Bone shard magic, political fantasy, and a sapphic couple? Count me in! That’s all I needed to know to sign up for Your Tita Kate‘s blog tour. Keep reading this book review if you want to know why I enjoyed The Bone Shard Daughter and for some hand lettering!
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
You know those books that steadily pick up steam until all of sudden they careen down a cliff? That’s a bit how I felt reading The Bone Shard Daughter. There’s these moments of slow world and character building and then around 3/4 of the way in the action reached a frenzy and I ended the book needing more right away. This multiple POV novel sinks into the details of each character and their world. It’s a fantastic world of magic with a deadly cost, one that doesn’t land fairly, and politics.
Featuring an all POC cast, with a saphic couple, I knew I was going to be intrigued by these characters. And then when the action picked up I was high key obsessed. I personally love multiple POV novels, and while this was a bit slower than I was used to (because there aren’t large time jumps between chapters of the same POV), looking back it’s clear that there’s so much care put into the foundation. That being said, I still have some favorites like Phalue and Lin. We love women who are in power, but also those who have to question the power systems in which they are entrenched.
And that’s one of the biggest themes in The Bone Shard Daughter – what we do with our power. Whether that be the power within us or the power we have in the system, what do we do with the power we have? When silence is complicity, how do we chose to become a person who does not shy away from these hard choices? The ones who realize our potential, who de-construct the systems we have around us. Full of quests for power, to figure out where our powers come from, or the potential of power, The Bone Shard Daughter explores issues of power, agency, and ethics.
The Bone Shard Daughter is also a story about having the strength to go against what we have been taught. What we have been made, shaped, to be. Whether that be the conditions of our birth, the power systems we are wrapped up in, or the people we think we have to be. It’s one of those stories with a solid foundation which is immediately shaken. If you love epic fantasy, saphic couples, issues of power and ethics, then you have to check out The Bone Shard Daughter.
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About the Author
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.