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Brood of Bones

(Lady of Gems #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  779 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Cursed by constant sleepiness, Enchantress Hiresha has no time to marry and raise a family. From virgin to grandmother, all the women in her city are in their last trimester, power drained by a lurking sorcerer. Only the Lord of the Feast, a dangerous yet charming illusionist, is uncivilized enough to help.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 17th 2011 (first published September 28th 2011)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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“I never learned the knack for waking. Consciousness hung over me like a sodden rag, weighing on my eyelids and muffling my ears, yet even my stifled senses did not spare me the indignity of hearing my name screamed across a public place.“

Sounds like me...

Brood of Bones is the first in a series about Hiresha, an expert in jewel enchantment and sufferer of severe narcolepsy. She has journeyed back to her hometown, Morimound, at the request of the Siri the Flawless, city arbiter. Accompanying Hire
A.E. Marling
Oct 10, 2011 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wrote
A story without fantasy is like a holiday without fireworks.

The fantasy genre has always lit my eyes with wonder, whisking me away to lands of great frights and greater friendships. I knew since my sophomore year in high school that I loved writing tales crackling with magic, and that passion only grew into a relentless pursuit of the craft of storytelling. I would like to thank my faithful readers, who have always encouraged me. I have learned so much from you. The praise directed toward this n
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
I am finding this book hard to review.
The writing was good, the story was interesting its just that I found the main character an asshole.
In the beginning of the book you find out that before she was this all powerful, and rich enchantress she was poor. As well as being poor she was made fun of due to her narcolepsy, and made to feel not quite worthy of a normal life.
You would think this would have had some sort of lasting effect when she came into power. She could have taken that childhood, and
Phil Leader
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got this book because I wanted to read some of Marling's work and it seemed a good starting point. I downloaded it at the same time as a lot of other works, intending just to skim the first chapter of each and then decide which one I was going to read.

I read the first part of this novel and I was hooked. The story unfolds really well and there is real suspense. The writing is a joy to read and the descriptions of the world are really evocative.

The story revolves around Elder Enchantress Hiresh
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Weird O_O pregnant women freak me out. But it's an interesting book, you should give it a try.

Free today*, 13th May 2013, on Amazon. Get it here.

*might still be free after this date - give it a try and see
Jul 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I've been interested in reading some self-published books recently, but wasn't keen enough on the hunt, or confident enough in its success, to brave the wilds of the Kindle freebie woods myself. Luckily here comes Carol with a nicely positive review of A.E. Marling's Fox's Bride to lead me to this first book about Enchantress Hiresha.

The blurb will give you a pretty good idea of the basic plot of the book, so here are a couple of impressions.

Hiresha is a really interesting character. Her disabi
Kelli Musser
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I stumbled upon this completely by happy accident, via Twitter...nd I'm extremely happy I did. As a lifelong fantasy reader, I found myself bereft and sad in between books from current authors I enjoyed. I decided a new author would be worth a try.

Trust me, its worth the read.

The world of the Enchantress Hiresha is at once similiar yet astonishly different from your 'standard' fantasy world. Magic in this realm cannot be used in the waking world - which puts the narcoleptic Hiresha at a distinc
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Good
The writing style is excellent. Many times, especially with fantasy, there can be a tendency for the words to get in the way of the story. Thankfully, Marling avoids this. Some of the word choices, while a bit strange, became the way I connected with the main character, Hiresha.
I also appreciated how the romance in the story was handled. To be frank, you aren't slapped in the face with a lovesick insufferable walnut. It's nice. I enjoyed it.
The most notable, and my personal favorite,
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Newcomer A. E. Marling does a bang-up job with this novel about a magic-wielder afflicted with a sleeping disorder. Her drowsiness does not equate boredom for the reader. On the contrary, "Brood of Bones" is a fantasy whodunnit, with Enchantress Hiresha cast in the role of arcane detective. The setting and the magic are skillfully portrayed; the characters are complex and not always predictable. Hiresha struggles not only with her sleeping problem, but with the past that has formed her; her posi ...more
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I was expecting there to be more romance in this, but Hiresha's gowns made it a little impractical. She has a strange relationship with Tethiel that i hope to see further developed in the next book, but this was more about Hiresha coming to terms with her past and coming out of her laboratory into the real world. Just because she sleeps a lot doesn't mean that she isn't a powerful enchantress capable of helping the less fortunate and solving a compelling mystery. I'll admit, i guessed wrong abou ...more
Christina Kessler
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes fantasy
I love this!
The plot and characters in this book are so original and engaging. I love the sharp contrast in writing between when Hiresha is asleep (and hyperintelligent and powerful) and when she is awake (drowsy and confused). The Feasters are creepy and fascinating. I was on the edge of my seat until the last page! It's so hard to find fantasy that has strong female characters and tight plot. This is it.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: aspiring fantasy authors, people who enjoy non-Tolkien-like epic fantasy
Brood of Bones is worth reading for its unique characters, world, and storytelling, but ultimately it’s pleasant, not wowing.

