Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bone Queen” as Want to Read:
The Bone Queen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Bone Queen

(The Books of Pellinor #0.5)

by
3.98  ·  Rating details ·  991 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Perfect for readers of Tolkien and Garth Nix, The Bone Queen is the highly anticipated prequel to the original Pellinor sequence, and will delight fans of critically acclaimed author Alison Croggon, as well as newcomers to the world of Pellinor.

Cadvan of Lirigon, one of the most powerful Bards of his time, has been exiled from the School of Lirigon for a grievous crime th
...more
Published 2017 by Candlewick Press (first published February 18th 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bone Queen, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Anne I don't think it really matters. You could read the prequel first or the series first. The story of Cadvan is referred to in the series throughout, so…moreI don't think it really matters. You could read the prequel first or the series first. The story of Cadvan is referred to in the series throughout, so if you read the prequel first, you'll have depth of understanding the events referred to. If you read the series first, the story doesn't immediately concern Cadvan's past and is really about Maerad's story and so you lose nothing by not reading the prequel first. It's a stand alone book that features younger versions of some of the prominent side characters of the series. For me, having read the series years before the prequel was even a thing, going back and rereading the series and then the prequel was just a satisfying thing, being able to revisit old friends without quite having to say goodbye to the world yet.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  991 ratings  ·  119 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Bone Queen
Sseonana
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Croggon is the best current High Fantasy author and deserves more recognition for her work. The Pellinor series is often compared to Tolkein, and although it's clear that his writings have influenced her style and worldbuilding, allegations or plagiarism the series has attracted are unfair and unfounded. The quest narrative has been existence since people started telling stories, and it's common knowledge that Tolkein himself drew on mythologies and social structures of Ancient Norse and Medieva ...more
Kirsti
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was first attracted to this book by the beautiful cover, and even the knowledge that it was a prequel to a series I haven't read couldn't put me off. I don't think I actually needed to read the series first; I felt like this stood up all on it's own. I loved the lyrical, almost sleepy writing. Everything from eating bread to washing your hands sounded pretty. At the same time I was intrigued by the world created, and I wondered what the actual series would focus on. It's definitely on my radar ...more
Shannon
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I should have looked into this book a bit more before just reading it after I received a copy from the publisher. I didn't realize it was a prequel to a series I have not read, whoops.

I had high hopes for this book as it sounded like an interesting high fantasy book. But I really just wasn't that interested in the story or the characters. Perhaps this is because, as I stated, I didn't realize it was a prequel to a series that I needed to read before reading this book. I just didn't find myself b
...more
Matthew Turner
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The original four books of Pellinor are among my favourite works of fiction and so it was with some trepidation that I approached this new story, set approximately 50 years before the events of 'the gift'. I am glad to be able to say that I was not disappointed, Croggon's writing is as breathtakingly beautiful and engaging as ever, her characters as wonderfuly developed and explored. I especially loved being introduced properly to Milana, Dorn and Pellinor itself-these moments were particularly ...more
Melissa George
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A prequel to the Books of Pellinor, a well-loved high fantasy series from my mid-late teens, Alison Croggon's 2016 novel The Bone Queen is the return to Annar that I never thought was coming.

Set 50 years before the events of the 4 Books of Pellinor, The Bone Queen follows a younger Cadvan (formerly) of Lirigon, who has been exiled by the Bards of Annar for his dealings with the Dark. Young, powerful, mercurial, and arrogant, Cadvan was considered to be among the greatest mages of his generation
...more
Sofia
That was exquisite.


I don't know whether it's Alison Croggon's gorgeous poetic prose or her ability to create deep, multi-layered characters you can't help but love. Either way, The Bone Queen met my very high expectations for a prequel to my favorite series ever (which is extremely underappreciated, by the way).


