This past week we gave the spotlight to A Ritual of Flesh, Lee C Conley’s Horror Fantasy novel. Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with their reviews, interviews and more. Now it’s time to bring the show to an end and it’s my pleasure to present you with the encore, including some extra content. Come and learn a bit more about the world of A Ritual of Flesh through our Q&A with Lee! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Lee is a musician and writer in Lincolnshire, UK. He lives with his wife Laura and daughters Luna and Anya in the historic cathedral city of Lincoln. Alongside a lifetime of playing guitar and immersing himself in the study of music and history, Lee is also a practitioner and instructor of historic martial arts and swordsmanship. After writing his advanced guitar theory textbook The Guitar Teachers Grimoire, Lee turns his hand to writing fiction. Lee is one of the founders of Bard of the Isles literary magazine and is now also studying a degree in creative writing while working on his debut fantasy series The Dead Sagas, which includes the novels A Ritual of Bone and A Ritual of Flesh, as well as also generally writing speculative fiction and horror.
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As evil ravages the north and the dead walk, all eyes fall to Arn… The apprentice journeys south, home to the College, unaware of the dark events that transpired in the High Passes after his departure. His leg in ruins, and haunted by watching shadows, the College council in Arn awaits him, but he does not travel south alone.
Arnulf and his warriors must travel to Arn also, with tidings for the king of the risen dead and the terrible curse which has destroyed all that he knew. Arnulf seeks vengeance upon the College, but must choose wisely if he is to save his son.
Meanwhile in the west, Bjorn and his strange Wildman companion report back to High Lord Archeon at Oldstones with grim news of cannibal Stonemen encroaching from the Barrens, but is embroiled in news of war and invasion as Archeon requests his service once more.
In the capital sickness awaits them all, Nym has fled to the city and must now continue her struggle for survival on the plague ridden streets of Arn, keeping all who she cares for safe from the halls of Old Night.
The many threads of this Saga converge on the city of Arn, but amid plague, invasion and terror, a greater darkness is looming. Dark forces are seeking to unleash evil upon Arnar, honour and renown is all, and sword, axe and shield is all that stands between the living and the grasping hands of the dead.
Click on the blog name to read their full review or other content!
OCTOBER 10TH – THE KICKOFF
Whispers & Wonder – interview + IG spotlight @whispersandwonder
The Swordsmith – review
“A wonderfully paced book with some truly shocking moments worthy of the horror genre. Lee really is a writer to watch, taking the genre to new heights and places. It’s a book and a series that comes with my seal of approval, is a highly recommended read and something you need in your life.”
Beneath A Thousand Skies – review
“Conley has taken everything that I enjoyed about A Ritual of Bone and turned the dial-up – from the scale of the world and its events to the size of the book (it’s chunkier than its predecessor, but the way you’re swept through it, you almost wouldn’t know it), to the layers of world-building and I loved it. This is certainly not a read for the faint of heart (or stomach), but if you want Norse/Medieval inspired fantasy with the raw flavour of horror then the Dead Sagas should be a must-read especially since we’re in the spooky season.”
Out of This World SFF – review
“I recommend it for fans who are waiting for the next John Gwynne offering because it has a lot of the feels that I get from his books. It certainly is epic in nature the same way that The Faithful and the Fallen books are and there’s an undeniable sense of tension and awe as well. The Dead Sagas is a series worth discovering for all of the reasons I mentioned and so much more. It really is a landmark effort that begs to be read and savored. A RITUAL OF FLESH only solidifies its standing among the very best in horror fantasy fiction with a story that is shocking, suspenseful, and more than satisfying. Read it at your own peril….or pleasure.”
HighhFantasy – review
“Before I read fantasy, I was (and still am) a huge horror fan. Conley has managed to combine horror and fantasy in such a brilliant way. He balances the two genres near perfectly, the intrigue, world-building, mysteries, all balanced on a knife’s edge.”
Fantasy Book Nerd – review
“At its core, Ritual of Flesh has all the tones of a twisted epic fantasy, with regular tropes being played upon. In some respects, you will find the found family element, particularly when events start to take hold, and each of the individual characters are thrust into finding each other.”
OneReadingNurse – review + IG spotlight @onereadingnurse
“Long story short: if you like chaos, dark fantasy, fantasy horror, fighting and honor set in a world reminiscent of Skyrim (I hold by that comparison in terms of my visualization of the world): you need these books!”
