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The Bone Season #3.5

The Dawn Chorus

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An ebook exclusive which bridges the story between the previous and forthcoming instalments of Samantha Shannon's international phenomenon series The Bone Season

Paige Mahoney and Arcturus Mesarthim have arrived in the Scion Citadel of Paris. Exhausted by her efforts against Scion, Paige has no choice but to remain in hiding, away from the revolution she started, so she can heal and come to terms with her mental and physical scars.

In the confines of a safe house, Arcturus and Paige begin to reconnect after following separate paths for weeks. As they wait for contact from the mysterious Domino Programme – an espionage network operating in Scion – their present begins to mirror their past.

78 pages, ebook

First published July 9, 2020

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About the author

Samantha Shannon

23 books17.6k followers
Samantha Shannon studied English Language and Literature at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. The Bone Season, the first in a seven-book series, was a New York Times bestseller and the inaugural Today Book Club selection.

Her next novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, was published in February 2019 and became a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in London.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 470 reviews
Profile Image for Samantha Shannon.
Author 23 books17.6k followers
November 21, 2020
Hey, Goodreads:

I’m back with a new addition to the world of The Bone Season, which I hope will help break up the long wait for Book 4 – which I'm happy to say is now completely finished and ready for publication in early 2021. I can't wait for you to read it.

A quick FAQ:

1) What is The Dawn Chorus?

It’s an e-novella that bridges the events of The Song Rising and the upcoming fourth instalment of the main series, The Mask Falling, which comes out on 26 January 2021. 

2) Do I need to read this to understand The Mask Falling?

No. If you’d rather skip this one and dive straight into The Mask Falling, you won’t be adrift. My novellas never contain crucial information – I use them primarily to expand on character development and worldbuilding. In this case, I wanted to spend some time considering Paige’s mental and physical state after everything she experienced in The Song Rising. It does contain some tiny clues about the overarching plot of the series, but you’ll need to brush up on your Irish . . .

3) What format(s) will it be available in?

The Dawn Chorus will be available across all digital platforms, including NOOK, Kobo, Apple Books and Kindle. For now, there are no plans to publish it in physical or audible format, although it may be bound into one of the main instalments of the series, as The Pale Dreamer was.

4) When is it coming out?

9 July 2020.

5) Is it a standalone?

No. Reading it will spoil the events of the first three books. I recommend reading this only if you’ve read to the end of The Song Rising, as The Dawn Chorus is a direct sequel to it. 

6) Will it be translated?

I hope so! My foreign rights agent is offering it to publishing houses who already publish the Bone Season series. I’ll update this as and when I hear about translation deals.

I hope you enjoy it, and thank you again for your patience.


Profile Image for Maryam Rz..
220 reviews2,550 followers
July 3, 2022
Ahh, perfection; can I have more accurate representation of mental health and recovery—such as this—in books, please? If it’s not too much trouble, of course.

“I’m always afraid now. I’m afraid of the dark. I’m afraid of water.” My shoulders heaved. “I’m afraid I’ll never be able to fight again.”
“Fear does not extinguish courage.”

This novella is a love letter to pain and healing, trust and support, companionship and understanding. I’m so grateful that it did not brush past any of Paige’s PTSD and affects of withdrawal, and proceeded to explore her struggles in a journey of 80 slow and heavy-yet-light pages peppered with satisfactory moments of sweet laughter and soft reprieve, striking a delicate balance through providing much needed breaths of fresh air among all the raw pain and emotions.

I was a razor blade, all edge and gleam, and I needed to be dulled. I needed to fade. Not to die, not to disappear altogether – just to soften, so the world stopped catching on my sharp corners. So I didn’t feel it when it scraped me. I ached for the comfort of absence. I longed to exist less severely.

There isn’t much of a plot really, or much movement, and absolutely no excitement. What there is, however, is an emotional dive into Paige and Warden’s characters and relationship, and I am not exaggerating when I say I was a hapless weeping mess during the last chapter.

Because the sheer heartwrenching beauty of how Paige’s struggle was handled, added to Samantha Shannon’s (unsurprisingly) detailed and exquisite writing, became a warm embrace—one of those that made you feel so safe and understood that you would unwillingly melt against their arms, letting the dam of your tears break, flooding your drought-seen skin.

“See me now,” he said. “I will always carry the scars, and the memories, but I regained my strength. I found myself again. So will you.”

I remember liking Warden and their relationship but, with these few chapters, I have somehow come to adore both him and their bond. His patience, wisdom, and understanding while he walked the path of healing with Paige was utterly soul-soothing.