Cadvan was especially intriguing. From the original Books of Pellinor, we know him to be a reserved, withdrawn man who is slow to trust and slow to laugh. The paragraph explaining his p
...more
Sasha Moore
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am so happy I was in the UK to get this book pre-ordered sooner than in the states. I really love the other four books in this series and it was a great joy to see characters I love at a younger age. I want to reread all the books now! Besides the world she has created, I love how beautiful many of Alison's sentences are. I love how much she values poetry, music, and beauty in her world. ...more
Alexa
It's been years since I first read the Pellinor series, so I had forgotten what Alison Croggon's writing style was like. I'll admit that it took me a while to get used to it, and I very nearly thought it wouldn't click. But it certainly worked out, and I found this prequel quite interesting. ...more
Allison
I really enjoyed this chance to get to know Cadvan in his youth and to see his growth from immature folly into the wiser character we know much later. And now I feel like reading the main series again.
Leah (Jane Speare)
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy-paperback
I loved accidentally stumbling upon this arc! I had no idea there would be a new Pellinor book. This is a rich backstory to Cadvan's earlier years. While there aren't any romantic relationships, there are a number of incredibly well written friendships and other kinds of relationships which I found wholly satisfying and genuine. It was fun to jump back into this world.

(I'm always a sucker for Aussie fantasy books. :))
...more
Lindsay (LindsayHWrites)
Every sentence had the same cadence, so I couldn't force myself through this one, even though I really wanted to love it. ...more
David Bergstrom
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another very good read!!! This is a prequel and gives the story of Cadvan, a tragic story but one that sets the stage for the Books of Pellinor. Well done and I am glad I found it and read it.
Flavia
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.5 stars

Before I get into my review for The Bone Queen, I would first like to state that I have not read any of the Pellinor Series before this, or any other books by Alison Croggon for that matter. I went into reading this book with a blank slate, other than perhaps the constant comparison between Croggon and Tolkien that I kept coming across for some reason. I would also like to say that I love high fantasy, and have devoured a number of epic fantasy novels throughout my teen and adul
...more
Laura Thompson
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Alison is a fantastic writer to begin with, she has been a huge inspiration to me and I didn't realize until many years after writing my own novels how much of my world was a glimmered reflection of her Pellinor series. They are my favorite fantasy series. Her descriptions are so rich in detail you feel like you are seeing her world with your own eyes. I was very excited to read a prequel to the series I had loved so much and when I found out that it was Cadvan's story, I was even more intrigued ...more
Grace
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cadvan is the messiest emo, and I love him.

I had a ton of fun with this book. It's probably my favorite Pellinor book, because I'm trash for Cadvan and also it not being set smack dab in the middle of the worst disaster to befall Edil-Amaranh since the Great Silence made it more... I won't say cheerful, but less grindingly sad. It also didn't seem to take as much "work" to get through as certain other Pellinor books cough The Riddle cough that I could mention.

I'm very glad The Bone Queen doesn
...more
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Rep: wlw characters

tbh i would probably have dnfed this if cadvan hadnt been one of those character types i am Weak for and if i hadnt loved him from the start and if he and dernhil hadnt interacted as they did (basically cadvan carried this book for me). there wasnt all that much action in this, and when there was, it seemed a bit not thought through, and there was So Much Description i almost died.
Sonia
I FINALLY HAVE THIS IN MY HANDS!!! I AM SO HAPPY! (I forgot most of the plot of the series though....as it has been 7 years si NC e I last read anythin pertaining to this series... ○_○)

SINCE WHEN DID THIS HAVE A COVER!?!?!


and it's already release overseas???!! Book depository here I come!!!!!
...more
Ice Bear
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Lighter than Lord of the Rings, where light and dark get mixed together in less than 50 shades, and in a world where weather forecasters are even less accurate.
Eskana
Jan 04, 2021 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the high fantasy and writing of The Pellinor Chronicles, although I must admit I never found the characters super-compelling. To me, they were fine, but nothing special. It was the taste of high fantasy, which so many books claim and so few attain, that I really enjoyed. Croggon's quartet is really on LOTR-level, in my opinion, but less wandering.

Plot Synopsis:"The Bone Queen" is a prequel to that series, focusing on a young Cadvan (a major character from the quartet,) a young B
...more
Silver Swan
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I fell in love with Alison Croggon's Books of Pellinor several years ago. To me, they were epic fantasy at its very best. The lyrical writing, imaginative worldbuilding, engrossing storyline, emotional poignancy, and the depth of the characters and their relationships quickly marked the series as a favorite. I was thrilled to learn that my favorite character, Cadvan, would be the focus of a new prequel. And, indeed, it was a fascinating look into his past that also proved to be a powerful story ...more
Aimee
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted @ Reading Lark: http://readinglark.blogspot.com/2017/...

