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The Bone Shard Daughter

(The Drowning Empire #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,150 ratings  ·  507 reviews
In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

The emperor's reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rul
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published September 8th 2020 by Orbit
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Katharine Coldiron No, it is not a standalone. It's the start of a series.

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chai ♡
find this review & others on my blog

4,5 stars

Father told me I’m broken,” the novel begins, and those five words immediately swim through a thousand questions flooding the reader’s mind.

The questions will be answered eventually—most of them, anyway—but not before Andrea Stewart makes us at home in the minds of four narrators whose individual stories are imagined vividly enough to make for several rich and engrossing SF standalone novels.

The Bone Shard Daughter feels, in that sense, like
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ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

4.5/5 stars

This will most likely be my favorite fantasy debut of 2020.

Honestly speaking, The Bone Shard Daughter was not on my radar despite people’s excitement on Twitter—where I found out about this book—back when the acquisition was first announced. Some of you may know this already, but my interest to read a book—without any review from s
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Amazon Review:

Holy shit balls! 5 fanfreakingtastic stars baby!! Straight to favorites list. Debut book people!! Andrea Stewart knocked it out of the park for me. I will be elated to have this hardcover on my shelves!

Major Players:
Lin - Emperor’s daughter
Jovi - The best smuggler ever
Phalue - A daughter of a governor
Ranami - Phalue’s girlfriend and Rebel
Sand - She’s on the island of lost memories.

Damn, how do I put this.... the emperor is a twat and
may ➹
The Bone Shard Daughter tells the story of Lin, the daughter of the Emperor who cannot remember a semblance of her life before five years ago, and Jovis, a wanted smuggler on a fruitless search for his lover who’s been missing for seven years. It also follows three other characters—Phalue, Ranami, and Sand—whose paths weave intricately with the others to create an overall compelling narrative.

This book was not at all what I expected it to be, but I was not disappointed. Set in a world where anim
Finished Copy Provided by Orbit!

this book blew me away. i loved every pov, every storyline, every plot twist, every companion. oh, and i need the next book immediately! rtc! <3

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Buddy read with Maëlys! ❤
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
The Bone Shard Daughter is one of the most highly anticipated fantasies of the year. So should you read it? Here are all my pros, cons, and first impressions.
Click here:
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
So glad this was my October book of the month for my book club!

Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

Anyway. When TBSD was acquired by Orbit, I was pretty interested by the premise. I'm glad that I found that the premise lived up to my hopes, as I really enjoyed this debut novel. It was set in a beautiful world full of moving islands and man-made monsters formed from people's bones called constructs and the remnants of a powerful civilisation now long-defeated (. . . or are they?)

TBSD follows five characters:

> Lin, the daughter of the Emperor.

> Jovis, a h
Nicholas Eames
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy smokes, this book was good. It's got a setting that's more unique than anything I've read in a long time, and the TWISTS! About half way through I thought...Oh, I think I know what's coming. But reader: I DID NOT! Looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here!
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

I will make no bones about it: This brilliant fantasy debut has announced Andrea Stewart as quite possibly the best newcomer of the year.

Bone. Shard. Magic. How intriguing does that sound?!?! I’m a sucker for a cool magic system and the sound of that sold me instantly. Having finished this book speedily, I can honestly say you would be wrong if you thought that was the final mark under this book’s coolness column. We’re talking migrating islands, lost ancient civilizations, wet and dry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dannii Elle
Happy book publication day to one of my favourite 2020 reads!

Lin is the Emperor's daughter. The empire her father rules spans innumerable islands and he closely guards them with his intricate creations, an infusion of the bodies of animals with the bones of his still-living population. Lin is an apprentice in this magical skill but is just as focused on honing this craft as she is earning her father's love. His love comes with his esteem and both are hard fought for, with her father's foster-son
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Lin is a disappointment to her father. No matter what she does, she can’t remember the first five years of her life, memories that he’s desperate for her to recapture. Her adopted brother, Bayan, is winning the fierce competition for their father’s affections; his prize, the keys to the kingdom. Each success opens a new doorway, taking them a step closer to understanding the bone shard magic that controls the Empire. For their father is the Emperor and the keys unlock doors within the palace. Be ...more
Buddy read with an angel in the shape of Ashley Elizabeth Lindstadt Corbo!


Wow! This book! I'll admit, I didn't know what to expect going into this book, so my expectations were quite low. But this book blew me away! It was interesting, a totally new concept, and it was so much fun to read! Plus the characters were BRILLIANT, the romance was real sweet, and the casual way that LGBTQ+ elements were slipped in was so damn adorable!

This wonderful story has so many main c
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
So like... Mistborn but with bones?

I could maybe get down with that.
My first reaction to THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER was, "This book is a mindfuck, and I ended up really enjoying it despite some quibbles." I say that still holds true now that I'm writing a proper review. "Mindfuck" means different things to different people, and in this case THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER was so eerily creepy at times that I squirmed and gasped in horror. This review will be spoiler-free because half the fun is discovering the twists and turns for yourself.

If I were smart enough, if I wer
S A M | The Book in Hand
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

The Bone Shard Daughter is an exceptionally good fantasy debut. With its imaginative word-building, unique magic and a brilliant cast of characters The Bone Shard Daughter hooks you and doesn’t let go.