He never told her that what you are feeling is not correct or you should abandon those thoughts and emotions as they are not true, because you can’t just will it away. Instead, he (or should I say Samantha) phrased his argument better than I could’ve imagined, telling her that, “if your fear is based on the lies of [redacted] and [redacted], then I urge you to fight it” while also giving her space. And most importantly, Paige’s healing doesn’t suddenly come to a close; she’s just beginning to take baby steps everyday because “the birds sing in the twilight that bridges night and day. While they sing, we exist on the threshold between two states,” and this is the dawn chorus.

“Listen,” he said. “To the storm. It has the potential to destroy. It is neither quiet, nor gentle, nor soft. That does not make it unnatural.” Lightning illuminated his features, the blue making his eyes stand out. “Let the storm into you, Paige. Hold it inside. See yourself as a force of nature, vast enough to defeat a god, and carry that image for all of your days.”

I highly recommend reading this novella both for the character and relationship development as well as the little clues and groundwork laid out for what might be coming next.


Book series playlist: Spotify URL

Books in series:
The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) ★★★☆☆
The Pale Dreamer (The Bone Season, #0.5) ★★★★☆
The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2) ★★★★✯
The Song Rising (The Bone Season, #3) ★★★★★
⤷ The Dawn Chorus (The Bone Season, #3.5) ★★★★★
The Mask Falling (The Bone Season, #4) ☆☆☆☆☆
Profile Image for Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction).
441 reviews6,539 followers
July 11, 2020
This novella hurt so much but for all the right reasons. It's raw, brutal in its depiction of trauma, but also peppered with enough lighter moments to perfect that balance between hardship and hope. I'm so glad this has been released between books 3 and 4, because it's so rare this kind of content is included in fantasy books. I adore this book wholeheartedly for simply acknowledging trauma exists, and know this has for sure strengthened any emotions I had towards these characters. I've been following this series for years, so this novella both tore my heart apart and restored a tiny piece of my soul. But the fact it managed to do all that in 90 pages or so says a lot.
Profile Image for Alexandra Elend Wolf.
517 reviews243 followers
August 10, 2020
“She was not a warrior or a leader or a queen – only a captive, bound at the wrists, unable to see or feel an escape.”

What a magnificent representation of healing after emotional and physical trauma and of PTSD.

The Dawn Chorus is a wonderfully honest and raw representation of healing that pulls your chest open and rips your heart open and bleeds you dry. It may just be 100 pages long - give or take - but it packs a heavy, mean punch.

“Trying to get a handle on your sanity, once it starts to slide, is a balancing act. Give a little to the broken parts of you, to keep them quiet and satisfied. Give a little more to the repairs.”

I have few words that can correctly express just how much this novella destroyed me. It wasn't because I wasn't prepared for it, because I was well warned and prepared for the emotional upheaval it was gonna be, but because the way that Shannon treats it, with so much respect and care but without mincing any word just for our comfort, is just masterful.

From beginning to end she just opens up a deep wound and slowly stitches it. With perfectly placed strokes and points.

There wasn't a moment, a second, where my eyes were not completely full of tears and my heart wasn't completely squeezed as small as it can go. Not one. And it spilled over more than once.

“Listen. To the storm. It has the potential to destroy. It is neither quiet, nor gentle, nor soft. That does not make it unnatural. Let the storm into you, Paige. Hold it inside. See yourself as a force of nature, vast enough to defeat a god, and carry that image for all of your days.”

Shannon utilized perfectly all her resources by even including carefully placed flashbacks that enriched the story all that more and added about a hundred tons of meaning and significance to the small details.

I was not expecting them but, man, it wouldn't have been the same without them.

They offered such sweet contrast and reflections to really appreciate all that was happening.

It didn't just provide that extra emotional edge but it was also the perfect way to refresh the memory between the first three novels and its upcoming new addition. So, as a novel, it more than accomplished its job and purpose.

“Perhaps the Dawn Chorus speaks to me... The birds sing in the twilight that bridges night and day. While they sing, we exist on the threshold between two states.”

In short, in a novel, Shannon managed to create and tackle an incredibly sensitive subject and pulls it off flawlessly. I'm sure that this is not the end we will be seeing of it either but, well, it was the perfect mood-setting and it also allows for the story to flow more smoothly in The Mask Falling.

I'm sure I'm gonna return to this story many times in the future. If only, because I'll need to look for the pieces of my heart that were scattered through its pages.

“One embrace was never going to put me back together. Only I could do that, and I sensed that it would be a lifelong task.”
“I was a razor blade, all edge, and gleam, and I needed to be dulled. I needed to fade.”
“Fear does not extinguish courage.”


