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The Bone Houses

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  11,469 ratings  ·  2,424 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
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Grace Vitorino 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.

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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,469 ratings  ·  2,424 reviews

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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 h
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, wi
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

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 dy
Helena of Eretz ✰
“There was a young woman. She was a fearless creature – a girl who would chase death into the mountains. With only an axe for company…”


MEET MY NEW FAVOURITE DARK AND SPOOKY FAERY TALE!!! (don’t ask me why I read this in the middle of June when it’s a perfect autumn read lol) Emily Lloyd-Jones is well on her way to becoming a new favourite author of mine, even joining the ranks of Laini Taylor because of her beautiful and lyrical writing style. SHE NEEDS TO WRITE MORE BOOKS ASAP!!!


This was a fabu
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.
Mary S. R.

I gotta be honest, I hate zombies and absolutely don't care for them—they're pointless and stupid and an utter waste of time. But this book?

Emily Lloyd-Jones somehow managed to bewitch me into adoring this tale; a tale about the aftermath of the fall of a once glorious kingdom of magical beings, and what remains in the mysterious forest they used to live within; a story about a small village haunted by what was left behind by the king of the otherfolk, and a fierce girl fighting
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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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
Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading
This should be a five star read!!!!

Because . . . ZOMBIES, which in this book we refer to as Bone Houses. And because strong heroines who dig graves for a living, cute soft boys who find comfort in books and drawing maps, as well as outstanding friendship and family/sibling relationship are (apparently) my kryptonites too.

Not to mention, all the Welsh folklore, the Halloween spooky vibes, our dear BONE GOAT the loyal protector, and the audiobook with its British/Welsh accented narration that’s ju
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.
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, a mapmaker who can never find his way. And my favorite character is a goat.

EDIT: If you want more Welsh fantasy, please check out The Drowned Woods.
Amy Imogene Reads
3.5 stars

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-
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, l
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! ...more
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
With a wonderfully horrifying mix of the walking dead, Welsh folklore, soft bois, and ax-wielding female leads, The Bone Houses was just what I was looking for. With its eerie, atmospheric vibes, complex characters, strong family bonds and a quest to end a deadly curse.

I had so much fun reading this book and found myself easily getting lost in the pages of this book. If you're looking for a good book to fulfill your horror needs during spooky season, I would definitely recommend The Bones Houses
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
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.'


*adds book to TBR*
h o l l i s
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 simi
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
3.5/5 stars!

A super quick and enjoyable read for the autumnal season! I ended up falling into this one so easily. The writing flows naturally and descriptions smooth with little effort, with the dialogue between characters only solidifying the ease at which everything appears to be done. Each time I picked it up,unimaginable effort was needed to fall back in right where I left off.

I do have to admit this waned a little the further into the book I read. There were some instances that seemed as i
Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)
THIS BOOK HAS A ZOMBIE GOAT. If that isn’t enough to convince you it’s worth reading, well…I don’t know what is. But here are a few more things this delightful book has to offer:

A kickass, axe-wielding gravedigger girl

A small town plagued by a curse

A quiet, mapmaking boy with chronic shoulder pain (omg relatable)

Dark forests, abandoned castles, and legendary monsters

Witty banter alongside profound moments

Did I mention the freaking amazing ZOMBIE GOAT???

This was one of those books that sounded go
Jenny Lawson
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Creepy and wonderful YA read.
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 afr
kath | novel + folk
What has adventure, slooooow burn romance, Welsh folklore (I need more of it now!), chronic pain rep, and hands down the best literary goat you'll ever become acquainted with? This. Book.

Oh hi, I absolutely loved this special, strange, magical little story and consumed it in it's entirety in one sitting. Emily Lloyd-Jones was a new author for me but her writing style has snagged my heart forever. Please excuse me, I must go acquire her other books immediately because, what a talent.

This book rea
Jan 19, 2021 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: -

*sigh* That didn’t take long.

( NB: I'm aware that a lot of people enjoyed this book but it just wasn't for me, so please don't hate me. I like to think that I'm a nice person )

“A gravedigger, a mapmaker, & a curse”
You’d think that’d make for an interesting read but…

Aderyn is as plain as my grandmother’s knickers
No, even they have more character than her. She's your typical YA female protagonist:

✔️ Tragic past
✔️ Daddy issues
✔️ Violent weapon of choic
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So this book was way different than I initially thought it would be . It’s definitely an original story , it’s about a grave digger and a map maker but the dead rise every night but up until the map maker gets lost and comes into town they never ventured out of the forest. The grave digger agrees to help the map maker into the forest to some of the other outlining towns to ask about his parents . And let’s just say your in for some eerie surprises. It’s not exactly scary but definitely eerie. It ...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 siblin
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.”

The book was set in a small village called Colbren that is placed a
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars

Yes,” she answered. “I grew up thinking monsters could be slain.”
“Ah,” he said. “And I grew up thinking people were the monsters.

This is a story about an axe-wielding fearless girl who either confronts her problems with an axe or buries them....quite literally since she is a gravedigger.
This is a story about a gentle mapmaker, a boy in danger of becoming swallowed by a lifelong pain buried deep inside him.
And this is a story about a goat.

I went into this story expecting brea
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.
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had zero expectations going into this one and was pleasantly surprised by it. In fact, I had so much fun with this. It was unique and original and I loved the darker side to it as well as the strong family bonds and of course, the magical aspect of it was, well, magical.
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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.

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“Home was taste and smell and sensation. It was not a place.” 26 likes
“I grew up thinking monsters could be slain."
"Ah," he said. "And I grew up thinking people were the monsters.”
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