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

Splinters of Scarlet

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  93 reviews
A YA historical fantasy set in nineteenth-century Denmark, where secrets can kill and magic is a deadly gift.

For Marit Olsen, magic is all about strategy: it flows freely through her blood, but every use leaves behind a deadly, ice-like build-up within her veins called the Firn. Marit knows how dangerous it is to let too much Firn build up—after all, it killed her sister—a
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published July 21st 2020 by HMH 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 Splinters of Scarlet, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Emily Murphy Yes! SPLINTERS OF SCARLET is a stand-alone story.
Jaime There's a romantic relationship between the main character, Marit, and another character, but it isn't the focus of the story.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  288 ratings  ·  93 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Splinters of Scarlet
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved Emily Bain Murphy's debut, The Disappearances, so I was super excited to find out she had another book in the works. Full disclosure, Emily is one of my very best friends—but my love for her first book was one of the things that made me want to *become* good friends with her. I had the joy of seeing an early version of Splinters of Scarlet and of watching Emily diligently work for years at chiseling away and refining it—when I finally got my hands on the ARC to read the product of all he ...more
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I feel so weird about having an unpopular opinion about this book, but I just didn't like it. It was just so boring and average, and there was nothing in this book that kept me compelled to read even more.

The entire book follows a girl named Marit who is attempting to solve the murder mystery of how her father and the hundreds of people working in the mines were killed. Throughout the story, she gets closer and closer to the Vestergaard family, whom she suspects. I feel like this concept c
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.”

Murphy you have a new fan. I have to admit that the cover is what drew me in. Didn’t even look at the synopsis just saw the magical words “YA Historical fiction” and knew I wanted to read this beauty.

This was everything I needed it to be. In Denmark in the 19th century magic is seen as an infliction. As magic is used it leaves behind an ice-like build-up in the veins called the Firn. After the loss of her father and sister, Marit befriends Eve at t
Katerina Kondrenko
7 out of 10

Not sure why this read didn't turn out to be as awesome as The Disappearances. It's a unique and magical story, with touching moments, kind messages, a beautiful atmosphere, but we didn't click.

However, I'd recommend it to anyone who loves creative concepts (here, we if you use magic you can die from a mysterious illness), unusual settings (Denmark), character depth, fast pacing, grey moral, and such.

This book is similar to its predecessor, in many ways from characters and how t
Tabi⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
I keep thinking this is The Madness Blooms because the covers look the same ahaha

The Madness Blooms by Mackenzi Lee
Kulwinder Singh
Aug 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, historical
“𝙄 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙜𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙨 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩. 𝙂𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙛𝙧𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙡𝙚 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙜. 𝙄𝙩 𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙤𝙬𝙨 𝙪𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙚𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙨 𝙬𝙚’𝙫𝙚 𝙗𝙪𝙞𝙡𝙩 𝙖𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙 𝙪𝙨. 𝙄𝙩 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙨 𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙤 𝙞𝙩𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙖𝙡𝙬𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩’𝙨 𝙗𝙚𝙮𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝙞𝙩. 𝙄𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙩𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙙𝙖𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙚. 𝘼𝙣𝙙 𝙮𝙚𝙩, 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙣’𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙛𝙪𝙡 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙞𝙩, 𝙬𝙖𝙩𝙘𝙝 𝙤𝙪𝙩.”

I loved the mystery aspect of this book and the setting. Everything else... not so much.

H.S.J. Williams
Absolutely gorgeous. Also, best food descriptions I’ve read in a while. So long as one can stomach a pretty intense and violent climax, I recommend this to basically everyone. Full review to come soon!
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I don’t even know where to start. I feel like my words have left me. This book was absolutely AMAZING! Emily Bain Murphy captivated me from the very first page. I love the setting which is 19th Century Denmark. The way that Emily described everything, it felt so tangible. The imagery is so lush and vivid. The main character of the story is Marit Olsen, and I head over heels fell in love with her. I could definitely
The Nerd Daily
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Laura Erne

Splinters of Scarlet is the latest standalone from Emily Bain Murphy and many have deemed it ‘Downton Abbey with magic’ and you know what? That’s pretty accurate. This book has a vast array of characters that showcase the upstairs/downstairs divide commonly found in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This is a story that focuses on Marit Olsen, an orphan with a magical ability that allows her to excel as a seamstress. This isn’t a stor
Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger
[Review Copy Provided by Pushkin Press, my review is unbiased]
Wordpress Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

📗 Buddy read with Lily @ Home For The Lost! We both read this in 5 chapter chunks at a time which worked really well for remembering plot details when we got back to each other. We were really surprised at just how good this book was.

