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

The Bone Houses

by
4.10  ·  Rating details ·  3,286 ratings  ·  820 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Aderyn ("Ryn") only cares about two things: her family, and her family's graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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 Houses, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Grace Yes, but it’s not the main focus of the novel, it’s on the side and not distracting from the brilliant story being told.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,286 ratings  ·  820 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Bone Houses
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: $2.99 Kindle US 10/27/19

September Owlcrate Unboxing! Click on the link below the pic to see the GOODIES!



THE GOODIES LINK

HOLY SHIT CAKES! THIS BOOK ROCKED!

Mel
...more
jessica
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
fy nghalon cymreig mor hapus ar hyn o bryd // my little welsh heart is so happy right now.

i can count on one hand the amount of mainstream novels that have incorporated traditional welsh influences into their stories. welsh folklore and culture - particularly northern welsh - is rich and magical, so i am beyond happy to see a story represent it (this even mentions the legend of beddgelert, which i may have lowkey freaked out about. lol).

and i think its these influences that i hold dear to my
...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spooky, heart throbbing, can you hear it? BA BOOM! BA BOOM! THUMP! THUMP! Those kind of perfectly written, well-crafted thriller stories with adorable characters always make me feel alive! So I toss around 4 and 5 stars and finally I decided to be good-hearted grader (or I could find somebody wearing Ryn’s costumes for Halloween at my door, chasing me with her axe) and clicked to 5 HORRIFYING STARS!

I think I made the best choice for my Halloween week by reading this epic, fantastic journey,
...more
Lola
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I never thought a book about zombies could be so elegantly told. But I should have expected to be swayed by Emily Lloyd-Jones, the same author who wrote The Hearts We Sold which, despite the less-than-pretty-topic, sold me with its beautiful neat writing.

It’s not easy to turn a fantasy story, with zombies of all things, into a fairytale complete with a moral message and universal themes of family, love and acceptance. Yet this author succeeded. She most certainly improved upon her previous
...more
Chelsea Humphrey
This was a wonderfully atmospheric read, with lovable characters, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading a MG fantasy instead of a YA one. Either way, there's a lot of heart and hope here, and this was a lighter read that I would think the younger end of the YA spectrum would enjoy. Full review to come.

************

Buddy read with the lovely Meltotheany!

*Thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
WE HAVE FINALLY BROKEN THE YA FANTASY CURSE!

Here is why this book worked for me in every way possible:
It’s a fantasy set in medieval times, at least that’s how I pictured it but I picture everything in medieval times because hello. Nice to meet you. You must not know me.
You have a small village that is fenced in by Iron because zombies lurk in the dark wood beyond it, you’re following siblings, the main character is a gravedigger which I found interesting as fork, you have a friends to lovers
...more
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest


THE BONE HOUSES is amazing, but I don't really think I agree with the comparisons to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and SKY IN THE DEEP-- if anything, it's like a cross between SABRIEL and THE BLACK CAULDRON. THE BONE HOUSES is a fantasy set in a place that seems to be based off Wales. Aderyn is a grave-digger who lives with her sister, Cerridwen, and her brother, Gareth. Their mother is dead, and their father and uncle have both disappeared
...more
Kayla Dawn
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books
3,5* - this started out really strong, I enjoyed the writing style, the characters and the plot itself. I even finished it in one day.

Unfortunately around the last 100 pages or so it got kinda repetitive, predictable and romance heavy (it really wasn't that bad but still too much for my taste lol), which led to me giving it "only" 3,5 instead of the full 4 stars. I'd definitely still recommend it.
Amy Imogene Reads
3.5

Surprisingly elegant and atmospheric, but definitely rough around the edges. Zombies meets ancient Wales meets myth meets....traditional YA trappings.

Concepts:
Visual descriptions:
Density: 1/2

The Bone Houses has one of the coolest concepts in YA—in a small town at the edge of the mystical mountainous woods, skeletons come alive at night and wander. They're called bone houses. That kind of an opener screams to be read.

Ryn is a gravedigger, and the tough-as-nails, chip-on-her-shoulder YA
...more
Emily Lloyd-Jones
Nov 02, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
Eeeek. I’m so excited to share this book with everyone. There are folktales and magic and undead corpses shambling around. There is a teenage gravedigger with a (slightly) dysfunctional family. There is a mapmaker who can never find his way. And my favorite character is a goat.

