Title: The Bone Shard Daughter
Author: Andrea Stewart
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publishing Date: September 8, 2020
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction Fantasy, Queer
In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.
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.
The Bone Shard Daughter came into my radar when I was still on book twitter. My friends would sometimes talk about this book and I was very intrigued, another aspect was the initial arcs that were distributed with the waves and gold foiling totally drew my eyes in. Then, upon checking goodreads, one of my favorite authors raved about The Bone Shard Daughter so I just instantly knew that I had to read this book. Special thanks to Kate @ yourtitakate for hosting this blog tour!
We are met with multiple perspectives on the book that easily establishes the main characters.
Lin – The Emperor’s daughter who lost her memory. She wasn’t sure about what happened to her, just that she is trying to regain her memory and along that, her father’s respect.
Jovis – a smuggler, but also on a quest. He has been out at sea following a boat that he thinks took his wife 5 years ago. He is determined that if he catches up on the boat, he will get his life together.
Phalue & Ranami – our lovers who are deeply enamoured with each other but also have such clashing perspectives and upbringing. Phalue is the daughter of the governor while Ranami grew up in the streets. Both strive to find a balance in their relationship.
Sand – they are not too sure how they got to where they are, and why they function the way they do. Sand’s character experiences an enlightening and strives for a better life.
With High Fantasy books, I have grown to appreciate multi-POVs, but mostly because I am greedy to explore more of the world. Stewart did such a great and impactful job at the perspectives in this book. The main characters – Lin and Jovis – are written in first person, Phalue and Ranami are one-sided 3rd person narrative, and these have a purpose. At first, I was a little confused but then I realized what Stewart was trying to drive with this writing style. The changes allow the characters voices to be stronger and have more impact. The characters are also nuanced and well layered. Personally, I grew to love Jovis’ character and how he developed. The fact that his character adapted an animal companion was already such a delight, I loved getting to see Jovis and Memphi’s characters interact and develop.
The book is complex in such a beautiful way. We see all these perspectives and different parts of Stewart’s rich and vivid world. The empire is set as many different islands and we are allowed a peek at it from each of the characters: Lin shows the dark and mysterious palace in the capital, Jovis shows of the life at sea and at various islands, and more. Personally, I love how defined Stewart’s world is, and the fact that the Philippines is composed of many different islands, it was not difficult for me to imagine it. I’m really quite excited to see a map (hopefully) in the book.
In the empire, the bone shard magic is wielded by the emperor that allows frankenstein-like creatures and beings help rule and enforce the law. This magic system was very refreshing and different to me. Andrea Stewart wrote it very intricately, there wasn’t much of a struggle to understand how it works and what happens. I really thrived in reading about how the constructs worked, how parts from dead animals are put together then reanimated through commands etched on the bone shards.
Andrea Stewart’s writing style is straightforward and very polished. The author manages to reel you in from the first chapter, they are able to introduce intrigue and mystery right away. The Endless Sea that surrounds the empire of Alanga is suddenly swallowing islands is an ongoing mystery, the bone shard’s magic is also introduced but I am hoping for an expansion in the succeeding books. Stewart was able to keep tension and emotion with her engaging dialogue and vivid descriptions, it felt as if a movie was playing in my head as the chapters went on.
The Bone Shard Daughter now has a place on my favorites shelf and I am just patiently waiting for my pre-order. The book ended on such a high note with all the plot twists and the ending that we were presented with. This Asian inspired fantasy debut will make you feel as if you’re out at sea on a conquest. I highly recommend for those who are looking for a Fantasy debut that will make their 2020 list.
Follow The Tour!
Andrea Stewart is the daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. Her parents always emphasized science and education, so she spent her childhood immersed in Star Trek and odd-smelling library books.
When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn’t pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sunny California, and in addition to writing, can be found herding cats, looking at birds, and falling down research rabbit holes.