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The Bone Queen

(The Books of Pellinor 0.5)

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  782 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Seduced into sorcery by an agent of the Dark, the promising Bard Cadvan of Lirigon recklessly unleashed the terrible Bone Queen, bringing destruction down upon Annar. Cadvan, cast out of the Schools of Barding for his crime, now lives in exile, burdened by memories of his dealings with the Dark. At Cadvan’s former home, his mentor, Nelac, and his rival, Dernhil, begin to s ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Candlewick Press (first published February 18th 2016)
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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)

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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
Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
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 f
...more
Kirsti
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Matthew Turner
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Sasha Moore
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alexa
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
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.
Grace
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
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't actually tell yo
...more
Leah (Jane Speare)
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. :))
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.
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.
Flavia
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it
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 t
...more
Jeanna
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Not as good as the original quartet but it did have its moments.

In this prequel to The Books of Pellinor series, readers follow Cadvan as he tries to rid the world of the evil he summoned. The Bone Queen is unleashed and with every passing day, she grows stronger, capable of villainy the world has not seen before. Faced with a perilous journey, Nelac and Dernhil join Cadvan to defeat the Dark and restore peace to the land. The Bone Queen by Alison Croggon is sure to have your stomach in knots b
...more
Molly
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star
I loved being able to revisit this world. I have read the Books of Pellinor series at least 4 times already and I can not get enough of the world these characters are in. I first read them when I was in 9th grade and I fell in love with them.
Reading the first 4 books I had always wondered what it was that Cadvan had actually done and being able to have Dernhil in the story too was wonderful, as well as all the other familiar characters. My only regret is that the cover of :The Bone Queen"
...more
c,
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
Apr 10, 2014 marked it as just-ordered-or-waiting-to-be-read  ·  review of another edition
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!!!!!
Ice Bear
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Laura E.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Silver Swan
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 characters and use of language truly mak
...more
Rebecca
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
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 moving on to
...more
Megan Lyons
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
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
...more
Em Parrott
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
Danielle
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Phoebe
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, high-fantasy
Since a few years have passed between the publishing of Croggon's trilogy and this prequel, readers will want to reacquaint themselves with Lirigon, Pellinor, and the rest of Croggon's well drawn, detailed fantasy lands. This story takes place about fifty years earlier; Cadvan is a young, handsome Bard in exile for his leading role in a terrible magical breach that allowed the Bone Queen, Kansabur, entry into the world. Now shadowy terror hints at the Dark's coming. Cadvan and two other powerful ...more
Eshana Ranasinghe
Sep 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Don't take my review too seriously since I only got to page 80.

Maybe one day I will finish it but reading about Cadvan was such a bore. The whole world of the book was boring and depressing. I kept picturing it in shades of beige. There was a lot of telling about how great Cadvan is and about how much everyone liked him but he was such a sad sack. (view spoiler) ...more
blue
(view spoiler)

this book was a series of anticlimactic climaxes,
...more
Paige
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was so wonderful to go back into the world of the Pellinor series. I loved getting to see more of Dernhil and Milana and a younger Cadvan. However, it didn't have as much of the natural flow and feeling as the other books in the series do and Nelac, Cadvan, and other characters did not quite feel like the same people as they are later (even accepting for some change caused by the many years that pass between the end of this book and the beginning of The Naming). However, I did truly love this ...more
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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 Best Youn
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Other books in the series

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