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The Bone Charmer

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  63 reviews
In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Page Street Kids
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4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  105 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
May 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, dnf
DNF at page 77. This is following some all-too-familiar paths with love interests and is simultaneously going nowhere. Really wanted to get lost in this tale of bone magic and blood, but it’s too uneventful to push through any further.
His crestfallen expression tugs at a tendril of sympathy inside me. I long to confide in him, to let him pull me into his arms like he has done so many times before, and assure me that everything will turn out perfectly for both of us. But I’m afraid telling him t
Candace Robinson
I really liked the author's Poison's Kiss duology, so when I saw this one was from her as well, I hopped right on to read it! The idea of the story line being dual POV from the same MC but with a different version of herself was a neat concept! 

Have you ever wondered what your life would have been like if you'd taken a different path? I've often wondered that, and this story gave a cool glimpse into two separate paths with a fantasy spin on it! I'd have to say Saskia's bone charmer chapters were
Breeana Shields
Jan 28, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
UPDATE 1/28: The cover for THE BONE CHARMER is live, and I couldn't be more excited! This gorgeous cover was designed by Kylie Alexander and illustrated by Mina Price. I love the exquisite attention to detail and how many of the story elements they captured in both of Saskia's realities.

I hope you love the cover as much as I do, and I seriously can't wait to share this book with all of you!
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

I had pretty high hopes for this one, but I'm quite disappointed: the writing was good, but the world and characters were weak.

This book reminded me strongly of Tessa Gratton's Strange Grace - the heroine, Saskia, is the daughter of the town's leading Bone Charmer, a witch who uses bones to see the future. But when a bone-reading to see her future goes wrong, Saskia becomes trapped in two realities. In one reality, she's been paired w
Sheila Goicea
See this full review along with others on my blog at

I received an ARC of this book from Page Street Kids via Netgcalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.


Content Warning: Death, Murder, Overall morbid vibe with the theme of bones

Tomorrow my future will be decided by my dead gran’s finger bones. It’s how my whole life has been determined--with bones and blood and snap
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
So very impressed with this book! It took me a few chapters to really settle into the way that Breeana Shields wanted to tell this story, but once I was there I was hooked. Saskia's life has has always been dictated by bone reading. Each moment painstakingly created so that she'll stay on the path to her happiest life. That is, until it's her turn to find her true calling. I can't remember if I knew that this book was about to split into two stories, or not, but I can tell you that it's a wonder ...more
Brenda Drake
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this Sliding Doors-esque story. The two timelines Saskia ends up in were both so intriguing that they kept me turning the pages. Bram totally stole my heart! The magic, world, and characters are well-crafted and compelling. I loved how The Bone Charmer explores the consequences of choices and their outcomes. The Bone Charmer is a gripping read that will charm you and keep you up late at night reading until the end.
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
PLEASE tell me there will be a sequel to this!! RTC!
Katie Nelson
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A captivating story that will leave you eager for more!

In a world where seventeen-year-olds are assigned a future based on a kenning, or reading of the bones, Saskia gets in an argument with her mother and breaks one of the bones, splintering her future into two different paths. The story unfolds following each timeline, alternating between the two possible futures for Saskia. The novel explores the themes of fate versus choice, as well as the sacrifices we make for the ones we love. I was fasci
Isabella K.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was one of the lucky people who got to read this book early. The Bone Charmer is an intriguing fantasy that I just couldn’t put down! It’s thought-provoking and romantic in all the right ways. Easily in my top 5 favorite books!
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, fantasy, ya, romance

Reviews like this can also be found on my blog, Vicariously & Voraciously

ARC received via Netgalley for a fair review
Publish date: May 21, 2019

In a world where your future can be told by a bone charmer, society is balanced by those who can set a person on the best fit path. But when Saskia has her own reading and is given a future she didn’t think she wanted she accidentally breaks a bone in her reading. The breaking of the bone splits her future into two and she must find a way to consolida
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got my hands on an ARC of The Bone Charmer, and I hated having to give it back. This is a book I plan to reread the second it comes out. It's one of the most unique and captivating YA fantasies I've read in years. Saskia is lovable, strong, flawed, and impossible not to root for. The magic system was absolutely fascinating, and the two timelines had me totally on the edge of my seat. The twists and turns paid off beautifully, and the ending was the right kind of inevitable. Furthermore, Breean ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is utterly brilliant. I texted a fellow author last night after I finished (because this is what we do) to hash out my thoughts and feelings, but I had nothing negative to say. The characters are well drawn, the world building and magic system are exquisite, the plotting (including dual realities) is spot on. I was worried I would be more invested in one storyline than the other, but by the end I realized I cared for both of them equally. Smart and expertly crafted. Read it. 😉
Welcome to a world where bones hold power and decides the fate of all! The Bone Charmer is a quiet fantasy book about a girl who breaks fate and finds herself living two different realities. When I began reading The Bone Charmer, I was immediately drawn in by Breeana Shields writing. The author writes a beautiful story that is a blend of fantasy and mystery. The Bone Charmer is definitely one of my favourite reads of the year!