Cadvan, a disgraced Bard living in exile, now cobbles shoes in a small mining town. Haunted by one tragically malevolent act and continually tormented with the consequences of what he has done, Cadvan must reunite with those he hurt the most and face the evil forces that he let into the world.

While The Bone Queen is a pretty typical fantasy story with mage-like Bards facing down an evil sorceress, the author’s char
...more
Rebecca
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Those who have read the Chronicles of Pellinor know that Bard Cadvan of Lirigon had a dark past. He overcame it, and this is how he started on that path. Cadvan came from a family of cobblers, and had a hard time getting training and proving his worth. Although powerful, he was also insecure, which gave a dark bard a hold over him, and eventually led to Cadvan arrogantly calling forth a dangerous revenant, sure he could control her--Kansabur, the Bone Queen. Of course, he couldn't control her. I ...more
Maria Tag
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.
This is easily one of my favorite books in the Pellinor series and a great prequel. I honestly liked this one better than the 3rd and 4th installments in the actual series. (though all of them were great).
This book mainly covers the story of Cadvan, one of the main characters in the Books of the Pellinor series. Cadvan was/is probably my favorite character so I was certainly excited to read more of his backstory. In the original series, we learn that Cadvan was once exiled from all t
...more
Chris Barrett
A decent fantasy. I thought it a little difficult to get into for the first few chapters, and that the author was borrowing rather obviously from other established fantasies like Tolkien's works, particularly in the foreword on languages, but as I got more into the book it settled into itself a little better, and it's own world came more into fruition.

I was a little disappointed with how the great threat in the book was resolved. (view spoiler)
...more
Claire
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On balance, I enjoyed this sojourn into Cadvan's past, and the opportunity to spend more time with some of the secondary characters present in the Pellinor series (Dernhil and Nelac in particular). I'm so pleased that Croggon chose to write another story in this fascinating world.

As I was reading, I found myself wondering if it would be better to read the full quartet of Pellinor books before reading The Bone Queen, or if a new reader would be better served starting with The Bone Queen before m
...more
Megan Lyons
I remember enjoying “The Books of Pellinor.” I read them back to back and was excited to read this prequel. However, I had trouble getting into it, and was kind of bored throughout. I don’t think I would have finished it if it were not an ARC for the ARC program I do for work. I almost gave up 200 pages in. If I had, I don’t think it would have changed my review much. (I have been working a lot and am a bit burned out, so I have been craving lighter reads lately, so this may have had an impact o ...more
Teri B
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was just one amazing read, but before I get into the details, you have to get to its narration style, it has a very specific diction. If this does not appeal to you, then probably this book is not for you.

However, if you start reading and enter into the world that is Pellinor you find an amazing tale in these 403 pages, it tells about bards, a darkness that tries to get hold of the world and how it is countered.

There are so many interesting reflections on what I would call karma and th
...more
Danielle
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book wasn't as effortlessly likeable as the other books of Pellinor, Its a story about forgiveness and loss and redemption. While those are very much themes in the original quartet, it can be kind of a hard thing to be in Cadvan's head at the start when those themes are front and center. Happily, we do get other perspectives, and the chance to get to know such beloved characters as Milana of Pellinor, Dernhil of Gent, and Nelac is worth alot of dealing with what Cadvan did and how it touche ...more
Numa Parrott
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Eugh, this is a tough one to rate. I had so much fun revisiting a fantasy world I loved when I was in high school, but at the same time this was a painful reminder that my standards for writing and storytelling have changed. Oddly enough the flowery prose is what saved this for me even though the story didn't live up to my expectations. Croggon really has a way with words. It really speaks to her skills that all those lengthly descriptions of scenery, sorcery, and food always end up drawing me i ...more
Rachael
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of the Pellinor series and was super excited when I learned there was a prequel! Warning for those who have not read the series: while I think this can stand alone if you are just really into fantasy, it is better and easier to read if you know who these people are.