The main character Hiresha is like a magical Lisbeth Salander. Both Hiresha and Lisbeth live in their own detached realities. They see people around them as illogical or inferior. They feel no compulsion for human interaction, and when they do seek companionship, they struggle to connect to others. They are also extremely powerful: Lisbeth can hack into any computer system
Nicole Wagner
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing, original, witty, inspiring!
Christopher Kellen
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, indie
Brood of Bones is the story of Hiresha, an enchantress with what appears to be narcolepsy. However, instead of treating this with humor (as so many works do), Mr. Marling treats it with the utmost seriousness. In fact, for Hiresha, it’s actually an advantage in her line of work — but I won’t go into any more detail so as to avoid spoilers.

In the past two months, I have undertaken to read five different books, and have finished none of them. With some of them I barely made it past the first few p
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I admit I approached this novel with some reservations. Despite the fact that my own husband's work is "self published" and that a few friends of mine have gone the "small publisher" route, there is still a nervousness in stepping away from the taste-makers at the Big Six. Not that they don't publish plenty of lousy stuff, but at least you wont get something written by two goldfish via translation through a Kazoo.

So when I stumbled across a link to it for free download in Goodreads' new Ebook S
M.L. Chesley
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a well crafted, intellectual piece of High Fantasy. I feel that my review might clash with the intellect level with which it was written. A. E. Marling has created a very unique fantasy world, at least from my viewpoint, and well thought out characters.

Elder Enchantress Hiresha is a powerful magic user, but with many flaws. The largest being her inability to live in the waking world. She has been gifted twelve gowns and her station requires she wears them all. That alone would make me ex
Gregory Close
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In short, Brood of Bones is an excellent novel.

- The cover was beautiful, and it led me to click through to the book blurb.
- The blurb was intriguing, and it led me to click on the link for a free sample on Kindle.
- The free sample sucked me into the story immediately, and without hesitation I bought the full Kindle version.

I was blown away by the originality of the setting and the magic system as well as the endearing imperfection and authenticity of the characters. The prose was effortless an
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. Torn between a 4 and a 5, I'm going to have to let it sit for a while.

The writing was invisible (ie: I didn't notice I was reading text so much as simply knowing the story as it unfolded) while at the same time it seemed to provide very vivid, almost technicolor, visuals.

The "romance" element was nicely done. Not very romantic, I suppose, but there was a depth of feeling lurking just below the surface.

I did not like the protagonist at all for 90% of the book - and yes
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Hiresha is an enchantress who struggles to stay awake, which helps her with her magic that can only be performed while she is dreaming. Unfortunately, this means she hardly lives in the real world. After receiving a letter from an old arbiter, she returns home to find most of the women there pregnant, from children to grandmothers. Hiresha decides to investigate what is really happening once she realises none of the future mothers has felt their babies yet.

I admit it took me a long time to warm
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it


Let me get the bad out of the way: It's in first person, so it made me very sleepy since Hiresha is constantly falling asleep. I was So. Sleepy. But I couldn't put it down. There was almost too much description of what things looked like, the vividness of how jewels were described bordering on tedious. But they were great descriptions, and painted a beautiful (if not vaguely gaudy) picture in my mind.

