I’ll be honest: this book wasn’t my favorite.
Synopsis: In the Lands of South Galle, Bone Criers are a myth, except to Bastien, whose father was killed by a beautiful woman in white when he was a kid. Bone Criers are young women who must lure their soulmates to them, only to kill them as a sacrifice. This rite of passage allows Bone Criers (or Leuress, as they call themselves) to become Ferriers. Ferriers ferry dead souls to the afterlife.
Bastien vows to take revenge on the Bone Criers, only for him to end up as the soulmate to the same Bone Crier he’s trying to kill. Ailesse is trying to complete her rite of passage in order to one day become the matriarch when she becomes entangled with Bastien, even though she knows she’s destined to kill him.
The plot becomes more complicated from there, but the story is told from three different points of view: Bastien, Ailesse, and Sabine, Ailesse’s best friend.
I found the overall world and the fantasy worldbuilding really intriguing, and the idea of the Bone Criers— and their rites of passage, and the idea of grace bones (bones that the Bone Criers take from wild animals, which grant them certain abilities)—was awesome. The mythology, the lore, and the history, all based off of France, was interesting, and I appreciated the originality.
Normally, I’m not a fan of more than two POV shifts, but I actually think Purdie did a great job.
There were three main aspects of this book that put me off.
One: I had a hard time rooting for the characters. Bastien and Ailesse just weren’t interesting to me, and even though I knew their backstories and motivations, I didn’t really click with either character. They felt a little flat, and a lot of the secondary characters also fell flat.
That being said, Sabine was my favorite character. She had the most emotion, and she had the best character arc.
Two: The romance felt forced. Obviously with the doomed soulmate storyline there was going to be some sort of forced romance, but my point is, there weren’t any real reasons for Bastien and Aliesse to fall for each other outside of: Oh, I think she’s hot. Oh, I think he’s hot. I didn’t think the chemistry was there.
Three: Even with the mythology and the in-depth look at the Bone Criers, I still found myself a little confused hundreds of pages in. I felt like some aspects of the Bone Criers were left unexplained, and so a lot of Ailesse’s solutions to problems felt like they came out of nowhere to me. I often found myself thinking: How does she know that will work? Overall, I thought the plot was good, but Ailesse and Marcel’s deductions just felt off to me.
On top of that, Purdie’s writing wasn’t my favorite. Sometimes the dialogue felt a little too cheesy and predictable, and it took me about 100 pages in for me to start caring about the story.
Overall, this was just an okay read for me.
VERDICT: 🌙🌙 and ½ moons /5