This was just as good as I thought it'll be.

It definitely pulled me right back to the world.


There's one thing I've been meaning to do and just hadn't gotten around to and that is reading this novella.

Set after the events in The Song Rising I know it's gonna be... emotional and a bit heavy but I'm so ready for it because I've gone long enough without dipping my toes in this world again.

Also, it's set in Paris, need I say more?
Profile Image for Gavin Hetherington.
665 reviews5,335 followers
August 16, 2020
A great addition to the Bone Season series that has definitely helped somewhat in the wait for The Mask Falling, coming in 2021! I don't really want to say, well, anything about the plot really as it follows on directly from the end of The Song Rising. All I will say is that the character development in this is sublime and raw and honest, and I was living for character interactions between Paige and Warden. But that's all I'm gonna say!
Profile Image for Raquel Flockhart.
424 reviews310 followers
January 17, 2021
1. The Bone Season | ★★★
2. The Mime Order | ★★★★
3. The Song Rising | ★★★★

“Let the storm into you, Paige. Hold it inside. See yourself as a force of nature, vast enough to defeat a god, and carry that image for all of your days.”

The Dawn Chorus is a novella that bridges the gap between The Song Rising and The Mask Falling. Starting right after the ending of the third book and alternating between the present and some flashbacks of moments that took place behind the scenes of the first book, Samantha Shannon has written a powerful short story that heavily deals with themes as PTSD, torture, aquaphobia and drug withdrawal.

It broke my heart reading about what Paige was dealing with. It was painful to read at times because it felt so realistic, which makes me want to applaud Shannon for how well-written those scenes are. But the author not only wrote a heartbreaking novella, but indulged us with some cute scenes of Paige and Warden.

I really enjoyed this extra content and I highly recommend it to every fan of The Bone Season series. I think it deals with important themes and also that may include some possible clues for the next instalments. Now all that’s left is to sit, wait and count the days until The Mask Falling comes out.

“Same puzzle, wrong pieces. It was as if we were both spun from glass. As if holding on too hard would fracture us both.”

P.S.: I'm not English, so if you see any mistakes let me know so I can correct them, please.

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Profile Image for SL.
263 reviews18 followers
July 14, 2020
finally, some crumbs to eat while we wait for book 4

EDIT: time for the actual review
(this will contain spoilers!)

Sort of teetering between 3-4 stars here, merely because of its length and the fact this novella is supposed to "bridge" books 3 (The Song Rising) and 4 (The Mask Falling, due 2021). It's sort of the ultimate hurt/comfort trope that I always actively have sought out in fanfiction, and I suppose in general literature.

I liked the intensive, detailed-look at Paige's trauma and the after-effects of her waterboarding torture at the end of book 3. I'm glad that it's not glossed over, and it's something that Paige has to continuously deal with (and I'm sure this will be part of her larger arc in Book 4 as well). There were some good moments between her and Warden, and their very slow blossoming relationship. Otherwise, I found the flashbacks to Sheol I to be a bit redundant. I understand that they may be there in terms to parallel the ways in which Warden and Paige's relationship has changed, and to parallel the current situations that they are in now in Paris. However, I failed to notice anything new or interesting (and that's just me) and it's been too long since I read the first book in order me to contextualize everything. This series is long, and has many characters, and it's hard for me to keep them straight. Nonetheless, this was a short enjoyable read while we wait for The Mask Falling.
Profile Image for Beatrice in Bookland.
439 reviews844 followers
April 16, 2021
"Who's that?"
"Only me, little dreamer."

this is one of the most painful and wholesome things i've ever read
Profile Image for Isabel.
667 reviews114 followers
April 15, 2021
Me: I'm not going to cry

The Dawn Chorus: bitch, you thought


It's remarkable how a novella of 78 pages can make me so much, though I shouldn't expect anything less from Samantha Shannon.

There is no doubt in my mind that The Bone Season is not only my all-time favourite fantasy series, but a MUST READ in the genre.

The Dawn Chorus is the bridge between The Song Rising and the upcoming The Mask Falling, where we see the aftermath of Paige's traumatic last few months. We see Paige as she goes into hiding and must deal with her physical and psychological injuries.

And it broke me to see her in that much pain. Shannon has crafted unique characters that you can't help but love and root for. Every character has a purpose and depth to them, and it takes great skill to achieve it.

Additionally, the world imagined of Scion is harrowing though it parallels our own. I'm always fascinated to see these alternate worlds and the details attached to it.