The Bone Shard Daughter is set within a failing empire which is made up of several islands. The emperor rules in name only, while he spends his days hidden away in one of his many locked rooms while his monstrous constructs regulate and police the empire. But at what cost? Rebellion is bre
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[ Trigger/Content warnings & on-page representation ]

🌻 Dark and cruel magic system
🌻 Sapphic goodness and addressing class privilege
🌻 Exploration of power, revolution, and free will
🌻 Secrets and twists that will have your skin crawling
🌻 A promising first installment to an addictive, high-stakes series

But on the downside:
🌻 Unmet expectations due to marketing
🌻 Frustratingly slow build-up to an impactful ending

Final verdict: Recommended*

Hauntingly eerie and disturbing, The Bone Shard
☆ 4.5 / 5 ☆

“Knowledge can only be wielded by those who dive into its depths and know the shape of it. Reading without true understanding is only wading in the shallows without a care for the monsters that lurk beneath.”

I very thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. This sets up a lot of things within the world but it truly went by so fast and there was never a moment where it dragged on in my opinion.

The worldbuilding was so well crafted as we see different parts of this empire made of moving
Book Barbarian  (Tammy Smith)
eARC provided by NetGalley , thank you to NetGalley, Little Brown Book Group UK and Orbit Books. All opinions are my own

I THINK THIS IS THE BEST ADULT FANTASY DEBUT OF 2020, ACTUALLY THE BEST BOOK OVERALL!! A magical, lethal and imaginative story that takes everything you know about fantasy and turns it on its head.


I don’t know where to start on this. My brain is in tatters so this review will be too.
This novel gripped me from the start and I tried to put this down and I couldn’t. I
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I haven’t had such a satisfying read in a long time. The fantasy debut of Andrea Stewart, The Bone Shard Daughter simply struck all the right chords for me—natural and easy to fall into, but neither uncomplicated or too predictable. I loved the story and the setting and the characters in equal measure, and I honestly can’t remember the last book that ensnared me so thoroughly.

Lightly inspired by Asian culture, this opene
Xiran Zhao
cosplay of Lin Sukai

Personal Rating: I’d give my bone shard to Lin to command as she wishes, except she wouldn’t take it because she’s too good for that 🥺

Reasons to Read: Asian-inspired queer-normalizing world, clever magic system that works like coding, sci-fi post-humanism tropes told in a fantasy way, determined protagonists, adorable animal companion

So, I never liked the strict division of sci-fi versus fantasy in publishing. My favorite works tend to be those that combine the tropes of both, especially sci-fi
I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

4.5 stars

this book is a very good
— Mephi, probably

I had such a great time reading this debut!

I feel like I am in a minority here but I love adult fantasy with multiple POVs to the point where if I know that that's a feature of the book I am much more likely to start it. The Bone Shard Daughter didn't disappoint with its five (!!) POVs and, something I hadn't seen done
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book, up there with The Unspoken Name as my favorite debut of 2020.

One question, a central theme to the story, kept popping up: what the value of a human life? Can it be measured by degree of importance, intelligence, or skill? Is a person worth less in a society when their trade becomes obsolete?

All five character POVs were taking a different approach to the question. Lin, the daughter of the Emperor, was raised under the pretense that her father's life and leadership was of
Jenny Lawson
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amazing worldbuilding. Strong, fascinating characters. So good.
Gloria Arthur
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-bookshelf
⭐️5 Stars⭐️

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart takes you into a dark, fascinating and intriguing empire of magic. I found the story richly captivating and loved the mystery woven amid the storylines.

The setting is a group of many islands ruled by an Emperor that uses his bond shard magic to make grotesque animal-like constructs to enforce law and order, think creepy Frankestein creatures. The empire is collapsing and there is a revolution brewing in the wind.

The story's two primary charac
Spencer Orey
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is one of the major fantasy debuts of the year. I read an article about how hard it was for the author to finally get published and how awesome it is that she never gave up and finally got a great publishing deal. I found that way inspiring. May we all work hard and find the same good fortune!

As for the book, I liked it but didn't love it for a thousand petty reasons, but I think there are a few intriguing mysteries set up that should make the rest of the series great. The story itself flow
I’m again late in reading this book despite having an advance copy but I just couldn’t make myself pick it up earlier. But I have been quite excited about it for a while now and I have to say, it lived up to all my expectations.

I don’t think I have been a fan of island/sea navigation based stories before but I’ve happened to read quite a few of them this year and they’ve all been a lot of fun. This world is even more fascinating because it’s made up of floating islands and I’ve never seen that
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
My cup is full; I'm done reading for 2020. When a book is this good, I wonder, how can this possibly be topped? And so I stew and celebrate simultaneously over what I just read, cleanse my palate and try to move on...schleppingly.

I have been at this point before. I know there will be amazing books to follow, but this year seems to be an exceptionally remarkable reading year for me in terms of what books I have read (not necessarily in how many I read). So, this is where the mix of flavors and ge
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

The Bone Shard Daughters is an immersive, multi-perspective debut fantasy with interesting characters, an expansive world, and a magic system that has technical elements to it. As a debut it has some minor issues with pacing, imperfectly balancing several storylines, and making some big reveals very obvious. However, I also think it's an inventive and epic tale with great characters that was a pleasure to read. The writing shows a lot of promise and I look forward to more
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Andrea Stewart is the Chinese American daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. Her parents always emphasized science and education, so she spent her childhood immersed in Star Trek and odd-smelling library books. When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn't pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sun ...more

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