In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
The Bone Charmer
Series: Not determined yet
Author: Breeana Shields
Publication Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Page Count: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Cover Artist: -
My Rating: ★★★★★
I received an ARC of this book from Page Street Kids via Netgcalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.
Content Warning: Death, Murder, Overall morbid vibe with the theme of bones
Tomorrow my future will be decided by my dead gran’s finger bones. It’s how my whole life has been determined–with bones and blood and snapping flames.
The Bone Charmer is a twisty little devious book—and I absolutely loved it! To be completely honest, I’ve never read anything quite like it. The Bone Charmer is creative, exploratory, and crafty. You’ll notice that my review for this book will be shorter than my normal reviews, because I just don’t want to spoil anything for anyone (which, should be everyone) who picks up this book! It’d be very difficult to talk about certain topics without it becoming spoilery, so I just won’t.
Saskia is the protagonist. Living in the town of Midwood, in a world where the bones of ancestors hold sway for everything, life looks very different.
”Masons craft the bone flutes that Watchers use to control animals and the weapons that Breakers use to protect our country. Mixers blend bone potions that Healers use to treat patients. And, of course, Charmers perform readings on us all.”
Saskia comes from a family of Bone Charmers–those who have the ability to read the past, present, and/or future depending on their sight ability. First sight is past, second sight the present, and third sight is the future. In this world, Bone Charmers are the most esteemed–as they are the “guides” for people of the community. When adolescents reach the age of seventeen, they are matched with their future apprenticeships through the Kenning–as well as their future partner.
Not having much experience with the Sight herself, Saskia’s afraid that her abilities will cause her to do harm instead of good. Her mother has the third sight, and can see into the future, which obviously causes issues for Saskia’s future. She and her mother have differing opinions of what she should pursue. After her Kenning, Saskia disagrees with her mother about the path that was chosen for her, and she ends up breaking a bone that was used in the reading of her future–also done by her mother. When the bone breaks, Saskia also has to live out the two different paths–the one her mom chose for her, and the one she chose for herself–until her fate is decided.
While I absolutely loved this concept, I had issues with two aspects. First, I have no idea what the characters looked like. It was really hard to feel attached to characters because they simply weren’t fleshed out. Secondly, there was very little world building, which I was so disappointed about! There are several elements of this world that sounded amazing from the few descriptions given, but that was it! I want so much more!!!.
Despite this, I really enjoyed this book. The ending is set up for a sequel, so I will anxiously be looking forward to that!
Vulgarity: None that I recall.
Sexual content: Minimal.
Violence: Quite a bit–considering there is a murder scene.
My Rating: ★★★★
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