Spells & Spaceships – review
“It goes without saying that things really step up a notch, especially in part three which is just insanely brutal and action packed, but the author is able whilst doing this to retain elements of mystery and add a lot of heart too (not just being ripped from chest cavities) that give this book such a well rounded, satisfying feel.”
Wyrm’s Worlds – review
“Conley’s writing style covers the entire range between brutal and hauntingly beautiful and is never anything short of evocative. Fight scenes are written with a swordsman’s eye and are as bloody and visceral as ever.”
@abbeysbooktopia – review + IG spotlight
“Definitely recommend this series to fellow zombie lovers and definitely grimdark fantasy fans!!”
@curlytopreads – review + IG spotlight
“This is a perfect grimdark epic fantasy! It may not be for the faint of heart lol but if you’re like me and love a good dark tale, this will be right up your alley!”
@apocketfuloftomes – review + IG spotlight
“The characters are well-rounded and they grow more as the series progress. I find the Apprentice’s character arc the most interesting and whew, some foreshadowing! The pacing works well. It started slow, building the tension then picks up its pace on the second half of the book which made it unputdownable!”
FanFiAddict – interview
Sue’s Musings – review
“Conley is a master at describing the world of Arnar in great detail, using sights, sounds and smells to evoke the scene, helping the reader to easily immerse themself in the locations and situations he describes so cleverly”
Welcome back to the Asylum, Lee! Take a seat by the fire, have a glass of beverage of your choice and tell me something about yourself!
Great to return to the Asylum! Fun facts about me, in my day job I am a professional guitarist. I play a lot of rock and metal and it’s been my job for nearly twenty years. Also, for those that don’t already know, I am also a historical martial arts instructor, that means I fight actual sword fights with actual swords regularly. And sometimes I write things, which is how I ended up in here today I guess.
What inspires your writing? Do you listen to music, stare into the fire, listen to the whispering of the wind, make deals with the Devil?
I think it’s a combination of many things. I do like staring into fire, or into water. There’s something about the primal elements that stirs something inside me. I do certainly listen to music for inspiration while writing, but it’s more of a vibe setting for focusing to write, rather than the music itself that I find inspires my work. I think my biggest inspiration is the outside world, the raw awesomeness of nature and the wilderness. I love walking in woodlands or in the hills and mountains of Britain, visiting ancient places and stone circles, it quite often leaves me feeling very inspired, and I think that comes across in Arnar in the books. Other than that a lot of it just comes from my sick damaged imagination. *laughs nervously*
Describe an asylum set in the world of your book, A Ritual of Flesh!
By the end of A Ritual of Flesh the entire world is arguably an Asylum. Everything that they once knew is turned upside down, sanity is frayed and strained to breaking. But I suppose, an in-story asylum in Arnar would probably be a damp barred cell, likely stone walled and possibly beneath ground level. Dripping water from the roof, dank and dark, and squalid. There are a few examples of just this type of place in the books, the places where they keep the crazy people and things they are afraid to let roam free.
Your MC is locked in an asylum. What did he/she do to end up there?
Frankly most of my main characters belong in an Asylum by the end of A Ritual of Flesh. Having their friends and loved ones torn limb from limb, or burnt to ashes, or generally meeting some terrible demise before their very eyes does bad things to people’s mental state. Some of them literally loose their minds by the end of this book so I think they would be quite at home in an asylum.
Which fictional character (it can be one of yours) and/or author would you like to live with in an asylum and why?
I would live with Hafgan from my series, no doubts. He is a solid, stoic, rock of a character. If he couldn’t get you through being locked away in an asylum, no-one could. Plus he’s a bad ass we would fight our way out.
While you are locked in here for eternity, we will allow you one book – what would you choose?
First thing that springs to mind is The Complete Chronicles of Conan by Robert E. Howard. In particular, my big black leather bound edition on my shelf is my favourite, and most read book ever. It just never gets old. And, through the power of Conan I feel I could pull through any eternal incarceration and still win.
Well then, we hope you’ll enjoy your stay in the Asylum! Any last words? *locks door*
Last words?!? Wait What! She locked the door… Well, uh, I suppose I am not out of place talking to myself in the Asylum. If you haven’t checked out The Dead Sagas, and a dark, fantasy horror, zombie apocalypse in a grim Dark Age type world takes your fancy please do check it out, and I hope you enjoy it if you do. Go check out my website for more details or track me down on social media and say hey, as I suspect I will need something to keep me occupied whilst locked up in here.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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