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Soulmates and Revenge: Review of Bone Crier’s Moon

Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book: Bone Crier’s Moon

Author: Kathryn Purdie

Year Published: 2020

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

Bone Crier’s Moon was a riveting read set in a French-inspired world about the lengths people go to for love and loyalty. The moon waxed and waned, the stakes were high and the relationships were compelling– I definitely thought it was a story with a lot of potential.

Bone Criers or Ferriers were women who ferried the souls of the dead to either the Heavens or the Underworld every new moon. But to do this they had to complete a rite of passage that involved luring and killing their soulmate on a bridge. I did think that was a contradictory idea- murdering in order to ferry the dead. The idea was supposed to be that the Ferrier’s had to give up something important to prove their dedication but surely the person dying is making more of a sacrifice than the Ferriers?

The magic system was very novel where the Ferriers gained magical powers called graces from the bones of animals that they had killed depending on the strengths and skills of those particular animals. For example, if someone had the grace bone of a peregrine falcon they would get extra speed and the bone of a fire salamander would give a healing grace.

Ailesse didn’t just want to be a Ferrier, she wanted to be the best no matter what it took. Her drive to prove her worth and skill to her mother, the Matrone, and the rest of her famille meant that she never questioned their practices or the reasons behind them. But then Bastien took her hostage, getting in the way of the fate she had been preparing for as long as she could remember. As time passed and truths were uncovered, she realised that there could always be another way. Ailesse had the most subtle development, over the course of the book the pillars of her life crumbled and she had to trust in her own strength to get her through.

Sabine was probably the most interesting character. I loved her strong friendship with Ailesse and how they loved each other unconditionally despite their differences. However, it was that strong love that led her to break through many of her moral boundaries to help her friend, almost becoming an entirely different person by the end. As she discovered more and more unsettling secrets her limits were tested more than ever before.

For me, Bastien was probably the least developed character. He witnessed his father being killed by a Bone Crier at a young age and ever since he had been driven by a deep-seated desire for revenge. Therefore, he made it his mission to kill a Bone Crier. My problem with him was that I thought he discarded the anger that had been fuelling him for so long rather quickly, I think he should have experienced a greater conflict of emotions.

I did like how he put his revenge behind him as he knew it was not going to make anything better. And I also thought him and Ailesse suited each other very much and the way they unwittingly chose each other and defied fate in doing so was cute. However, I think it all needed more development and needed to take more time. On another note, I really liked Bastien’s friends, Jules and Marcel, and I hope they get even more of a role in the next book.

Set in a dynamic world that went between the forest, the catacombs, the city and many different bridges, Bone Crier’s Moon was a promising start to a duology about choosing one’s own destiny and rethinking the ways of the past. I’m really excited to read the sequel and seeing where the story goes next!

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