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.
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020
My Favourite Quote: *subject to change*
“I know you have a spark of Elara’s Light,” she says, “Everyone does. It’s the whisper in your head, the thoughts behind your thoughts. It tells you your friend might prick your heart, but she doesn’t pierce your soul.”
Received an Advanced Reader’s Copy from the publisher, Katherine Tegen Books, via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
First off, I have a confession. I utterly misread the blurb–meaning I had no idea that the book featured three protagonists and I presumed that the heroine was Sabine and had no awareness of Ailesse. Then, I realize the book has a three person perspective it switches between–something I’m in general wary about. I was definitely entering this book with a lot of doubts and preparing to find it difficult to read.
So, imagine my surprise, when I fall in love with Sabine on page one. There was a certain gentle fierceness in her that I immediately fell in love with. There was another part of her personality that I absolutely adored, which was that she was capable of holding an opinion–perhaps even an unpopular one–while being aware and respectful of the path that her and her kind were meant to follow. There was absolutely no contempt in her mind seeing the others following their path, despite her dislike to do so. Perhaps it was this compassion in her that made her the person who could look past what is and see what was. Her character and growth, I feel was done rather well, without making the reader feel that it was unrealistic as we see her choices swivel in the direction she always thought she wouldn’t/couldn’t follow.
Ailesse was a little harder to connect to at first–despite moments of sorrow and pain you feel for her–because she was stubborn in her thoughts and almost insensitive in her faith. You come to understand however, why she was the way she was and her character arc too was very interesting to watch. She grows too, to see the possible futures, thoughts and emotions that lay beyond just being a “Bone Crier worth her bones”. Bastien too was someone with whom you don’t particularly struggle to connect to, as his motives and vengeance are clear and anyone would empathize with them. His and Ailesse’s story was doomed from the very beginning and you grow into their relationship just like they do.
More than anything else in this book, I have to commend the pacing that just absolutely never lets up. Despite it being a rather big book, I was all but racing through it and there was never a dull moment and gosh all the surprises! They just keep coming and they’re almost always never expected. I do admit, I went into the book expecting an enemies-to-lovers romance trope and yes, that was there, but I honestly wasn’t in it for the romance at all; and coming from a romance buff, you can imagine just how good the book was if it wasn’t the romance that kept me interested.
Five stars, I can’t think of a single thing the bothered me about this book. Except the antagonist, of course. FIVE STARS THROUGH AND THROUGH. Highly recommend. Just start the first page, and you won’t ever stop. Highly recommend.