EDIT: For more information about the book’s release and some preorder fun, check out my website!
Hannah Greendale
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Would definitely classify this as dark fantasy, what with the rotting corpses and reanimated dead and all, yet it's strangely funny at the most unexpected times. Reads like a YA version of The Black Cauldron and features a cast of fully-realized characters, including a fierce, axe-wielding female protagonist, a gallant map maker, and a loveable goat. A gruesome delight!
alana ♡
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
“And perhaps this was the truth about the dead. You went on. They'd want you to.”

If you told me a book about zombies would leave me with tears in my eyes I normally wouldn’t believe you...but here we are. I've been in a bit of a slump lately when it comes to fantasy books, but when I came across this one and then found out it was a standalone I figured I didn't have much to lose. So, I gave it a go and I'm so glad I did. If you're looking for a standalone fantasy with great world-building,
...more
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.5 stars

“The living had a tendency to make promises they could not keep.”

The Bone Houses was one of my most anticipated Fall 2019 books. While I didn’t love it, I did enjoy it and it was the perfect book to kick off October with.

The Bone Houses is a fantasy novel about Ryn, a gravedigger in a small town. When a bunch of bone houses (aka the dead) begin to rise and attack her village every night, she sets out on a quest with a map maker to save the town.

“I grew up thinking monsters could
...more
Hollis
It might seem obvious, or maybe not, but the overwhelming theme of THE BONE HOUSES, a story of a curse, magic, and reanimated dead, is grief. Of letting go of the past, whether that be from a loss or from a hurt or from an unknown beginning, and moving forward. Living.

She knew how things died. And in her darkest moments, she feared she did not know how to live.

My interpretation of the setting of this story is Wales, or a Wales-like place, because the mythology and folklore reference beings
...more
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
Mar 19, 2019 marked it as to-read
Book: rising corpses and deep mystery and curses and mountains.

Me: Hmmmm ok ok keep going.

Book: '....standalone.'

Me: FUCKING STOP! WHAT. SAY NO MORE!

*adds book to TBR*
Lisa Wolf
Before picking up The Bone Houses, my thoughts were (a) pretty cover!! and (b) yet another zombie story. Well, I was correct about the cover, but The Bone Houses is far from an ordinary book about zombies! In fact, I'd classify this more as a fantasy story than horror, because while there are dead who rise, the story is really about the magical elements and the legacy left behind by the departed fae rulers of the land.

Ryn is a marvelous lead character, strong and dedicated to her family, not
...more
Candace Robinson
I was confused here because the book felt middle grade for me but I guess it’s YA? Sometimes it felt too wordy when I just wanted it to get some action. The world building is neat, though, just wish it was a little more fast paced.
Rebecca McNutt
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Bone Houses is one of the best fantasy novels I've read in a long time. It has all the depth and humanity of The Last Unicorn, all the wit and friendship of The Black Cauldron, and an atmosphere which comes alive with creepiness and horror, in a good way. Ryn is a gravedigger in a world where the dead don't stay dead. She has a strikingly calm yet respectful attitude about it, but still she worries about the trouble it will cause her as a gravedigger, as well as the attitude about it with ...more
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

This story is like a fairy-tale : it's fantastical, eerie, and gorgeously written. But also like a fairy-tale, the magic vanishes if you think too deeply about it.

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn verch Gwyn is the eldest daughter of the gravedigger in the village of Colbren. Ever since her father disappeared into the forest one day, it's been her responsibility to put food on the table by burying Colbren's dead. She and her younger siblings -
...more
Maryam
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
”The forest did not scare her; rather, she wanted to be like it: ageless and impervious, cruel and beautiful.
Death could not touch it.”


A graveyard. A gravedigger. Zombies. A curse. A magical land. What more could you want?

I’m so glad I read this in this particular month and weather because it is the perfect mix of spooky and fall-y.

“This was the problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren. Nothing stayed buried forever.”

SETTING:
The book was set in a small village called Colbren that is placed
...more
Cesar
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars.
Angela Staudt
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“The forest did not scare her; rather, she wanted to be like it: ageless and impervious, cruel and beautiful. Death could not touch it.”

