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The Silence of Bones

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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,468 ratings  ·  710 reviews
I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;
Ears, but I mustn't hear;
Eyes, but I mustn't see.


1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged mur
...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 21st 2020 by Feiwel & Friends
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    The Silence of Bones
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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.87  · 
    Rating details
     ·  2,468 ratings  ·  710 reviews


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    Start your review of The Silence of Bones
    Regan
    Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
    really really enjoyed this! The atmosphere and the historical setting were truly top notch!
    June Hur
    Aug 17, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
    THE SILENCE OF BONES is, in part, my love letter to Korean history. I was born in South Korea, but I was raised in Canada, and spent all of my teenage years obsessing over British history, Jane Austen and BBC dramas. In short, I grew up knowing almost nothing about Korean history, except for the brief stories my parents shared with me, and the snippets I learned about whenever I managed to stay awake during Korean history class (back when I studied in South Korea).

    Then everything changed for me
    ...more
    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    3.5 Stars



    This book was at a solid 4.5 but certain things brought it down for me. Although, 3 or 3.5 stars is not a bad rating.

    The cover of this book is what pulled me to it. I mean look how beautiful it is!! The title and the summary sounded good as well. I have to recommend the audio narration as it was splendid!

    I enjoyed the character of Seol, I felt sorry for her a lot and I felt she was good at helping with the cases. This is part mystery, figuring out who is doing all of the killings and
    ...more
    Melanie

    (Thank you Chels, I love you!)

    Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Blog | Spotify | Twitch
    ...more
    Amélie Zhao
    Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    This book, you guys. My heart just filled with ten thousand rivers of emotions and tears. Set in Korea in the 1800s, TEN THOUSAND RIVERS follows the journey of Seol, a girl indentured to the police bureau who becomes caught up in an investigation of a murder. She quickly becomes entangled with the dark secrets and political intrigue surrounding the case.

    TEN THOUSAND RIVERS swept me away to ancient Korea, filled with misty mountains and hazy, foggy cities; paddy fields and oceans. June's writing
    ...more
    April (Aprilius Maximus)
    May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2020
    "The dead are gone, yet we live in their shadows."

    representation: Korean (own voices)

    [trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


    ★★★★.5

    THIS WAS SO GOOD.
    Firstly, the ATMOSPHERE and the SETTING were so well done. I could picture everything so clearly in my head (although this may be because I've watched so many historical k-dramas lol).
    Secondly, the MYSTERY was so well done and constantly kept me guessing.
    Thirdly, almost every other chapter had a plot tw
    ...more
    Ashley Nuckles
    I wasn’t expecting much but this was SO GOOD! So much political turmoil and intrigue, the murder mystery was really interesting with all the twists and turns I wasn’t expecting, and overall I really enjoyed learning more about this particular era in Korea in the early 1800’s. Definitely will be reading more from June Hur in the future!
    Althea | themoonwholistens ☾
    [rounds up everyone who has been asking for YA mystery thrillers] here's the book you've been looking for

    — overall thoughts: 3.5 —
    content warnings// (view spoiler)

    🌚 reps: korean setting and characters
    🌚 vibes: atmospheric dark cozy ya murder mystery
    ...more
    Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    Where do I even begin with this review? This book is like nothing I’ve ever read. June Hur has officially become one of my favorite authors. The writing style was so detailed and immersive. I felt like I was a part of the setting and everything that went on in the book. I hardly ever read historical fiction but something about this book made me add it to my tbr without hesitation, and made it one of my highly anticipated of the year. Oh it also become one of my favorite books of 2020 and ever.

    Th
    ...more
    Diabolica
    I think I might start reading some more historical fiction because I really enjoyed this one. Or maybe I should just start reading fiction that isn't situated in America or Europe...?

    In either case, this was low-key an emotional ride and an extremely unexpected read for something in YA.

    I don't mean to bash YA books, but the lack of romance and the level of reflection in this book was astonishing Colour me shook.