There's so much to learn from this world, and we're slowly unraveling it. Paige is now in Paris and it's a new chapter in Paige's adventure for freedom.

I have only love for this world, the characters, and Shannon. The writing is superb and I can't recommend it enough.
Profile Image for Arbuz Dumbledore.
279 reviews231 followers
August 27, 2021
Nie ocenię tego, bo w sumie nie ma co oceniać. To powinno zostać zawarte w kolejnym tomie. Ale ogólnie to ładna nowelka.
Profile Image for Ashleigh (ash_and_books).
707 reviews50 followers
November 30, 2021
TW: Aquaphobia, PTSD
Ruelle Songs for TDC:
-Closing In
-Bad Dream
-Carry You
-Hold Your Breath


I already desperately wanted The Mask Falling but now I NEED it.

Although this had more flashbacks to their time in Sheol I from the first book over their time now in Paris, I didn't mind it.
The time for Paige to heal from the trauma she suffered in Archon could be a lifetime. But I think it'll be easier with Arcturus alongside her. Bring on all the Arcturus content in TMF
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mary.
148 reviews51 followers
January 10, 2021
"Leave a human for too long and you will see it´s true nature"

Ideally, I wasn´t going to do a review of this because there is nothing to say. It is *that perfect*. However I think I do owe a review, even though its not going to be as long or bulky as my reviews for the rest of the series.

"Thank you, I said. "For not giving up on me"

The Dawn Chorus is a little sequel if you may, after the events of the Song Rising. It doesn´t pick up exactly from where it left off, its more of a little glimpse into what Paige goes through later, after arriving in Paris.

In terms of plot, there isn´t much to say. Little novellas like this are not meant to hold any important (although Paige´s recovery is indeed important) or key parts to the rest of the series. It´s about expanding and deepening, of understanding.

This novella explores trauma, and it does so (IMO) perfectly. We see the raw parts, the consequences of Paige´s decision in TSR. Samantha Shannon definitely delves deep and does so with an incredible and stunning writing.

"Knowledge has a terrible price. Come and see, pale rider, come and see."

I love love love, the direction this went. The character development (although little) of both characters is so heart warming to see. Warden was just so so helpful throughout it all, always thinking of understanding her first, of meeting Paige´s needs (pain relief, contact, intrusive thoughts, and most importantly her new fear of water) as much as he could. In regards to Paige, I am indeed heartbroken, and there were a few times I honestly had to put down the book, especially in those deep, raw moments.

Throughout the little novella, we see a mix between events after the Song Rising (Recovery) and events within The Bone Season. And let me tell you: I loved the Bone Season moments ( I´m going to be honest and say that at first, I didn´t, but that changed with the re read) where we see not only friendship, but trust. (and a sassy Paige)

This mixes emotions up so well. I cried, I laughed (much more so when Warden makes that stew, ugh) I felt for Paige, I was angry. All in all, it was a deep rollercoaster of emotions. (in the good sense of the word)

In conclusion, this little novella is perfect, from head to toe. From how it explores and deals with trauma, to the little moments of joy we glimpse, to the perfect, eloquent and intricate writing. I cannot wait for the fourth book.

"I am here for as long as you want me with you, Paige Mahoney"
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
September 26, 2020
Another great one by Ms Shannon.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, but I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not normally a big fan of novellas, but I think this offered something that will definitely enhance the upcoming release of book four.

This book switches consistently from present to past, but is done extremely well.
In the present, Paige and Arcturus are in a safe house in Paris, allowing Paige to recover from her exploits in book three and also waiting for their instructions from the group they now work for. Paige is suffering from constant drugging during her imprisonment and is suffering withdrawal symptoms, which lead nicely to memories of her time in Sheol 1.

The past scenes enhance the relationship between Paige and Arcturus and demonstrate in more detail how they moved from captor and prisoner to respectful allies and then eventually, more.
The scenes set in the present worked to paint Paige in a much more vulnerable light and made her seem more human and therefore more endearing.

I think this brides a gap between how book three ended and how I suspect book four will begin and I think it is likely an important novella to read.

I really enjoyed reading this and I think it was a fantastic short addition to the series.
Profile Image for Kori Sulewski (korireads).
500 reviews129 followers
July 12, 2020
UM okay, 1) I have missed Paige and Warden and this world SO MUCH. 2) I wish this was the WHOLE BOOK and not just a novella because I am impatient and need more and 3) OUCH wow this was written wonderfully but it’s very painful to read Paige’s PTSD. It’s raw and brutal, but the addition of some lighter moments I think was really well done.
Profile Image for Bruna.
595 reviews128 followers
March 2, 2021
✯ [5/5] ✯

I never would think I could give a novella 5 stars and then Samantha goes and makes this masterpiece, It's so sad and hopeful at the same time and I really enjoy the way the author shows that everything that happens to the characters has consequences, in their mental and in their physical state.

