This is the second and final book in a duology. Please be aware that it is impossible to talk about this book without spoiling the first one. You have been warned.
The Bone Thief by Breeana Shields
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Summary from NetGalley:
Saskia returns to Ivory Hall to train in bone magic, determined to stop Latham from gaining the power of all three Sights—past, present, and future. But danger lurks within the fortress’s marrow. Trials are underway for the apprentices, and the tasks feel specifically engineered to torment Saskia, which is exactly what Latham wants.
As she grows increasingly more suspicious, her thirst for revenge becomes all-consuming. Together with the friends she can trust and the boy she loved in another lifetime, Saskia traces clues from Latham’s past to determine what he’ll do next. Their search leads them across Kastelia and brings them to a workshop housing a vast collection of horrors, including the bones Latham stole from Gran, and the knowledge that the future isn’t all that’s in jeopardy—but the past as well.
ARC provided by Page Street Publishing via NetGalley for an honest review.
I really enjoyed The Bone Charmer last year and was eager to see where this story was going to go next. I was very curious about whether or not this book would include multiple time lines again or stick to the final one that we ended up with at the end of book one. This story although very different in its approach to the story was just as fascinating and compelling as the first.
At the end of the first book, only one of the possible paths that Saskia’s life was taking survived, and it wasn’t my favorite one. But that turned out okay, because the story was better for it. Especially her relationship with Bram. I still really liked Bram in this book, even though he was a bit stand offish with Saskia. I was happy to see that their relationship had to develop on its own all over again. Bram and all of her friends at Ivory Hall were well developed and they were all from the many different bone magic sections.
Saskia’s journey through out the book was amazing. She really struggled with her grief not only for her family, but also the timeline that she sort of remembers but can also now see with her bone magic. Her anger and her need for revenge was also very up there, and you could see her obsessing over Latham and what he was doing and why, almost takes over her life. Her ability to see multiple paths not only in her future, but her past, was very hard at times. The story really highlights how the choices we make change the course of our futures, and one small thing could still totally change an outcome.
We get to see a bit more of the world that Saskia lives in, and we also see more of the magical system. I would have liked a bit more of an explanation of why people were bound to one very specific type of magic in this world, for example healers could only heal diseases or mend broken bones, but not both. I would think that would be hard not to use some of the other disciplines that adjoin yours, as the group that helps Saskia soon finds out.
The plot was really well done, although I did sort of miss the dual narration of two different Saskias from the first book. The story did get a little draggy in the middle and the big reveal of who was working with Latham on the inside wasn’t that big of a surprise, but the ending was amazingly well done. Some of the trials that the group has to go through were quite scary, but intriguing, including the black market. The writing is also very well done and I really loved the detail of everything from clothes, to food and the different bone magics.
This duology has not been getting the attention that it so richly deserves. It is very beautifully written and the characters and magical system are very original. If you are looking for a solid fantasy with a brilliant main character and a great supporting cast of friends then you should pick this series up and give it a try.