An intriguing beginning to this YA fantasy series... The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields (Review)

The Bone Charmer
(The Bone Charmer #1)
By Breeana Shields
YA Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 400 Pages
May 21st 2019 by Page Street Kids


“Tomorrow, my future will be decided by my dead gran’s finger bones. It’s how my whole life has been determined—with bones and blood and snapping flames.”

On the day of Saskia’s kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—her worst fear comes true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, a seer, like her mother.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose the one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones, with the devastating result of splitting Saskia’s future.

Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously: one where she’s forced to confront her magic, and one where she tries to run from it. But when both paths become entangled in the plot of a rogue Charmer, Saskia learns that no future is safe, and some choices have unimaginable consequences. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.

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My Review

THE BONE CHARMER is a story that feels rich in culture and heritage as the magic in this world comes from bones, and one's own ancestor's bones are most powerful. The world is unique enough from other fantasy series that this story feels fresh and intriguing. Add to that relatable characters, an overall feel of suspense and mystery, and a blossoming romance and this makes for a very entertaining read!

I enjoyed the play of contrasts in this story. You have Saskia and her mother who are generally at odds. Saskia definitely acts a bit of the angsty teenager. Things would go so much more smoothly if she and her mom communicated better. But they don't, even with their good intentions. You have the different students as well as the other people in Saskia's hometown and how their own perceptions and beliefs are all different. Then there are the councils and those outside them, both working for good and evil. I especially loved the concept of fate versus choice.

I really liked these characters! Saskia took a bit to grow on me. I loved Bram from the start. I enjoyed seeing Saskia come into her own, but also enjoyed getting to know other characters. There was not just a mystery surrounding which reality Saskia would have at the end, but also if those around her were who she thinks they are. I felt like this story was just the beginning and there are a lot more secrets and paths to unfold before it's all done.

My one misgiving was that I thought Saskia's mom should have been able to see a bit more than she did to prevent a few things instead of everything still playing out the way they did. I would have liked a few more twists and for Saskia to be more prepared. I also felt that things were a bit too easy for the villains.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a story that was so easy to turn the pages of. I enjoyed just about every moment while I tried to figure out what was going on along with the characters. I'm looking forward to seeing how Saskia navigates her path and if she can thwart her enemy's plans.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy through the Whitney Awards, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Have you read this one yet? I'll definitely be reading book two that comes out next month!

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