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

The Silence of Bones

by
4.20  ·  Rating details ·  122 ratings  ·  58 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, shes been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder
...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Feiwel & Friends
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 The Silence of Bones, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Silence of Bones

Untitled by Sarah J. MaasThe Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne CollinsUntitled by Leigh BardugoOne of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManusChain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
YA Novels of 2020
738 books — 1,921 voters
All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn  GraceAll Your Twisted Secrets by Diana  UrbanWhere Dreams Descend by Janella AngelesThe Loop by Ben   OliverA Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
YA Debuts 2020
132 books — 385 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  122 ratings  ·  58 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Silence of Bones
June Hur
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (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
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
♠ TABI ♠
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
...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!
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 interesting
...more
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
3.5 Stars

Review to come!
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.
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!
Claire
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My excitement for this book knows no bounds!
Sasha Nanua
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic, twisty tale following a murder investigation in 1800s Korea. If I could pre-order it right now, I would. I am so excited for the world to read this book in 2020! Congrats, June!
Becca
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ive had time to gather my thoughts (and the pieces of my broken heart...) about June Hur's stunning debut TEN THOUSAND RIVERS which is the historical murder mystery of your D R E A M S.

so now its time for some screaming.

set in 1800's Korea, TEN THOUSAND RIVERS is told through the eyes of 16yo Seol, who is indentured to the local police (i'd die for her) this is genuinely one of the most immersive historical books I've read it ages. Every detail feels true. You're in another time entirely. This
...more
Tanya
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this stunning debut novel and I'm left with so many feelings. When I started reading this, I really didn't have much knowledge about this period in Korean history. So the fact that I was immediately immersed in the atmosphere and the culture and its people is quite amazing. Part of its success has to do with Hur's exquisite prose, which makes it so easy to imagine the atmosphere, and feel as if you're standing right there with the characters. The other part is how the main ...more
rachel ☾
◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Goodreads Twitter Instagram
...more
Fallon DeMornay
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
June has created a work of art with this breathtaking debut.

** review to come **
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!

CW: slavery, branding, religious persecution, abuse, death, and murder

3.5/5


Oh, how I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. Don't get me wrong, it's good. But there was just so much going on that I found it hard to keep track at times. This story follows Seol, a damo (or indentured servant) for the police. A noblewoman is murdered and down the rabbit hole it all goes.

For me, there were a lot of characters and, right when I
...more
USOM
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: torture

The Silence of Bones is full of action packed mystery set in a detailed setting of 1800 Korea. I wasn't prepared for the mystery elements, but as soon as I saw them I was hooked (I try not to read the summary before reading so I don't accidentally spoil myself). Seol is inquisitive in a world which prides silence and obedience. So I basically fell in love with Seol
...more
Vee_Bookish
Feb 29, 2020 marked it as to-read
This sounds so??? Unique???

Chloe
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Spoiler free, 4.75 stars*

I had seen this one around quite a lot online and it looked pretty interesting. I knew I wanted to give it a shot at some point, but I wasn't sure when I was going to get to. It didn't seem like a book I would normally read, so I put it off. But, I recently had the urge to give it a try, so I did. And I am very, very glad I did. Trigger warnings: torture, abuse, suicide, death, gore

I've never really found a historical fiction books that I really love. The genre and I
...more
Tasya Dita
I'm not really interested on the murder mystery, I think it's too convoluted and has too many players. But the setting is just perfect and the two familial storylines that were happening really tugged at my heartstrings!

