The Bone Shard Daughter


Written by Andrea Stewart

Published by Orbit, September 8, 2020

My star rating – 5 stars


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. 


This book has been getting ALL THE HYPE this year! It was one of my most anticipated for the year and I was a little afraid that the hype surrounding it would crush my book buzz….. I can definitively say that it did NOT! This book delivered! But if you want me to really sell the story to you – THERE’S AN OTTER, FOLKS…… AN OTTER!!! Ok, it’s more like an otter, cat, monkey thing, but she said otter and that’s what i’m sticking with. It’s name is Mephi and I am the leader of the Mephi fan club…. just saying. More on Mephi later 🙂

I’ve said it before, I like to read a synopsis, fall in love, and then never read the synopsis again. I feel like they sometimes give too much away and I want to be surprised. From what I had remembered about the synopsis though, I thought that this was going to be a singular narrative/perspective. Nope. There were so many different perspectives and I LOVED it! I always love a story that’s told from many different angles, so I really appreciated this. They weren’t very consistent though (I was fine with it but some of you might not be) and some perspectives were only seen a couple of times while others carried the story.

One thing that I struggled with when it came to this though – this book was a little slow going in the beginning. You’re just thrown into the story and the characters lives. It felt a little like walking into a movie theatre 15 minutes late. I felt like I spent the first few chapters playing catch-up and trying to get a grasp on who was who, what was happening, and what everyone’s role was within the story. It was really well done though! I felt like I was able to piece together their lives and emotions a little easier because things were released slowly.

The characters were absolute perfection!! I loved all of them for totally different reasons. Jovis is hands down my favourite. He’s everything! He’s devoted, loyal, motivated, sweet, dumb, and has the biggest heart. He’s a thief just trying to find his missing wife and ends up getting caught up in saving children from the empire. I pictured him as Flynn Rider from the animated movie Tangled, complete with the wanted picture that always got the nose wrong. Lin took me a while to fall in love with though. She had lost her memory as a child and her asshole father, the Emperor, insisted that she recall those memories in order to gain power. She spent the vast majority of the book trying to gain his approval as well as her memories, and it took a while for her to figure out who she is as a person. Once she figured that out though….. BAD ASS!!! There’s also a governors daughter who proposes to her girlfriend constantly in hopes that she will one day say yes – all the while they’re both trying to make their world a better place, in totally different ways. I could go on and on and on about these characters because I loved them SO MUCH! But you’ll need to read it to find out more 🙂 Keep in mind, the best character in the whole novel is Mephi, the otter, cat, monkey. Mephi is great!!! The most adorable, loyal, and protective cutie! And it talks…. uh huh! There’s that!

Let’s talk magic – yikes! This one is creepy folks! When kids reach a certain age, they are sent to have a piece of bone removed to be used (possibly) for magical purposes. Magic requires a piece of bone where symbols are carved into the pieces to enact a command. The magic energy comes from the person the bone belongs to so, in the end, it syphons their energy and makes them sick. If the magic is too strong or used too often, the person the bone belonged to can die….. messed up, right? These bone pieces are carved with commands and the person can basically take pieces of a living or non living being, sew them together, and create something new (hence Mephi being an otter, cat, monkey thing) The elements of magic weren’t quite as elaborate as I hoped they would be, but it was more than enough to understand. Part of me was a little creeped out at the lack of detail because my mind started to wander at the possibilities of it all….. and my mind is a dark freaking place lol.

The pace was great and had me wanting more and more. Because there were so many different perspectives, I kept reading faster and faster because I wanted to get to their part of the story again. But then, partway through the next perspective, I would get engrossed and then not want to stop! It was a ferris wheel of obsession!

There isn’t really a whole lot else I can say. I could probably talk for hours about this book but it’s all spoiler related. I had one hell of a time reading this and NEED more of these characters! It ended at such an intense and bad ass point of the story and I need to know what direction this is going to take!!!!

Who else wants to join the Mephi fan club? lol

Until next time, happy reading!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve had this book half-read since either late September or early October, and I put it down and gave up on it because I just couldn’t figure it out. I thought I had it pinned with two perspectives, then they kept adding in people and I gave up. I couldn’t concentrate on what was going on, probably because of what you said: it feels like you walked into a theater 15 minutes late and you have no idea what’s going on.

    It was one of the books I got from an online book club I’m a part of, and so far only one other book this year has been a dud for me. I really wanted to like this book, because it sounds so fun and like it’s right up my alley. I don’t understand why it’s been so hard for me to get into. Maybe I need to take a bit of a longer break, try and read some other books, and then try again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really hard to get into so I totally get it. The perspectives threw me off and they didn’t connect at all. It does connect eventually – I promise!! Maybe try the audiobook if you can find it?


  2. Pink Roses says:

    I expect I’ll join you before too long, Shanah. And if anyone wants a piece of bone from me, they’re not getting it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. evelynreads1 says:

    I really want to read this one, it is only getting amazing reviews!
    Great review!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so good! I really think you would like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Saved your review for after I finished, and I really enjoyed it! I really loved Jovis (and Mephi of course), and I really loved the macabre mystery of the palace. Phalue was a little hit or miss for me as a character, but at the same time, she was pretty realistically written, so can you really hold that against the author? Really looking forward to the sequel!


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