Good morning bookworms! I’m here with another fantasy review. Sorry if fantasy is not your genre and that’s all you’ve seen on this page this month. But I’ve loved hosting the June Fantasy Escape readathon and I’m obsessed with fantasy so you’ll just have to deal with it! But I promise I’ll be reading lot’s of other genres in July.
Book: The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire #1)
Author: Andrea Stewart
The Bone Shard Daughter is the first book in a series and sets up the world really well. The basics are that the Emperor takes a shard of bone from every citizen’s skull when they are a kid. Then uses the bone shard to create magical constructs. The constructs are soldiers and spies for the Emperor and help him keep control over his territory. The citizens do okay for a while missing a chunk of skull but when your shard is used, you slowly start to decay faster, like the use of the shard sucks the life out of you while in use. The Emperor has a stock pile of shards, so yours may not be used until you’re already older but maybe not.
The Emperor has a daughter and an adopted son and he’s trying to decide which of them to declare his heir. The siblings are competing to master the use of bone shards first and prove they are the worthy heir. Lin is the Emperor’s daughter and that’s whose perspective we have. There is also Jovis, a smuggler that starts rescuing kids from the tithing festival so they don’t lose a bone shard. He has a familiar that is sort of like an otter and really cute. Then you follow a few rebels as they try to fight against the constructs and save the people from the Emperor’s abuse.
Writing: 2/2 – The language and fluidity was great, I was never annoyed by too much description or fluffy prose.
Plot: 2/2 – This was a very cool world. I really liked the bone shard magic and can’t wait to see where Stewart takes it.
Characters: 2/2 – You’ve got a young women coming into her own, an adult man searching for his lost love, a familiar that is sassy and warm-hearted, and a lesbian couple that fight for a cause together. What more could you ask for?
World Building: 1/2 – The jumping around between perspectives at the beginning made the world building a little slow, but worth it in the end.
Hook: 1/2 – It took me until about halfway to really get sucked into this one so not a great hook. I was only a little intrigued.
The world building in this one was a bit confusing at first, mostly because it jumps quickly between many different perspectives and takes about 200 pages for any of the story lines to connect. That being said, I still got into it and enjoyed the story. Jovis was my favourite with Mephi his familiar. I’m a sucker for an animal companion. But the other characters are fun too. Also adding to the confusion, is that Lin is learning all about constructs and bone shards, so you learn slowly along with her.
The ending was exciting and made me look forward to book 2 which is releasing in November. There are a few books releasing in the fall now that are the next book in a series, which will make for some good winter reading!
Overall a great fantasy read and a great start to what I hope will be an amazing series!