Storytellers On Tour is a Blog/Instagram Tour organising service. It was born out of Justine’s (Whispers & Wonder) and my love and dedication toward SFF indie books and authors. Our goal is to give as much exposure to our clients as we can, while we also build a community among our Roadies. Find out more about us on www.storytellersontour.online!
This past week we gave the spotlight to A Ritual of Bone, the first book of The Dead Sagas series by Lee C Conley in celebration of the release of its sequel, A Ritual of Flesh, which is out now! Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with reviews, interviews and other posts. 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 Bone through Lee‘s fan cast and playlist!
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 successful advanced guitar theory textbook The Guitar Teachers Grimoire, Lee turns his hand to writing fiction. Lee is now studying a degree in creative writing and working on his debut fantasy series The Dead Sagas as well as also generally writing speculative fiction and horror.
If anyone would like to sign up for occasional (once or twice a year) email of news and updates on Lee’s work, with the occasional competition or giveaway too, please sign yourselves up to Lee’s mailing list. Sign up to Lee’s mailing list!
“Only valour and steel can stand against the rising dead”
Arnar is a land of warriors, its people as stalwart as the stones themselves. In a land of dark forests and ancient hill forts, a forgotten evil is awoken by curious minds.
The Great Histories and the Sagas say nothing of this evil, long passed from the memory of even the studious scholars of the College. For centuries, the scholars of Arnar have kept these records and preserved the knowledge and great deeds of a proud people. The story of these peoples forever chronicled in the Sagas of the Great Histories.
But now the evil spreads and the dead walk in its wake, terrible creatures roam the night and even the spirits are restless. The Dead Sagas could perhaps be the final chapters of these great records.
Many threads entwine to tell this Saga, interweaving the tales of those who played their part in the search for answers and ultimately their fight for survival. Amid plague, invasion and terror, the inexorable rise of the dead sends a kingdom scrabbling to its knees.
This Dark Fantasy Epic combines dark malign horror and gritty survival adventure as the Dead Sagas unfold in a world where honour and renown is all, where beasts and savages lurk in the wilderness, and where 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 18TH–THE WELCOMING
The Swordsmith – review
“If you want an epic, atmospheric, creepy and brilliant story to read set in an epic land then look no further than A Ritual of Bone. My final point about the book is the lighter touches, the moments of peace or relaxation the characters get. It really felt like they had all been together for years, it’s wonderful to read an author who can meld characters like that together. This is a fantastic book that gets my seal of approval, Lee’s a brilliant author so what are you waiting for!”
HighhFantasy – review
“A Ritual of Bone is a bloody (and I mean BLOODY) good time, full of scares, some laughs and is perfect for fans of fantasy and horror alike. Think Evil Dead meets First Law.”
@abbeysbooktopia – IG spotlight
Beneath A Thousand Skies – review
“A wonderful, refreshing take on horror fantasy and a very solid start to the Dead Sagas. If you want an atmospheric, chilling read that will creep inside and wrap itself around you, with that touch of epic fantasy, and a story that is multi-layered and well-woven then A Ritual of Bone is an excellent read that I would highly recommend.”
Out of This World SFF Reviews – review
“At the core of this book though is the stories of survival that we feel with every character and how the rampaging zombie evil affects each one in a different way. We get to experience the struggle to stay alive against outrageous odds and as a result of that, we become intimate with these characters as we follow them along their individual journeys. Please do give A RITUAL OF BONE by Lee Conley a try, especially if you enjoy medieval fantasy with a good deal of horror, adventure, and intrigue. I liked this one a lot.”
Maxine’s Obsessions – review
“Lee manages to create this overwhelming feeling of impending doom. The atmosphere is oppressive and at times claustrophobic. Every time you think it couldn’t get worse for the characters, it does. There are so many different types of horrors occurring throughout that you never get a break. I loved that he took my zombie expectations and turned it on it’s head. He doesn’t shy away from going full horror. Gore, chaos, psychological mayhem, this story has it all.“
One Reading Nurse – review
“The combined setting, atmosphere, and writing style in this book is incredible. There are four or five distinct storylines being told that start with the evil being unleashed, and then tell of various characters in different parts of the country discovering and dealing with the early consequences. Each of these storylines is going to converge in the second book and I am so excited.”
Spells & Spaceships – interview
Book Steff’s Bookish Blog – review
“It was the best time of the year to read this one for me because it gave me creepy and dark vibes that gets me right in the mood for spooky season! There was atmosphere, action, darkness, and a heft of gore to keep me engaged, excited, and wanting more. I cannot wait to see how things develop in book 2 and I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy grimdark, books with dark undead things, and readers who aren’t afraid to feel a little unsettled or spooked!”
