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 rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.
Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.
Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.
Thank you Little, Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book.
I started this story with no idea what to expect. I knew it’s received positive reviews so far, and I was a bit worried about the hype around this title. And after I finished reading this e-copy I wanted to do two things: one – get a hardback edition asap, two – re-read it asap. I have no idea where to start this review because I thought The Bone Shard Daughter was absolutely perfect in every aspect and absolutely amazing. As I am at a loss for words about this review, I will start by listing all the fascinating things about this story.
I will start with the characters who are introduced one by one at the beginning of the story. You have the emperor’s daughter who is trying to gain back her memories; a smuggler who is trying to find his lost wife (after 7 years!! – argh, my heart). Then you also have a governor’s daughter and her partner, whose relationship suffers because of the politics of the governor and Emperor, and the difficult living situations of the inhabitants of the island. And finally, you have this woman, whose only purpose in life seems to be picking up mangos. You would probably think “what the heck is this story” and these characters could possibly be connected. Here’s the magic of this story, this fantastic reading experience and discovery of how these characters all come together and how they are connected.
On the basis of it all, you have a world-building composed of moving and floating islands, and if you need to get an estimate of how to get to the next one by boat you will have to consider where the island will move to. What makes this world extra special is the magic system that dominates this world, intertwined with its history and the precarious ruling of the Emperor. Every island has imperial spies, magical beings or constructs, powered by bone shards who are supposed to protect the same people who are forced to contribute with these shards at a young age. I really thought I was about to read the weirdest story ever, but I was surprised to see how this mindblowing idea of bone shards and constructs brilliantly worked.
The plot was unpredictable all the way to the end, I truly hated society that forced me to work and kept me away from this story. It really kept me guessing until the very end when those last three chapters felt like a blow and made me all gasp out loud. The writing was impeccable, the ending left me needing the sequel, which I can’t wait to read. And then, I can’t help, Mephi and Jovis, the most heart-wrenching friendship ever, was one of the most enjoyable things of this story.
For whoever didn’t read The Bone Shard Daughter, I cannot recommend this book enough.