Last Updated on December 20, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
Oh, my friends. Why do I always wait to read the best books? I’m not sure words can do justice how much I truly enjoyed reading The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrew Stewart. My reading pace (taking a little over a month) certainly doesn’t reflect the sheer joy this novel was, nor my awe at the level of writing talent Stewart wields with expert precision. I can’t decide what I’m feeling more: love of the characters, awe at the story or pure jealously of the writing. Perhaps all three at once.
So, spoiler alert: I really loved The Bone Shard Daughter. But, check out the review below more details as to why!
An ARC copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Publisher: Orbit Books | Release Date: September 2020 | Pages: 438
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Hardcore | Source: ARC
The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.
Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.
Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.
On the Page
- Abuse, neglect and abandonment, particularly child
- Disappearance of a loved one
- Medical experimentation
- Memory loss
- Mind control
- Physical injuries and wounds
- Verbal abuse
- Animal cruelty (?)
- Indentured servitude
- Poverty themes
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- The sheer premise: I am completely and utterly fascinated by the premise of the bone shards. Like, to the point where I was jealous that I didn’t come up with the premise myself. It’s as fascinating as it is twisted. I’m ensnared.
- The characters (but particularly Lin): I also loved the blending of different stories and the characters who tell them. Lin, it may be no surprise, was my favorite. Her tenacity, determination and stubbornness I really admired. Ranami was fantastic and the way her love story with Phalue was written was deliciously complex. Jovis I couldn’t help but root for. And just the political and social aspects that interwove all of them was bloody fascinating.
- Those motherfucking twists: So, I wrote in a previous post about how depression made me read slow (read: NOT the quality of this book, but the quality of me). However, the amount of twists in the last third of this novel!? And what they set up for!? Label my mind blown and my awe of Stewart’s skill as a writer, storyteller and all around badass wizard increased exponentially.
- MELPHI: I will die for this creature and will not be taking questions at this time.
- Keeping things straight: Due to reading this novel in spurts (which is not how I would have preferred it), it was a little hard sometimes to keep things straight, at the beginning (especially as we switched POV and tense, from 1st person to 3rd). However, this is incredibly a me problem and an “issue” that I completely dismissed at the end of no longer being an issue, so…make of that as you will!
Are we surprised that The Bone Shard daughter is receiving 4.5 gems out of 5? No, we are not.
So, my fellow readers: if you haven’t yet started the world of The Drowning Empire, I highly recommend you pick up this first book and see for yourselves how truly good it is. It’s a fantastic interweaving of plots and characters that ensnares you, only to drop some incredible twists that set up the sequel to surpass the first book–which will be a feat in and of itself, quite frankly.