At first, I wasn’t sure this book would be for me. I was unaware that it has a total of five POVs, some in first person and some in third person, something I’m usually not a fan of. The writing style is slightly more “tell” rather than “show,” and the book takes a while to set up the scene for each character.
However, I found myself drawn into this story. All of the characters have very interesting backstories and motivations, and I found their stories engaging, and the world itself to be fascinating. While Jovis’ perspective was my favorite, as he seemed to have the most personality (and more page time than the other characters, besides Lin) I never found myself bored by any of the perspectives.
While the pacing remains fairly slow throughout the book, I hardly noticed it, because there was such an atmosphere of mystery and suspense; there were so many mysterious things working in the background that I found myself endlessly curious about, and I kept wanting to know what was going to happen!
While I sometimes struggle with the accessibility and writing style of adult fantasy, I found this book to be a great segway from my usual YA fantasy. It was also nice to see a fellow twenty-something in a book, as Lin is twenty-three.
So here’s what you need to know before going into this book:
Lin, the Emperor’s Daughter, is trying her best to get her memories back after an illness. She’s also trying to figure out what her father, who can wield bone shards, is keeping from her.
Jovis, the Empire’s best smuggler, is on a mission to find his long-ago kidnapped wife. He finds a mysterious little otter-like creature, Mephi, who becomes his sidekick, and who quickly became my favorite!
Phalue is the daughter of Nephilanu Island’s governor. She’s a fighter who’s trying to win the hand of her girlfriend.
Ranami, Phalue’s girlfriend, is a woman with a heart of gold who’s doing her best to make a difference in the world.
And finally, Sand is a woman stuck on a remote island, whose job is harvesting mangoes. But she doesn’t remember why she, or the other island inhabitants, are there, how she arrived, or who she really is.
The Bone Shard Daughter is one heck of a debut, filled with political intrigue, creatures created from bone shards called constructs, and a chilling yet thrilling ending filled with twists and turns.