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The Bone Charmer

(The Bone Charmer #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  456 ratings  ·  151 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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Lynna Yes, there is romance in this book. It plays a role in the inciting incident, pushes character development, and is used to up the impact of the story'…moreYes, there is romance in this book. It plays a role in the inciting incident, pushes character development, and is used to up the impact of the story's climax. However, if you're looking for a romance novel, this ain't it because even though it is central to a lot of the plot, it is not the focus or the draw of the book. I hope that makes sense!(less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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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
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!
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, romance, ya, arc

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 consolidate t
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 pair
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 sn
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, own
It took my ridiculous ass like 10 months to read this but I finished it and thoroughly enjoyed it!
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. 😉
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.
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!
The Nerd Daily
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice

The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields is a phenomenal exploration of a young woman’s desire to take fate into her own hands, and how it can go so devastatingly wrong. I was hooked from the start, with these brooding characters full of secrets and lies. Our heroine is left to tease out the way to her salvation with nothing but her wits, and the bone magic in her veins. This was exactly the kind of book to get me out of my reading s
Camillea Camillea
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
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
PLEASE tell me there will be a sequel to this!! RTC!
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
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
Colleen Houck
The formatting of this book was exceptional. Loved going back and forth between the two parallel universes and seeing how the story was unfolding. What a brilliant way to weave a tale! The whole concept of reading bones to see the past, present, or future in visions is fascinating. I really hope there's more to come in this universe. I'm not ready to let go of these characters yet.
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.
Kali 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!
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
SpookyBookworm  BookwormFiles
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
Jenny (Bookbookowl)
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Saskia's bone reading, which will determine her future career path and future love match, goes wrong, her future is split into two paths.  On one path, Saskia will go on to train as a bone charmer and be matched with a boy she fears has a violent past, and on the other she'll train as a tutor and be matched with the boy she already wants to be with.

As we follow Saskia's parallel paths, she realises she's in danger in both of them, and only one path can continue in the end - but which will i
Staci Campbell
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Samantha Beard
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, 2019-releases
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 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
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
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
I was swept up in this tale of bones and magic. Plus that cover is GORGEOUS.
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
Chelsies Reading Escape
I found it easy to insert myself into the main characters perspective. She developped from seeking a quiet and safe life to risking it all to uncover the truth. There were some of Saskias decisions that didnt completely make sense to me. For example her going to a black market ship without telling anyone, or how she kept looking for a vein to use the needle when she clearly didnt need one the first time she used it. I enjoyed Saskias complicated relationship with her mother and how she comes to ...more
Lenore .
Dec 28, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: anticipated-2019
excuse me but this sounds so freaking interesting
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
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Breeana Shields is an author of fantasy novels for teens including THE BONE CHARMER, THE BONE THIEF, POISON'S KISS, and POISON'S CAGE.

When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and playing board games with her extremely competitive family. She lives near Washington D.C. with her husband, her three children, and two adorable, but spoiled dogs.

Other books in the series

The Bone Charmer (2 books)
  • The Bone Thief (The Bone Charmer, #2)

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