    A bit background about our rollercoaster in question. If you are here for a ride of
    ...more
    ♛ may
    Jul 23, 2020 marked it as on-hold-ill-get-to-it-one-day
    Book #4 for the Reading Rush for the prompt: a book that takes place on a different continent than where you live

    buddy read with taasia 💕
    ...more
    Elora  Cook
    Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    I had the utmost pleasure of reading this a while back and adored every word. June's writing is breathtaking, her characters pull at your heart, and her mystery is both alluring and constantly leaves you guessing!
    I am so excited that others will be able to read this beautiful book as well and that someone as deserving as June gets to have her words be out in the world.
    Everyone, you are doing yourself a favour by adding this book to your TBR!
    ...more
    Lady H
    Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: read-in-2020
    I have been looking forward to June Hur's debut for years, long before I became somewhat jaded by YA literature, and so I was not really expecting my expectations to be met, but I am so pleased to say that they absolutely were. The Silence of Bones is a vibrant, carefully researched, melancholic murder mystery that kept me reading for hours straight, until I lost track of time. Hur's writing is elegant and mature, as are her characters, who are all multi-faceted and complex. The mystery is intri ...more
    Joshee Kun (조수아)
    Thank you, Macmillan, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    There are usually only three causes of murder: lust, greed, or vengeance. Among these three, vengeance is the most common. — Inspector Han

    Do you enjoy watching K-dramas, particularly those with vivid, historical settings and well-developed characters? Shows like Splendid Politics and Empress Ki can have as many as 40-50 episodes because they have multiple story arcs, but this debut novel will give you all th
    ...more
    ♠ TABI⁷ ♠
    Aug 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: edelweiss
    GUYS I AM LIVING FOR THESE CULTURALLY-CORRECT AND STUNNING COVERS OKAY . . . and now I feel weird because I truly SAW this cover, okay!! It was on Goodreads and it was beautiful . . . and now it's gone??? I am confused and devastated.

    a n y w a y s

    considering I am learning the Korean language, culture, and basically as much as I can about that country . . . yes, this is calling my name very loudly.

    yay we have a new cover . . . although I loved the first one better and I'm still super hyped for t
    ...more
    rachel ☾


    Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)
    ...more
    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
    If you love the idea of a murder mystery with no romance, is carefully plotted, and set in 1800's Korea, then you'll love this excellent debut.

    - Follows Seol, an orphaned sixteen-year old girl who is an indentured servant at the police bureau. When a noblewoman is murdered, Seol assists an inspector to find the murderer - only to find that the murder mystery will uncover Seol's past and the secrets within her family.
    - I thought this was incredibly plotted and well-crafted. I liked how thoughtfu
    ...more
    Claire
    Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This brilliant YA Historical Fiction deserves to be on everyone's TBR. Meticulously researched, richly drawn and resonating with multi-faceted characters, The Silence of Bones is one of the best YA books I've read in a long, long time. We're introduced immediately to our MC, Seol, who is just an absolute delight. She's strong, she's smart, she is independent despite her hard circumstances, and she is fantastically HUMAN. June Hur really has an understanding of how people think and feel, and this ...more
    Kelsea
    Friends, I’ve been wanting to read The Silence of Bones since I first read the synopsis half a year ago, so you bet I squealed when it arrived in the mail! And guess what? IT’S JUST AS AMAZING AS THE PREMISE PROMISES! 🥳🥳🥳

    It’s an #ownvoices YA historical thriller (hello perfect genre) set in 1800 Joseon (Korea). I absolutely loved the MC, Seol. She’s smart, determined, ambitious, curious, loyal, compassionate, and obsessed with finding the truth. She’s 16 and indentured to the police bureau, wher
    ...more
    Liz Lawson
    Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I finished THE SILENCE OF BONES last night, late. This book is phenomenal. It's a well-paced, well-plotted mystery, but it's also so much more than that. It's an exploration on family, about what loyalty means, and is just gorgeously written. I felt like I was in 1800's Korea, traveling alongside Seol.

    I could not recommend this book more highly -- I'm so excited for it to get into the world and for other people to have the opportunity to read it. An absolutely stunning debut.
    ...more
    Joey
    Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
    The beginning was really slow but by the end I couldn’t put it doooooown 😩😰
    Katherine
    Feb 11, 2021 rated it liked it
    It was just so... boring. 😨

    Not even the well described Korean/Joseon atmosphere could save this story. I mean if I'm listening to a book at 3x speed, and I still feel like its too slow...than it's just the story that's dragging.

    I'm just not a mystery reader. I know this now, I know this! I wanted to love this (it was highly recommended, but it still failed to grab my attention. 😐) I just didnt connect to the characters, or the plot. It was just meh.