📕 I've been reading a lot of fantasy lately, and not all of it good. What caught my attention about this story is that it's set in Denmark, and the magic itself is usef
Emily Bain Murphy is pure magic. I fell head over heels in love with her first book, THE DISAPPEARANCES, and have been waiting for something new from her ever since. And the wait was worth it because Murphy delivered another gorgeously magical book with SPLINTERS OF SCARLET.

Set in 19th century Denmark, SPLINTERS OF SCARLET was a delightful exploration of sisterhood and family, which centers around magic, ballet, gems, and, fittingly, Hans Christian Andersen. Marit and Eve come from the same orp
Stacy Fetters
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I like glass best. Glass is fragile but strong. It allows us to see through the walls we’ve built around us. It never calls attention to itself but always to what’s beyond it. It can protect things from damage. And yet, when you aren’t careful with it, watch out!”

Can you believe it? I’ve had this book sitting in my book closet since January and it took me six months to pick it up. What is wrong with me?

I’m usually one to say, not to judge a book by its cover but I’m guilty as hell by doing tha
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this book - historic Denmark, unique magic, and a compelling mystery. Emily Bain Murphy is an amazing writer and I truly enjoy meeting her characters and exploring her worlds. Cannot wait to read what she writes next.
Bryn Shutt
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-books
5 glorious stars to this story!! Mystery, murder, magic and food!! Oh, the food.

Downton Abbey meets Frozen in this powerful story about greed, corruption and fear set against the power of friendship, forgiveness and sacrifice.

"We both know well how concerned some people can be with what we look like on the outside. But we have to make sure we don't start to look like them on the inside."

I highly recommend this lush epic to those who love vivid settings, gorgeous writing and beautiful arcs of fri
KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books
Oh lord.

Downton Abbey with Magic.


Anna Priemaza
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Emily's books are a light in the darkness. And by that I mean that they are the light and darkness, both.

The brilliant, unique worlds Emily creates are dark--with sinister plots, treachery, and, in this case, magic that literally turns the veins to ice. But her books are also full of characters who, while flawed and imperfect, are motivated by love and caring and goodness. Combining this with her beautiful writing makes scenes and characters sparkle like tiny stars in the black night sky.

This li
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-bought
I genuinely enjoyed this book! The magic system is original, I really liked it, and the story is well thought out and well executed. The setting in Denmark is nice and something you don't see often. It was fun that Hans Christian Anderson popped up during the book. I liked how all the puzzle pieces were given and slowly fell together at the end.
Diana Bautista
Aug 16, 2020 marked it as dnf
July 21, 2020 – August 16, 2020

I loved The Disappearances, but I'm not feeling this one right now.
Might return later.
Kay  C
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I was drawn in to this book from the start. I really enjoyed the friendship between Marit and Eve.
I was so intrigued on Emily's take on magic.
Angela Cuéllar
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
pooled ink Reviews:

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!
Check out my tour stop with Emily Bain Murphy writing a guest post here !
4.5 Stars

Emily Bain Murphy simply has a way of spinning prose and turning phrase that pulls me under, lulling me into a story with a gentle rhythm both magical and exciting. I genuinely enjoyed reading her debut novel The Disappearances and so I was eager to get my hands on a copy of her latest work. Splinters of Scarlet is a mysterious tal
Becca Mee
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Splinters of Scarlet is a YA historical fantasy about the family we choose for ourselves and how far we will go for their welfare. Marit has kept her seamstress magic a secret following the death of her father and her sister Ingrid. She knows that using it too much will end in death, but when her adopted sister Eve has a final chance to be adopted to a good family, she is determined to do whatever it takes to see it happen. But when Eve catches the attention of Helene Vestergaard, the owner of t ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“ Magic flows like water; magic freezes like ice. Use too much and it costs a pretty price.”

* Thank you Emily Bain Murphy and HMH Teen for sending me a ARC.