Finally, we get to see at least one adventure of what Cadvan was up to before he met Maerad! Young Cadvan is what I have been waiting for since I learned of his adventures in the OG series. My only complaint is that t
...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Arena One: Slaverunners (The Survival Trilogy, #1)
  • War for the Oaks
  • Final Witness
  • The Falcon's Malteser (Diamond Brothers, #1)
  • Comfort Food
  • The Guns of the South
  • The Last Human
  • The Dark Archive (The Invisible Library, #7)
  • Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales
  • Tam Lin
  • Armed and Fabulous (Lexi Graves Mystery, #1)
  • The Memory of Souls (A Chorus of Dragons, #3)
  • We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya, #2)
  • City of Dark Magic (City of Dark Magic, #1)
  • City of Lost Dreams (City of Dark Magic, #2)
  • The Glass Spare (The Glass Spare, #1)
  • Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
  • Dragon's Green (Worldquake Sequence, #1)
See similar books…
1,557 followers
Alison Croggon is the award winning author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Books of Pellinor. You can sign up to her monthly newsletter and receive a free Pellinor story at alisoncroggon.com

Her most recent book is Fleshers, the first in a dazzling new SF series co-written with her husband, acclaimed playwright Daniel Keene. Her latest Pellinor book, The Bone Queen, was a 2016 Aurealis Awards B
...more

Other books in the series

The Books of Pellinor (4 books)
  • The Naming (The Books of Pellinor, #1)
  • The Riddle
  • The Crow
  • The Singing (The Books of Pellinor, #4)

Related Articles

Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
60 likes · 27 comments
“I'd rather you wanted to make love,' said Dernhil, smiling crookedly. 'That was my first thought, when you barged in here. I could easily refuse that.'
'It's a much lesser question,' said Cadvan gravely. Then he gave Dernhil a sharp look. 'Would you really refuse me?'
'Probably.' Dernhil's eyes brimmed with sudden laughter. 'Honestly, Cadvan, have you no grace? What a thing to ask!'
Cadvan's rare smile leapt in his face. 'It occurs to me that I might love you well enough.'
Dernhil looked briefly astonished. 'And to think that all these years I thought you hated me!' he said lightly.
'You know I don't hate you,' said Cadvan. 'I think you know I never did. Nor you me. And you, maybe more than anyone else I know, understands that there are many kinds of love.' He gestured impatiently. 'That's not what I'm asking, anyway.'
'I know.' Dernhil met his gaze darkly. 'Only you would demand such a thing, in the middle of the night, from me, of all people!'
'Yes,' said Cadvan, a soft mockery in his voice. 'From you, of all people!'
Dernhil looked down at his hands and was silent for a time, thinking. Cadvan waited patiently, watching him. When Dernhil looked up, his face was open, and a smile lurked in the back of his eyes.
'Perhaps I love you enough to scry you, Cadvan,' he said. 'And that is a great deal more than you deserve.' p.146”
3 likes
“I'd rather you wanted to make love,' said Dernhil, smiling crookedly. 'That was my first thought, when you barged in here. I could easily refuse that.'
'It's a much lesser question,' said Cadvan gravely. Then he gave Dernhil a sharp look. 'Would you really refuse me?'
'Probably.' Dernhil's eyes brimmed with sudden laughter. 'Honestly, Cadvan, have you no grace? What a thing to ask!'
Cadvan's rare smile smile leapt in his face. 'It occurs to me that I might love you well enough.'
Dernhil looked briefly astonished. 'And to think that all these years I thought you hated me!' he said lightly.
'You know I don't hate you,' said Cadvan. 'I think you know I never did. Nor you me. And you, maybe more than anyone else I know, understands that there are many kinds of love.' He gestured impatiently. 'That's not what I'm asking, anyway.'
'I know.' Dernhil met his gaze darkly. 'Only you would demand such a thing, in the middle of the night, from me, of all people!'
'Yes,' said Cadvan, a soft mockery in his voice. 'From you, of all people!'
Dernhil looked down at his hands and was silent for a time, thinking. Cadvan waited patiently, watching him. When Dernhil looked up, his face was open, and a smile lurked in the back of his eyes.
'Perhaps I love you enough to scary you, Cadvan,' he said. 'And that is a great deal more than you deserve.' p.146”
1 likes
More quotes…