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.
The brand new fantasy series by the author of the bestselling Burning Glass Trilogy.
I honestly didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, I flew through it almost one sitting and couldn’t get enough of the lush fantasy world the author creates. The story focuses around three main characters, Ailesse & Sabine Bone Criers who are training to become one of the Ferriers who ferry the dead to their rightful resting place. Ailesse is the daughter of the Matrone, Odiva, and the rightful heir to her throne, her abilities make her one of the most formidable Bone Criers and she longs for nothing more than to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Sabine was probably my favourite character, unsure that the life of a Bone crier is one she wants and unwilling to kill an innocent animal to earn her graces, it’s only her loyalty to Ailesse, the girl who is almost like a sister to her that make her stay. Finally we have Bastien a boy with vengeance in his heart. He was only a child when he saw his father’s death by the hands of a Bone Crier and he has been determined to kill them ever since. Little do these three know how their fates are entwined, until Ailesse heads to the bridge to perform her final right and Bastien shows up.
This book was beautifully written and I found the mythology totally fresh. Bone Criers live to ferry the dead to one of two worlds, the chained head to Tyrus’ underworld while the unchained get ferried to Elara’s paradise. They are able to do this difficult task due to the animal graces they possess. Each Bone Crier possesses three graces with the matriarch having 5. To procure the graces the Leuress’ must kill the animals and make pendants out of their bones. Though there are some similar style stories floating around, the way the author writes the mythology of the world and her descriptions make this a truly intriguing and original tale.
The romance in this book is rather heavy, and I felt maybe a little too fast. The characters go from literally wanting to kill one another to unwilling to admit they are in love in less that half the book, even if nothing happens until close to the end. I found this a little unrealistic and would have liked it to be fleshed out a little more, and maybe more of a slow burn. That being said, it didn’t detract from my overall love of the book and I definitely shipped the two characters from the start. We also see the love between friends through Sabines unwavering loyalty to Ailesse and her certainty that she is alive, despite people telling her otherwise. Sabine would do anything to ensure Ailesse’s safety and I enjoyed following their bond.
There are plenty of twist and turns in this book, and the author writes at quite a fast pace that keeps you gripped until the very end. With action from the go, there is literally a shark battle in the first chapter, you get taken on one hell of a ride, and the author gives you an ending that leaves you desperate for more. My one critique would be that I found most of the twists slightly predictable, so didn’t really feel the shock value the author was going for. But again, it didn’t take away from my love for the story as a whole, and I will definitely be picking up the sequel once it is released. An easy 4/5 read.