Full review to come.
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
GIVE IT TO ME NOW! KOREAN AND CANADIAN AUTHOR?! HERE! FOR! IT!
Cari
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While I'm not a YA librarian, I follow June Hur on Twitter, and I was really excited to get an advanced reading copy of her debut. Adults will enjoy this book, too - I certainly did. This book is so fresh and so powerful, the story of sixteen-year-old Seol, who is a damo - a female servant to the police - in 1800s Korea. Seol just wants to go home, but she has been bound for a generation, and she must do her duty. Damos are the only ones who can touch or move female bodies, and when the body of ...more
Beka
Jan 08, 2020 marked it as to-read
I cannot wait to read this book! It sounds riveting and Im so ready for a book that will sweep me up with its atmosphere. And while Im usually one for romance as at least a subplot, Im glad this one is romance free! Im ready to lose myself in the historical moments it presents and the mystery it offers. ...more
Ruthsic
Warnings: violence and physical abuse, murder and gore, misogyny, mention and description of animal abuse, mention and description of suicide, mention of infanticide

Rep: OwnVoices historical Korean setting

Taking cues from the historical context of the Joseon era, Hur writes a mystery that encloses the rich landscape of that time into a story about a girl looking for her lost brother. Seol has been indentured to serve as a damo in the police bureau of Hanyang, where she comes across her first
...more
☾ h a d e e r ☽
Jun 18, 2019 marked it as to-read
i am so goddamn excited for this book why is it SO FAR AWAY
Leonard Romano
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
Wow. When you finish reading a book and the first words that you utter are wow, its a self-confirmation that you read something truly special. This was an amazing murder-mystery set during a time period piece/masterpiece. I was enthusiastically being educated of early 19th century Joseon Korea during a time of religious persecution, while contemporaneously reading a fictional who dunnit. Historical characters interact with fictional character as Seol, an indentured servant, is assisting the ...more
Shaylin Fox
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book goes well beyond lovely, to the point that I can only describe it with words like "innovative", "brilliant" and "haunting".

The setting and writing are atmospheric, and as a Western reader, I felt utterly transported to a world that, while fresh and unfamiliar, felt tangibly intimate when seen through the eyes of the main character, Seol. I could smell the mists of dynasty-era Korea, and as the story moves gracefully through the twists and turns of the murder mystery at its heart, I
...more
Roselle
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful, historical mystery rich with details. I love Hur's writing style and how evocative and attentive she is to the era. She kept me guessing from beginning to end. After I finished, I was satisfied with how she developed the overall mystery and subplots and how everything came together well.

I highly recommend this to mystery and historical fiction lovers.
Aearhen
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Silence of Bones is undoubtedly one of the best books I have ever read; it is breathtaking. Gorgeous prose, intricate and yet believable plot with no loose ends, history and culture meticulously researched and woven in, realistic characters making very human choices, and the spectacular setting of 19th century Joseon. As a Korean, a Catholic, a history major, student of forensics, and an avid reader of mysteries, this story has so many elements that I love. And all of them are bound together ...more
Danielle
Finished this quite some time ago, and it's just *chef's kiss*

Thank you, Feiwel & Friends for allowing me to read an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review - I'll try to be coherent without the spoilers.

The Silence of Bones by June Hur is a historical fiction (PSA: no fantasy or speculative elements at all!) set in Joseon Dynasty following Seol, a damo of police bureau in uncovering the truth about a series of gruesome murders targeting women and followers of
...more
Miriam
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

Breakdown:
Plot: 9
Character(s): 10
Writing Style: 9
Subjectivity: 9
World-building: 9

Brief Comment:
I admit that I rarely read historical or mystery novels, yet Im certain this is one of the best out there, especially in the YA landscape. Not to mention, this is a stunning, expectation-shattering debut. Indeed, Hurs haunting, ghostly story comes to gruesome life in Joseon, Korea, during the Christian persecution and aristocratical instability. Seol is a damo, a servant without desires,
...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1)
  • Woven in Moonlight
  • Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta's Academy, #1)
  • The Lucky Ones
  • The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)
  • Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1)
  • All Your Twisted Secrets
  • Ink in the Blood (Ink in The Blood, #1)
  • More Than Maybe
  • The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
  • The Gravity of Us
  • Diamond City (Diamond City, #1)
  • The Sound of Stars
  • Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor
  • Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars, #1)
  • The Betrothed (The Betrothed, #1)
  • You Deserve Each Other
  • Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei, #1)
See similar books…
122 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 works ...more

Articles featuring this book

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young ...
15 likes · 2 comments