by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Release Date: September 24th 2019
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Aderyn ("Ryn") only cares about two things: her family, and her family's graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don't always stay dead.
The risen corpses are known as "bone houses," and legend says that they're the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it about Ellis that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?
Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Marketed as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (aka my Queen and Idol) meets Sky in the Deep, this zombierific book had me hooked. I definitely felt like it was more like a Welsh medieval fantasy than contemporary vampire slaying but I really enjoyed it. It’s atmospheric AF y’all and I was drawn in by the intricate mythology. Also my favorite character was a dead goat who just kept popping up everywhere and you’re like: How???? Are?? You here???
When main character Aderyn (Ryn) was a child her father used to go into the forest, telling Ryn and her brother never to follow him. Ryn ignores that and follows him, which you’ll learn throughout the novel is kind of her M.O. That’s when she first sees a Bone House, a risen dead, and her journey begins. Once her father disappears Ryn takes over the family business of both gravedigging and Bone House dispatching, and makes it her mission to protect her brother and sister from the things hidden in the forest.
Everything changes when apprentice mapmaker Ellis comes into town hoping to map out Colbren and the mysterious mountains where legends say the fey kings used to live. Who is Ellis? Where is he from? Nobody knows, especially not Ellis, who is honestly just doing his best and needs someone to help him. When he arrives in town the Bone Houses start attacking even more frequently, and Ryn and Ellis set off to put the world to rights.
All the characters in The Bone Houses were really compelling, and I found myself sympathizing with them and rooting for them, even when they were doing some kind of shitty things. The first few chapters were a bit slow as the world was established and we were introduced to each character, but once the journey began in earnest I couldn’t put it down. The scenery was really vivid and I felt like I was there with the characters as they moved through dark woods and my heart pounded each time a Bone House showed up. I would highly recommend this book during spooky season for kick-ass heroines, touching stories of parent/child relationships and family bonds, and all the things that go bump in the night.
Hi y’all, i’m Rachel! When i’m not reading or talking about books I can be found rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the 72nd time, working on my own novel, cheering on JMU football (Go Dukes!) and taking advantage of all the great museums and breweries Richmond has to offer.
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