What a beautiful story about the dead, family, and love. I loved the lush magic, and the eeriness as well. I honestly didn’t know much going into this book, but it turned out to be such a great read. I cared for the characters quite a lot and shed quite a few tears towards the end. Reading a book about bone houses (zombies basically), I just thought it would be
...more
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm, Myrtle Beach
I got The Bone Houses through Owlcrate, and I was not disappointed! I liked the story, the folklore, and the characters.
✨Brithanie Faith✨
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, netgalley
4/5 stars


e-ARC provided by NetGalley and Little, Brown Books For Young Readers in exchange for an honest review!


The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones follows a gravedigger- and an apprentice mapmaker who embark on a journey to defeat a decades-old curse that causes the dead (or in this case "bone houses") to rise- and for some unknown reason-attack with an all new ferocity that comes seemingly out of nowhere.

Full transparency- I got sucked in by the "Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets Sky In The
...more
MaryannC. Book Freak
4.5 Stars. I have to say that this type of Fantasy read is not usually something I pick up, but when I start noticing great reviews from others I will gladly step out of my comfort zone and give it a try and I was very glad that I did.
This was a fantastic read with a very interesting storyline something I liken to Night of the Living Dead meets the Middle Ages with an axe-wielding heroine named Ryn, who really reminded me of the brave, fearless character Rey and her light saber from Star Wars:
...more
Mena
I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. It was a simple, yet beautiful and elegant tale of well, love.

"It was a risk to love someone. To do so with the full knowledge that they'd leave someday." But we do it anyways.

Concept/Setting/Plot
The village of Colbren is situated at the edge of a mythical forest, that was once home to the magical beings simply known as the Otherkind. Now the dead, known as bone houses rise every night in the forest. But they do not bother the village as
...more
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
This review can also be found on my blog!

This is an ARC, but I received it from Sam (not the publisher)!

CW: violent scenes, corrupt government, gore, chronic pain, and loss of family

This is a lush, imaginative, Welsh-inspired fantasy and I was so here for it.

Aderyn, or Ryn, is the daughter of a gravedigger. After her parents die, she becomes the sole provider for herself and her two siblings, Gareth and Ceri, at their village Colbren that’s at the border of a forest.

But this isn’t any town.
...more
Alaina
I received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Spoilers below I think?

The Bone Houses was beyond entertaining. In it, you will meet Ryn. She is a bad ass gravedigger - which means she kills the dead. Why do you ask that? Well, the dead don't stay.. well dead where she lives. Besides going after the bone houses, which is what she calls them, she is also dealing with a lot on her plate. I mean, saving your house so that your family doesn't get evicted is a lot for one person
...more
Laurie –A Court of Books–
“It was a risk, to love someone. To do it with the full knowledge that they’d leave someday.
And to let go of them, when they did.”

I received an ARC of The Bone Houses at BookExpo, this in no way impacts my review. However, my review is based on an unfinished and uncorrected copy, please note that the story and quotes may differ from the final book. I’ll do my best to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible.

4.5 stars

Aderyn verch Gwyn, who also goes by ‘Ryn’, is the eldest daughter of the
...more
Amber (The Book Bratz)
The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz

Can we all just take a moment to look closely at the cover to The Bone Houses and how intricate the design is but so simple at the same time. The moment I saw this cover and read the synopsis I knew that The Bone Houses was a book for me. Emily blew me away with her writing style, characters and such a unique idea and I hope to read more by her one day.

Ryn, a gravedigger, is trying to save her family from being evicted from their home. Her
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • House of Salt and Sorrows
  • I Hope You Get This Message
  • Winterwood
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)
  • Crier's War (Crier's War, #1)
  • Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)
  • A Treason of Thorns
  • The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
  • The Lady Rogue
  • Sorcery of Thorns
  • There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness, #1)
  • The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow, #1)
  • Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)
  • Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake, #2)
  • The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
  • The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky in the Deep, #2)
  • The Tenth Girl
  • Now Entering Addamsville
See similar books…
660 followers
Emily Lloyd-Jones grew up on a vineyard in rural Oregon, where she played in evergreen forests and learned to fear sheep. After graduating from Western Oregon University with an English degree, she enrolled in the publishing program at Rosemont College just outside of Philadelphia. She currently resides in Northern California, working in a bookstore by day and writing by night.
“The anticipation of the loss hurts nearly as much as the loss itself. You find yourself trying to hold on to every detail, because you'll never have them again.” 4 likes
“The living had a tendency to make promises they could not keep.” 4 likes
More quotes…