Jen's Reviews > Bone ​Crier’s Moon

Bone ​Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
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**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**

I know this book doesn’t come out for quite some time (March of 2020), but I was in a bit of a rut when it came to what I wanted to read next. I knew it wanted to be some sort of fantasy but I just wasn’t sure until I came across this on Edelweiss. What definitely got me was the bit about Ailesse having to kill her soulmate in order to become a Ferrier, only to be kidnapped by him instead, and everything inside me just went YES PLEASE. It sounded so interesting, and while the concept was really original and I thought the world-building was unique, I just feel like the writing style left a lot to be imagined and didn’t make for as magical a storytelling as this could have been.

I like characters. That’s what always draws me into a story. Characters and their struggles – both internal and external. And while the characters in this book were decent and complex, with their own individual arcs that caused them to change over the course of the book, I sometimes felt distanced from them. Sabine was my immediate favorite, and I found each of her chapters to be completely riveting, because not only was she being forced to change in ways that she did not like, there was just so much more mystery and intrigue being discovered when she was narrating the story. Whereas Ailesse and Bastien were kind of….typical it felt like.

Ailesse is your usual strong female heroine who knows her duty, has some parental issues (wants to please her mother), and is determined to be the best she can. At first I was only mildly interested in her, and found her to be more interesting as the story progressed, but aside from her desire to please her mother and gain her respect, I either couldn’t really connect with her much, or there was just not enough of the rest of her personality to really make her stand out in any way in comparison to other YA female protagonists.

Bastien was also a bit of a disappointment. Most of his personality stemmed from his desire for revenge for his father. Sure he is a little awkward at times, which is a nice change from the usual barrage of brooding YA male protagonists, but again, there wasn’t else much there. I liked that his friendship with Jules and Marcel were a strong aspect of the novel, but their friendship was based entirely around revenge for their fathers, so again, not much else there to really connect to personality-wise.

Relationship-wise, I loved the crap out of the close-knit friendship between Sabine and Ailesse. While Sabine’s entire character arc stems from her desire to find and save Ailesse, it is powerful because it forces her to go against her nature and become what she does not want to be. And I love how much they care for each other and how well it shows on the page.

The romance between Ailesse and Bastien, on the other hand, has a lot left to be desired. It was all physical reactions to each other, completely based on the fact that they know they are soul-bound. There are few scenes where they actually just talk or do something for the other than is meaningful (beyond kidnapping or trying to kill each other), and while those moments were nice and made an impact, there just weren’t enough of them I felt to really support these romantic feelings that were supposedly growing between them.

Plot-wise it was very fast-paced and intriguing, with lots of twists and turns and mysteries abounding. It definitely grabbed by attention from the start and kept hold throughout as more and more questions were answered. But, unfortunately, the writing style could be extremely straightforward at times, to the point where it didn’t feel magical. There was just something missing, some sort of flow, that just made it feel like I was plodding through rather than getting swept away. And sadly this is one of the major reasons why I did not love it as much as I felt I could have.

The world-building was good, with a unique magical system, and with no info-dumps (always a thumbs up in my opinion). It felt a little complicated at times, with lots of new rules constantly being added to make things more difficult, but overall it was quite interesting. It’s inspired by French culture, but sadly the majority of the story takes place in the forest, a broken castle, and the catacombs, so while the language was there, the physical representation was a little lacking. And while it didn’t make much of a difference to the story, there was one important phrase in the story that had a translation which kind of frustrated and annoyed me. The author clearly translated it literally word for word, but having taken some French, I know that it is not what it actually means, thus giving it an awkward connotation that I just did not find appealing. (view spoiler) It was just that this phrase was supposed to be this meaningful and somewhat romantic thing that, because I knew it was translated wrong, just annoyed me anytime it showed up on the page from then forward.

This book has a lot of potential, and since this was an egalley that I read, there is still possible changes to come before the final publication. I really enjoyed Sabine and the trials she had to go through, the mysteries she uncovered and the changes she had to make in order to save her best friend. I felt that her plotline really drove the story for me, while unfortunately Ailesse and Bastien just did not hold enough interest for me to care as much about their plight or so-called romance. Ailesse’s desire to please her mother and how that drove her to many of her actions was interesting, yes, but ultimately in the end she ended up doing kind of what I predicted she would do. There was an interesting twist at the end that definitely leaves the reader hanging on to the proverbial cliff in anticipation of a sequel, but I will have to see if I will be hanging on with them or not by the time it comes out.
3.5 stars

(Also, not that this really affects my review, I couldn’t help but wonder at several moments during the story – what if one of the Bone Crier’s were gay? Sure okay, they have to kill their soulmate anyway, but in order to continue their lineage some of them also have to get pregnant by their significant other – especially the heir to the matrone. And yeah, it can ONLY be their amoure they do the deed with. Very specific. Can’t be going against the gods’ choice for them and all. Now that would have made for an even more interesting story, I think.)
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Reading Progress

July 18, 2019 – Shelved
July 18, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
July 18, 2019 – Shelved as: arcs-and-egalleys
July 22, 2019 – Started Reading
July 24, 2019 –
28.0%
July 27, 2019 –
39.0%
July 31, 2019 –
57.0%
August 3, 2019 – Finished Reading

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