This post contains a gifted item.
Back at the end of 2019 I was perusing Goodreads for 2020 upcoming releases, like I do every year, and as soon as I saw the cover for this book I was hooked. I love Charlie Bowater’s art and this cover design is beautiful. Then I read the blurb and yep… it became one of my most anticipated reads of the year!
I very gratefully received Harper360s newsletter a few months back and was so excited when I saw Bone Crier’s Moon included! I immediately replied and very luckily I received an advanced copy a couple of weeks later in the post. Keep reading for my spoiler free review.
Bone Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.
Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.
Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.
Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.
One of the first thoughts I had when reading this book was how although we delved into the action right away it didn’t come across as info dumpy. This is also a huge plus for me! With just the right amount of world building the story felt very original which made it easy to visualise the action and the locations.
Told through multiple perspectives, Ailesse, Sabine and Bastien, we are able to understand how the three very different individuals view the world and the sacrifices the Bone Crier’s make. It definitely made me root for all three although their goals are very different in the beginning.
This book features one of my favourite tropes which is enemies to lovers in possibly the most extreme sense. I mean, they’re literally trying to kill each other! Aside from the romantic relationship, Bone Crier’s Moon also features some really well developed friendships. Ailesse and Sabine have such a strong bond that is almost tangible. It was so refreshing to read about female characters that aren’t trying to best each other, and genuinely want the best for one another.
Speaking of the romance, you could argue that there was an element of insta-love. “Soulmate” issues aside, the two did seem to develop quite deep feelings in a short space of time however I only thought this when looking back. Whilst reading, I never really felt it was a problem and still don’t see it as one now. But thought it worth mentioning if that’s not really your kind of thing! The tension between the two though was A+.
Written in short chapters, the book is a fairly quick read. It was easy to keep up with the plot and the action, although there were a limited number of locations which also helped this. There was enough going on to keep the story from being boring but not too much that it became convoluted. I also enjoyed the French influence on the story, down to the settings and some of the language used.
Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie has the makings of a new fave in the community. It’s full of snark, fast paced action, an original world, swoon worthy love interests and found families. For me personally I’m really sad that I just didn’t love the book more. Don’t get me wrong I definitely enjoyed it, and the plot kept my interest piqued but there was just *something* missing for me which stopped it from being a 5 star read.
That being said, this was an enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next in store for these characters. And that wraps up my review of Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie. Thank you as always for reading pals!
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