After reading Splinters of Scarlet, I desperately want to pick up Murphy’s debut novel, The Disappearances! Her writing style was completely enthralling and magical and I just ate it up and couldn’t seem to put it down! Every time I picked up this book, it’s like I was placed under a spell. I honestly went into this book not expecting anythi
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book!!! Wow. I LOVED Emily's first book (The Disappearances), so I was excited to read this, and it absolutely did not disappoint!!! The unique magical system was PERFECT. The main character's magic allows her to stitch thing up, with just a glance, and the way Emily describes it is utterly enchanting. There are also other characters with magic, each one original and distinctive. The magic flooded the story with whimsy, while making the stakes intense, since the act of using magic eventuall ...more
Jamie W
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, with its beautifully lush world hinting of forbidden magic and its focus on two orphans as they move into a mansion, will trick you into believing it's a fairytale. But you'd be wrong because this historical fantasy is so much more than that!

There is so much going on in this story, there are no comfy lulls. It is a story of the love that binds siblings and makes a family, of loss and hope, and greed and sacrifice. All told with an undercurrent of unsolved mystery and sliced through wi
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really like the setting of this book! I like the time period, the locations in Denmark, and the house that most of the book takes place in.

The magic was really fun and really interesting. The concept of magic being both life-giving and life-ending really free me in, as did the plot surrounding the mines and jewels.

I didn't feel any stealing draw to any of the characters but I still liked them all. I would have enjoyed more POVs sprinkled throughout the book, however. I think it would've help
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Literally, as I was writing this review, I started wondering why I wasn't giving it five stars. OH, RIGHT I HATE STARRING THINGS. But if I'm going to, no damn reason not to 5 star it... so I changed it.

Not that anyone asked lol.

Full Review at Novel Lives
Willow Rosenberg
Dec 29, 2019 marked it as 2020-tbr
A book set in Copenhagen!! I love it because that's where I live!
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
Splinters of Scarlet takes the reader on a journey to nineteenth century Denmark filled with magic, mystery, and family love. I loved the setting and the array of characters at the Vestergaard manor; even the minor ones contributed to the story. Like with The Disappearances, the romance was slow building and nothing like the instant love plaguing the majority of teen novels these days. I felt the mystery was a little slow to unravel since the answers weren't revealed until after the 85% mark. Th ...more
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never have I been so excited to have my high hopes completely surpassed. Splinters of Scarlet is a gorgeously written book, with engaging characters and a lush atmosphere, filled with so much love and mystery and atmosphere. The magic and world-building instantly stood out to me, and I think is what makes this book stand out from the rest I've read this year. I was instantly drawn to the richness of the details of the historical Denmark setting, and I fell completely in love with the characters ...more
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'll have to seek out Bain Murphy's first book now, as this one was an impulse pick that I really enjoyed. Marit and Eve are close orphans when Eve is suddenly adopted by a rich, famous alumna of their orphanage. Set in Denmark in the time of Christian IV, many of this alternate world's Have-Nots have magic that the rich shamelessly and cruelly use for themselves. Marit manages to parlay her sewing skills and a secret not even Eve knows, to join Eve in her new large household where not all is we ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Preorder Campaigns: Splinters of Scarlet Postcard Before 7/20/20 1 3 Jun 06, 2020 06:23PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ghost Wood Song
  • The Short Knife
  • Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster
  • Seasons of the Storm (Seasons of the Storm, #1)
  • Sisters of Sword and Song
  • The Kinder Poison (The Kinder Poison, #1)
  • Weather
  • Hold Back the Tide
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
  • Fable (Fable, #1)
  • Set Fire to the Gods (Set Fire to the Gods, #1)
  • The Magician's Lie
  • The Princess Will Save You (The Princess Will Save You, #1)
  • The Mall
  • The Last True Poets of the Sea
  • The Shadows Between Us
  • On a Sunbeam
  • Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei, #1)
See similar books…
Emily Bain Murphy was born in Indiana and raised in Hong Kong and Japan. She graduated from Tufts University and has also called Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California home.

Murphy is the author of The Disappearances, which was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, an ALAN Pick, and shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize. Splinters of Scarlet, Murphy’s second YA historical fanta

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We’ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
36 likes · 58 comments
“But what is love if not life, siphoned out and given away and spent freely for others each day?” 1 likes
“Sometimes the biggest decisions you make come by doing absolutely nothing.” 0 likes
More quotes…