Hello everyone! This book came highly recommended to me by some of my freiends whose taste in fantasy I trust completely and safe to say, I was not disappointed. at all. Go on and read my review and I hope I can convince you to pick up the book which is sure to become of my favourite series of all time!
The Bone Shard Emperor
By Andrea Stewart
Age Group: Adult
Trigger Warnings: violence; death of loved ones (off-page); depictions of blood, grief, and gore; torture (off-page); cutting into skin (not self-harm); amnesia or memory loss; drowning; murder and death
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.
The Bone Shard Daughter is a beautiful and complex story that is full of unexpected twists and reveals, intriguing and fascinating characters and a different magic system which had me hooked right from the beginning. It tells us the story of an Empire whose Emperor is struggling to hold on to control, there is a growing unrest among the people and a rebellion is brewing and our main characters somehow find themselves in the centre of it all unknowingly.
Despite having a relatively slow start, I was captivated from the very start of the book. We follow multiple protagonists through this story and keeping track of them was a little hard as I tried to get to know them. However, it didn’t take long for me to feel like I knew each of the characters, their motivations, feelings and fears and was rooting for them all.
Lin is the Emperor’s daughter who has lost her memories after having gotten an unexplainable disease. Trying to win her father’s love and affection so he would chose her as the heir and teach her the bone shard magic, she is dedicated to doing whatever she can to get back her memories and win him over. She is fierce, ambitious and dives head first into trying to achieve what she wants, no matter the risks.
“I was Lin. I was the Emperor’s daughter. And I would show him that even broken daughters could wield power.”
Phalue is the Governor’s daughter who is kind and has a big heart and is just trying her best to be good. I loved her and Ranami and how they both adore each other despite all their differences and bring out the best in each other. Phalue just wants the best for her people and I love how Ranami helps her in seeing how the people are really living and suffering and how she can actually help them. Despite all the complications in their relationship, I think they fit together well bringing out the best in each other.
Jovis is a smuggler who is roaming the empire trying to look for his wife who was kidnapped years ago. He’s not your usual hero but more of a reluctant one who seems to be unable to say no when asked for help. I loved reading about him a lot because we can clearly see how conflicted he is and yet, despite his reservations ,he helps others which makes for a much more realistic hero according to me. I loved seeing him interact with Mephi who is a fantasy animal I am absolutely in love with and want to know more about! Seeing how Jovis cared and loved for Mephi really made my heart so soft and I can not wait for more of them in the next book!
“When I was in the water,” Mephi said, “I didn’t know where to go. I had to find someone to help me. I swam to you because I knew you would help me. I know who you are…You are the person who helps”
Lastly, we have Sand who is stuck on a mysterious island with a task she has to repeat every day. I love how Sand and the readers discover truths together and tried to piece them all up. Sand had few short chapters in this book but I’m excited to see where her story goes!
Stewart does a great job at world building as well, introducing us to this new Empire with a unique magic system and lets us settle in before all the action comes to a climax towards the end of the book. I loved the magic system which was sort of like coding and as a person who loves finding the correct code that works, this magic system really appealed to me! It involved using bone shards to create structures that would carry out the commands listed on the bone shards. I loved seeing how Stewart explored this in depth with how the structures could break if a shard was removed or a contradictory statement was added and how it could be bypassed by finding the correct commands which would not break it! I also loved seeing how the repercussions of this magic affected the people and how it fit into the growing instability in the empire.
The ending was fantastic with a lot explained which had me begging for more and I am glad my hold for the next book just came in because I am going to run and read it now! If you’re looking for a fantasy book that will hook you, has a different concept and compelling characters, this is the perfect book for you!
Have you read The Bone Shard Daughter? Do you plan on picking it and it’s sequel up? If you’ve read either, what did you think of them?