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Review: The Bone Shard Daughter

The Bone Shard Daughter book cover

Title: The Bone Shard Daughter
Author: Andrea Stewart
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 448
Published by: Orbit Books
Date Published: September 8, 2020
You can find it here: Bookshop.org


The Sukai Dynasty has ruled the Phoenix Empire for over a century – after driving out the Alanga and protecting its people through the practice of bone shard magic. Every citizen must give a bone from the base of their skull at a young age – a practice known as the tithing which kills 1 in 25 children. These bones are collected and used by the Emperor to create powerful creatures of protection, fatally drawing off the energy of the bone shard donor.

Rebellion is stirring in the Empire. Farmers are starving under corrupt governors and families are desperate to protect their children from the tithing practice.

Lin, the daughter of the Emperor, is desperate to gain the confidence of her father as a worthy successor of his magic.

Jovis, a smuggler and enemy of the Empire, has unwillingly become the protector of children, rescuing them from the tithing rituals with the help of his newfound magic.

Phalue, the daughter of a lazy governor, works with the group of rebellions known as The Shardless Few to overthrow her father.

Sand, a mango picker on an unknown island, doesn’t know who she is or where she came from. But, after an accident, her memories are starting to lift out of the fog she’s been under.

All these stories will wind together and connect as rebellion brews and the long forgotten Alanga awaken its dark magic.

Overall Thoughts

(3.5 Stars rounded up) For a book entitled “The Bone Shard Daughter”, said daughter actually plays a fairly small part of the 435 page story, which was surprising. I definitely wasn’t expecting this multi-perspective fantasy that is split amongst three main characters and a shadowy, unnamed fourth character. For me, this really lessened the character connection or dynamic world development I was anticipating based on the cover alone. If the jacket blurb had even alluded to a multi-perspective narrative it would’ve made for a less jarring redirection.

However this is still a great fantasy – full of dark suspense, a unique and bloody magical system, Frankenstein-style monstrous creations, a cold hearted Emperor, an Empire on the brink of rebellion, and the greatest animal sidekick that will definitely steal your heart. A fast paced, approachable, young-leaning fantasy read that will have great appeal to the YA crossover reader. Andrea Stewart has laid a great foundation for future instalments but still provides the reader a very satisfying conclusion on its own, I’ll definitely be reading more from this author!

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