The good: I never thought I could be so engaged in a story whose main
Candace Pettit
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I was fascinated by the world created by the author. The setup of the magical system for enchantresses was creative and interesting. I found it fascinating to read a fantasy novel but clearly recognize elements of the detective genre in it.

Hiresha is a unique protagonist. I can completely relate to her, being a female who can sometimes be straight-forward, blunt, formal, and not one to suffer fools lightly. Tethiel is even more interesting, filling the anti-hero role without
Cactus Jack
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mystery, Magic, Humor and Craftmanship
What a pleasure to encounter a book with precise and concise writing; clearly each sentence was crafted. The flawed Heroine Hiresha drew me in immediately, surprisingly with her humorous misinterpretations of her waking world. However her complete mastery of lucid dreaming was unexpected and drew me more deeply into the book. Call this a fantasy or a mystery, I loved it.
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best fantasy novels I have read in years. The level of detail that A.E. Marling has put into creating this universe, and more specifically the characters, is just astonishing. The main character, Hiresha, is everything that I love in a strong, competent, intriguing female lead, and I truly hope to read more of her adventures.
Hobbit Dragon
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No idealized two-dimensional fantasy heroines/heroes here! If you want high fantasy about fascinating, flawed characters set in a deliciously complex world, read this book. Funny and dark by turns, and completely satisfying without ever being cliche, Brood of Bones proves that one can expect excellent writing and characterization from the fantasy genre.
Cynthia Joyce
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not one but two highly original premises: one, a woman suffering from narcolepsy has great magical powers because a certain type of magic can only be done when asleep; and two, every single woman in a city is mysteriously pregnant even if a virgin and even if having gone through menopause. Brood of Bones is an intelligent, well paced, well plotted story. Read it, you'll love it like I did.
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Astonishingly original. Can't recommend it highly enough to fantasy readers.
Gretchen Davidson
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It isn’t exactly perfect. But it’s so fun, and so imaginative, and so clever, that I’ve found myself rereading this series over & over again. Let me describe a few things I liked about this book:

The main characters are so interesting. The heroine, Hiresha, is unlike any other fantasy heroine I've read about. Firstly, she is in her mid-thirties and already a powerful enchantress, which I found refreshing--I think a lot of fantasy authors write coming-of-age tales because they lend themselves more
WOW. This was just so darned good, stop reading this review and go get it. Get all of E.E. Marling's books.
What, still reading? Do I have to go over how the magic systems are intricate and fascinating? How the characters are complex and the plot unpredictable without being confusing? About all the heart pounding magical showdowns?
Not to mention how the Lord of the Feast, Tethial (I think I'm spelling that right, I listened to the audiobook. I've been spelling Hiresha as Hyratia in my head the w
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love it when I see something genuinely new, something that isn't the same old story in the same old setting retold for the far-too-manyth time, and that is what Brood of Bones is. Though it's not without its flaws, it's certainly the kind of book that makes me want to read the sequel.

First, let's talk about the homonyms and malapropisms. It's usually unfortunate when an author attempts a "formal", "high" or "period" style, not only because it makes the characters seem remote and unemotional, b
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
This book was definitely a fast read... there was a lot of action without a lot of down time, and the mystery that served as the main plot point really drove the story along.

Our main character, Elder Enchantress Hiresha was... an interesting character. I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to like her, but I'm not entirely sure about that. She's arrogant, completely out of touch with how others feel, and she's pretty damn selfish. But, she's the only one who has a chance of figuring out what the
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A.E. Marling wrote his first fantasy novella after his freshman year in high school. In college, he found nothing gave him a greater urge to write than science lectures, and he sat through a lot of ‘em. He has yet to repent his fascination with fantasy and is intrigued by its grip on the human imagination.

Both ambidextrous and word-voracious, his diet ranges from Arthurian legends to Jane Austen.

Other books in the series

Lady of Gems (7 books)
  • Gown of Shadow and Flame
  • Fox's Bride
  • Gravity's Revenge
  • Dream Storm Sea
  • Magic Banquet
  • Dark Lord's Wedding

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