About the Book

Title: Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace #1)
Published: 2020
Series: Bone Grace
Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Cover Story: Charlie Bowater
BFF Charm: Yay x 2
Talky Talk: Too Much and Not Enough
Bonus Factor: Secret Society, Superpowers
Factor: Duology Starter
Relationship Status: Not Quite Feeling It?

Cover Story: Charlie Bowater

Charlie’s so hot right now in the YA cover world, and I for one am all for it. I love her art, and the emotion she imbues into every illustration. I do kind of wish that the title wasn’t over their bodies; the knives in their hands are there for a reason and should have more focus on them rather than being hidden behind text. That said, I do love the title treatment. It’s a great font that definitely says “fantasy,” and the coloring is reminiscent of both bone and the moon.

The Deal:

Sabine and Ailesse are Bone Criers—members of a secret society of women who can ferry the dead to the other side. They’re graced by the gods with the ability to take “bone graces” from the bones of animals that make them stronger, faster, etc.; the graces help them shepherd the dead, some of whom really don’t want to go into to the light … or to the other place.

Part of the rituals to become a full Ferrier include killing one’s amouré, who is chosen by the gods and called by a special bone flute. Ailesse thinks she’s ready to perform the last rights, but Ailesse’s amouré might have other plans.

BFF Charm: Yay x 2

2 BFF charms

Ailesse and Sabine are as close as sisters, and it might be hard to be a third-wheel in their relationship, but I’d certainly like to try. Both young women are powerful—even without their graces—and confident. Ailesse a little moreso, at first, but Sabine really comes into her own as the book’s plot progresses. What I wouldn’t want to have to do would be to kill my amouré, however … I’m hoping they’d let that slide on account of my sparkling personality and how much I’d bring to the friendship.

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Any swoon in Bone Crier’s Moon is somewhat overshadowed by the whole ritual sacrifice thing hanging over everyone’s head.

Talky Talk: Too Much and Not Enough

Bone Crier’s Moon is the kind of book that makes me wish a fantasy world was real so that I could visit and check it out for myself. (But, you know, only a vacation.) I want to know more about the Bone Crier society, their myths and legends. They’re super fascinating. That said, because we don’t get much of that, the book feels a little flat at points, especially when Ailesse is dead (heh) set on following through with the amouré-killing ritual. The urgency doesn’t quite translate, even though we’re told that it should.

There’s also no clear villain, even at the end of the book, even when a certain someone is pointed to with flashing arrows. We’re told their motivation, but it has no real power behind it. And then all the relationships are so very tangled up by the end …

To me, this book suffers from there being too much to really get into the gritty details of plot points and people’s motivation. But it has a whole lot of promise.

Bonus Factor: Secret Society

Gathering of men in the movie The Skulls

The Bone Criers—Leuresse, as they call themselves—are a group of seriously badass women with a super important gods-directed mission. I would totally be interested in joining their ranks, you know, aside from the whole killing a dude part. But I’d try to find a way around that.

Bonus Factor: Superpowers

As much as I don’t love the idea of killing animals other than for food, the idea that the Bone Criers can imbue themselves with superpowers thanks to the animals’ bones is pretty dang cool. (They do eat the meat for food, so I suppose it’s not as bad as, say, people going on safari purely for trophies to put in their homes.)

Factor: Duology Starter

Stack of YA book series

Doing my part to let you know that the second book won’t be out for a while. (Goodreads says next year.) And the ending of Bone Crier’s Moon, while not a cliffhanger, leaves a lot of unanswered questions and dangling plot threads.

Relationship Status: Not Quite Feeling It?

I really wanted to love you, Book. On paper, you’re a total catch and seem like a really good match. But there was something missing on our date, and I’m not sure what it was. I’d be willing to give things another try, but don’t be too sad if I suggest we just go our separate ways.

Literary Matchmaking

An Enchantment of Ravens

Margaret Rogerson’s An Enchantment of Ravens is about a painter who catches the eye of a faerie prince.

Skyward (Skyward #1)

Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward series is about a young pilot who wants to clear her family’s name and fly amongst the stars.

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1)

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Aurora Cycle is about a group of misfit (literal) space cadets who must band together to save the universe.

Because I can, these recs are all for books with Charlie Bowater covers. They’re also excellent reads! See also: Margaret Rogerson’s A Sorcery of Thorns, Edith Pattou’s East and West.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Katherine Tegen Books, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Bone Crier’s Moon is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.