The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields is a unique fantasy world where bo
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .

Oh noes, the dreaded DNF! I have only DNFed 6 books before this one, so yeah. Here's the thing: I don't think this one was necessarily bad, I just think try as I might, I could not get into it. And I wanted to, oh how I wanted to! This was one of my most anticipated books of the year. So I am not ruling out trying again? I got to I think 31% before tagging out which is a pretty good go
Alexa BookwormFiles
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
The Bone Charmer is one of those rare books that have left me feeling more than a little conflicted. On the one hand, it’s a well-written and fun book that I enjoyed very much and devoured in a just a few days…but on the other hand it’s an acutely flawed book that left me feeling frustrated and semi-underwhelmed, which is a fairly annoying place to be in when finishing a book.

Let’s start with the aspects of the book that didn’t work. First, the utter lack of world building is infuriating. I kno
Kiki Cole
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fabulous book! I can’t believe how well executed this was, especially with the alternate realities. This was such a beautiful read!
Samantha Beard
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-releases, arc
Honestly struggling to find any reason not to give this one 5 stars, so 5 stars it shall have. I absolutely loved the structure of the story. It could have easily gone weird, but Breeana Shields does a great job of controlling the weirdness.

Highly recommend, can't wait for more. Full review coming soon to the blog.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
** I received a digital ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. **

The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields is a macabre fantasy full of bone magic (yes, reading your past, present, and future from both animal and human bones is a thing in this book and it’s super weird at first, but super interesting after a few chapters) with a focus on the issues of trust, betrayal, and love. Good fantasy worlds are well-structured and believable - and that’s also the case for the world of The Bone Char
Staci Campbell
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-read
A thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for my early copy of this title!!

"Im not sure how many more fractures I can withstand, until I crumble." - Saskia

On the day of Saskia’s kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—her worst fear comes true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, a seer, like her mother.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose the one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn’t put it down. This was a fun, fresh, and confusing (in a good way) YA book. Super highly recommended.
Lenore .
Dec 28, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: anticipated-2019
excuse me but this sounds so freaking interesting
Elizabeth Mathis
In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-mak
Katherine Paschal
**Review can be found at **

Saskia has always feared the magic that speaks to her, so much so that she wants nothing to do with the life her mother believes will be hers. On the day of her keening where her future will known, Saskia unleashes a chain of events that even her mother could not predict. Every choice can lead down a different path, and Saskia's life has split in two different directions. Which was her true path?

This was like a YA supernatural/othe
Nikole Clow
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Bone Charmer tells the tale of Saskia and her journeys after her kenning. Her Bone Charmer mother has the power to see multiple future paths for Saskia, but Saskia believes her mother only picks the path she will despise the most: the path of a Bone Charmer and with the guy she does not love. But all actions have consequences and Saskia’s future gets split into two paths after her bone fractures. And in each path, she faces unforeseen dangers that will not only harm her, but the people she h ...more
Nannette Demmler
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
ARC provided by Page Street Publishing via NetGalley for an honest review.

I admit that I read the summary when I picked this book on NetGalley, but by the time I got around to reading it, I had forgotten what it was all about. So when I got to the chapter where the timelines split, I was like What!!!! I admit that it through me off, but within a couple of pages I realized what was going on and I thought that it was brilliant. The author does a fabulous job of telling the two stories and keeping
Jane Conklin
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
By the end of the second chapter of this book, I immediately stopped what I was doing and went to preorder the hard copy.

This book is everything I’ve been looking for in a novel but didn’t realize I was missing! It’s very reminiscent to me of a Russian folktale meets Harry Potter, but with a modern, dystopian twist. The characters are familiar, but unique and I cared about each and everyone of them, which rarely happens for me.

Breeana has created a beautiful, magic touched world that drew me in
Amanda (MetalPhantasmReads)
DNF @25%
This was a bummer that I didn't like this or could get into it. The world building is limited to the point where I can't envision character looks, clothing, any archeitucutre or what the world even looks like. We only get the colors of cloaks, hair color or the skin color of another character. Not being able to picture anything of the world isn't a good sign for me. Also the main character felt like an outsider of this world. She doesn't act like she's from that world and we don't really
What kills me about this book is that its not even out yet (mine, an arc-copy -- huge thanks to The Page Street team for this early reading opportunity) which means there's such a looooonnnngggg wait for book two -- there will be a second, right? Please, please, please!!!!!!!

THE BONE CHARMER was amazing!!

If you love fantasy, if you love the macabre, if you love "Sliding Doors", if you love just a great damn story -- READ THIS!!!!! Ms. Shield's creativity weaves two incredible timelines of Saskia
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2019, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Breeana Shields is an author of fantasy novels for teens including THE BONE CHARMER, POISON'S KISS, and POISON'S CAGE. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English.
When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and playing board games with her extremely competitive family. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, her three children, and two adorable, but