m going to be eagerly awaiting that release. In the meantime, fans of multi-layered fantasies are going to find plenty to like about The Priest.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.