This made me cry several times. And the flashbacks were amazing, and made me cry more because we have come so far since book one, so It's interesting seeing all of those high stakes of the first book and how they aren't such high stakes anymore.

Now I will go to the last book released, and I am very happy about it!
Profile Image for Jenna.
Author 1 book1,266 followers
January 26, 2021

okay this is like slightly unnecessary bc it's a novella and like objectively i don't know how much it's going to add to the next book or the rest of the series but holy cow warden is a COMEDIAN and i absolutely love how this story gives us a chance to really hone in on the power of healing and friendship and being brave enough to share your trauma with others

also i'm a sucker for domestic paige/warden UGH

so excited to start the mask falling tomorrow !!
Profile Image for Bright Star.
389 reviews125 followers
July 13, 2020
The Dawn Chorus is a short novella that bridges the gap between The Song Rising and The Mask Falling and is set after the events of the third book. Switching between present and past moments, we see Paige dealing with her PTSD and internal scars. It felt so real, I almost cried for her. But she wasn't alone. Warden was there, and with his steady presence he helped her heal. The last scene was so beautiful I had tears in my eyes. The epilogue was sweet and kind of domestic and I wish it wasn't already over. It's still a long wait for The Mask Falling but I know this book will be amazing in every possible way.
Profile Image for Endlessbibliophile.
1,015 reviews472 followers
February 1, 2023
Tohle samozřejmě nepřineslo nic moc nového, ale stejně miluju cokoli, co Samantha Shannon napíše. Části v Paříži mě bavily (a rozplakaly) víc, než flashbacky, ovšem tahle novelka rozhodně stojí za přečtení, pokud vás Kostičas baví aspoň z poloviny tolik, jako mě.
Profile Image for dani.
570 reviews36 followers
January 31, 2021
i read this after i finished the mask falling which was the worst idea that has ever crossed my mind
Profile Image for Χρύσα Αναστασίου.
Author 6 books114 followers
July 30, 2020
Why are you doing this to me, Samantha? I crown you the most cruel writer to have walked the earth!

Oof that novella was a wild ride. I loved it so much. Every part of it just hit all the right places. I really needed to read those scenes and see the mark they left on Paige.

Again, Warden was there so...

I cannot wait for book 4. I just can't
Profile Image for Nofreeusernames Nofreeusernames.
Author 4 books1,281 followers
August 3, 2020
Jako takhle. Hezký, cokoliv Kostičas miluju a chci, ale popravdě celkem zbytečná výplň. Vlastně se nic nestane, jsou tam nějaké flashbacky do jedničky a jinak se Paige dává dokupy v Paříži a Strážce se o ni stará. Oukej. Ale jak říkám, miluju Kostičas, takže 4 hvězdy. Jinak je to ale tak na tři max.
Profile Image for Cat.
129 reviews20 followers
January 25, 2021
Did I stay up to read this as soon as it was released? Yes. 100% worth it.

Reading (and re-reading) this has only made me more desperate for The Mask Falling because now, amongst everything else, I also need to find out if Warden learns to cook something that has a taste.
Profile Image for Izzie.
237 reviews106 followers
October 29, 2020
Samantha Shannon's writing is just so so good. This novella also reminded me of how much I need to reread The Bone Season before the next book is out.
Profile Image for Hannah.
417 reviews43 followers
August 22, 2020
(7.6/10) - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Previous books:
The Bone Season: ★★★☆☆
The Mime Order: ★★★★☆
The Song Rising: ★★★★☆

This novella does something that not many other SFF books do, and that's acknowlede trauma. The main character Paige went through a lot in the third book, and yet I fully expected book 4 to pick up where so many others do - a few months after the fact, with a slightly frail but fully functioning MC. I'm very pleasantly surprised that this isn't the route Shannon took.

Since I (fortunately) never dealt with this specific type of trauma myself, I can't speak to its particular representation, but I do feel Shannon did a solid job acknowledging the panic and shame aspects that are often present in any type of trauma.

I do find myself wishing that this was the only thing that this novella covered. Instead, we also got flashbacks to some of the events that took place in book 1, and I personally could've done without those. I don't think those flashbacks showed me anything that wasn't already covered in book one, and I don't fully see the point of including it here.

Excited for book four!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 470 reviews

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