The Book Loving Pharmacist – review
“The author takes his time describing the world in detail. Because of this one of the things A Ritual of Bone has going for it is the atmosphere and ominous vibes. The author does a really good job of setting up scenes full of mystery, horror and death. Ancient ruins and dark forests where mysterious rituals are enacted take center stage. When the scene is set and the characters fall into place, the dead rise and many don’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late.”
@the.b00kreader – IG spotlight
FanFiAddict – guest post
OllieSpot SFF Book Review – review
“Although it gave me that escapist warm and fuzzy feeling I get from a good fantasy novel, there isn’t the typical hero and magic comeback kid stuff. Its grim, its got the lone hunter who finds out that the mystery of suddenly empty villages he was hoping to find an answer to, is up against more than he would ever have imagined, but does his best to survive, if only to spread the warning. I loved Bjorn, favorite Character for sure. There were some great moments of dialogue between him and those he encountered.”
Timy has invited me to write a guest post to round up this week’s A Ritual of Bone blog tour. I decided to combine two themes and discuss both the music and the imagery that inspires The Dead Sagas.
First let’s discuss the music. Now being a professional guitarist and sound engineer, I am very passionate about my music. So here are a few of the songs that inspire my writing, music I listen to, in particular while writing The Dead Sagas. I listen to a lot of ambient fantasy soundtracks, quite often from film or video game scores when I write. I also listen to a lot of heavy metal—I find the upbeat power of heavy metal just gets inside me and drives me onward when I’m working on anything. This list represents a good mix of these mentioned sources.
Strapping Young Lad by Monument
Everything about this song is powerful and incredibly rocking, from the opening lyrics, to the crushing guitar and drums. This band is one of my all-time favourite bands, and they inspire both my music and my writing immensely. The lyrical content of this song struck me in particular “ I want your heart, your soul, and your mind” readers of The Dead Sagas, in particular the new book will find this particularly apt.
Now You’ve Got Something to Die for by Lamb of God
Another one of my all-time favourites, the sheer aggression mixed in with these groves is what inspires me on these songs. Again same as the SYL the lyrical content of this particular song seemed apt, but for a different range of characters, these men of honour with something to die for. But inspiration wise, this is all about the empowering aggression of Lamb of God, nothing like a fight scene written to this music—it is fight music.
Conan OST – Anvil of Crom, Riddle of Steel, & Conan the Destroyer intro theme
Ok, three choices here, I think they are my three favourite that are nearly always on at some point in a writing session. This music and the OST from the Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer films are a go to for me on most writing sessions. By Crom, I absolutely love the music from these films, and find it incredibly inspiring to write to for a couple of hours.
Reverie/Harlequin Forest by Opeth
I love Opeth, one of my favourite bands and I listen to a lot of their work, which I have no doubt effects my writing. I chose this song from the Ghost Reveries album as I love the vocals on this one, the guitar work is awesome in particular the guitar harmonies, the lyrics are amazing, it’s a really good go to song for Opeth for me.
Lord of the Rings OST – Rohirrim Charge (Rohan Theme)
Like so many fantasy fans and writers I am a big Lord of the Rings fan, the music from these films is the epitome of fantasy music. All composed by Howard shore, it is another soundtrack I quite often put on to lose myself in the writing (I know so tragic and cheesy). I do prefer the dark themes in the soundtrack though, the Nazgul theme is a favourite of mine but I have chosen this track as the people of Rohan particularly inspired Arnar, they live for honour and the technology and weapon and armour style is similar.
Helvegen (The Way To Hel) by Wardruna
I couldn’t not include some Wardruna, I’m writing music heavily influenced by Norse culture and what modern music is more Norse influenced than Wardruna. They have been forerunners in Viking themed music for years and years now, and are perfect to immerse myself into a Norse atmosphere and get that right vibe. I chose Helvegen as it is a great song and one of their more well-known pieces; it is also dark and foreboding, those vocals soaring over it all. Love it!
Okay next I wanted to include a short gallery of the images that inspire the settings and characters of the series. Some of these I have selected as they capture the feel of what imagine the settings and characters to look like. Others are photos or pieces of art I have found that have directly inspired the creation of those characters and settings.
Architectural style of the buildings and towns of Arnar
The warriors of Arnar
A land of dark forests, forboding hillforts, stone circles and burial mounds
The Dead and The Cursed
Anyway, that’s all from me, but thank you to Timy here at RockStarlit BookAsylum for inviting me to write this article and for hosting this book tour for A Ritual of Bone via Storytellers On Tour. Thank you to anyone who is reading this for taking the time, and I hope you found my ramblings interesting.
The first two books in The Dead Sagas, A Ritual of Bone and A Ritual of Flesh are out now (links below). If any of my work sounds of interest, please do dive into the world I have created, but if you do, remember… Fear the Dead!
If you are interested in A Rtual of Bone and would like to get in contact with Lee C Conley, you can find him on social media:
Find out more about Storytellers On Tour or join our team:
Grab a copy of A Ritual of Bone or A Ritual of Flesh!