    Something positive 😄 I will say, June Hur (th
    ...more
    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
    (4.5)

    Rep: Korean cast & setting

    CWs: gore, murder, mutilation
    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
    I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;
    Ears, but I mustn't hear;
    Eyes, but I mustn't see.


    Sixteen year-old Seol has been indentured to the police bureau for one generation. She'll be 41 when she's finally released, and after a failed escape that leaves her branded, she's nearly resigned herself to a life of drudgery. Until a noblewoman is found murdered with her nose cut off, and her murder may be connected to the un-investigated deaths of several lowborn men and women who also died in a similar fash
    ...more
    Merie Shen
    Looking around at all the other reviews of this book, not to mention after reading said book, I feel this incredible pressure to write a deep, eloquent, shining review worded as carefully and breath-takingly as the novel itself.

    Unfortunately, I possess neither the skill nor talent to do so. I'd rather have the author's prose speak for itself, if you'll excuse me for saying.

    But yes, this book was beautiful, and riveting, and atmospheric, and so well-written it scared me. Are debuting authors real
    ...more
    Kat Cho
    Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    June Hur paints a beautiful picture of Joseon Korea in her gripping historical mystery novel. An intriguing tale that touches on class, honor, the value of one's beliefs, and the lengths one is willing to go for loyalty and family. Hur presents such a vivid portrayal of the Joseon Era that it's like stepping back in time. With its breathtaking prose and complex characters, this mystery novel is sure to keep you guessing until the very end! ...more
    Paul Fulcher
    I had followed the thread connecting Lady O’s death to Priest Zhou Wenmo, and never would I have thought it’d lead me into a web of conspiracy and rebellion among heretics, as well as to so much suffering.

    June Hur's The Silence of the Bones is build as a YA murder mystery and coming of age story, and is certainly accessible to that demographic, but I also found it at well crafted and informative slice of historical fiction, set in a fascinating time and place: the capital city of Hanyang (now Se
    ...more
    Anya
    Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
    This was so different from everything I’ve read, and I loved every second of it. I am eagerly anticipating June Hur’s next book!
    shri (sunandchai)
    Full review on my blog!

    I want to start off with a thank you to the publisher, Feiwel and Friends, for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    The Silence of Bones is one of my most anticipated releases of 2020, and I could not contain my excitement at the chance to read it. Seriously, I dropped my entire TBR just to dig into The Silence of Bones. And lads, it did not disappoint.

    I went in expecting a dark and generally typical who-done-it murder mystery with an interest
    ...more
    Andrea
    3.75
    I'm glad I decided to pick this one up!

    ENn-Xl-OUXs-AYTGGp-jpg-large

    It was kind of a different read for me considering this is a historical Korean story set during the Joseon Dynasty- it had a great murder mystery plot with political and religious intrigue- along with tales of classicism, family, and the budding desire to be more than the role fate assigned.

    The h, Seol, had a wealth of curiosity and inner strength that made her journey from a novice police damo to a budding investigator in her own right a great re
    ...more
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    Literally Leander: Final Thoughts - January 2 5 Mar 03, 2021 11:51AM  
    Literally Leander: First Impressions - January 2 14 Jan 14, 2021 11:58AM  

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    429 followers
    June Hur was born in South Korea and raised in Canada, except for the time when she moved back to Korea and attended high school there. Most of her work is inspired by her journey through life as an individual, a dreamer, and a Christian, with all its confusions, doubts, absurdities and magnificence. She studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. When she's not writing, she can b ...more

    Articles featuring this book

    If you're a fan of the mystery and thriller genre and young adult books, recent months have brought a bevy of great reads to your shelves! We...
    128 likes · 21 comments
    “A life among servants had taught me that no human being wished to remain silent and misunderstood.” 2 likes
    “This investigation is nothing more to you than a mere crime among the multitude." Matron Kim's upper lip curled slightly. "My daughter died on her birthday. I made a jeogori jacket for her as a gift, sewed the silk pieces together myself, and I knew the length and circumference of her arms, the length and breadth of her torso, all measured meticulously. I knew her. She was my daughter. And from the day of her death, all you saw was a crime to be solved. From that day, you disrespected my affection for my daughter, and even now, you speak to me with a cruel, impatient look in your eyes.” 0 likes
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