I have been looking forward to The Silence of Bones for months now. Historical fiction set in 1800’s Korea? Sign me up now!
1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.
As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.
But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Silence of Bones is full of action packed mystery set in a detailed setting of 1800 Korea. I wasn’t prepared for the mystery elements, but as soon as I saw them I was hooked (I try not to read the summary before reading so I don’t accidentally spoil myself). Seol is inquisitive in a world which prides silence and obedience. So I basically fell in love with Seol from the beginning. She can be impulsive and her curiosity can get her into trouble, but above all she’s passionate and determined.
Seol exists in a culture that dismisses her skills and potential because she’s a woman. As a whole, honor and family loyalty is valued. Acting as a servant in the police bureau, Seol is tasked with interacting and moving the female victims because of propriety. But Seol becomes immersed in a murder case that transcends secrecy, religion, and jealousy. Seol begins unraveling mysteries and asking people no one else can. The Silence of Bones is a multi-dimensional mystery that celebrates curiosity and asks questions of loyalty.
In a society that is interested in obedience and loyalty, shame and image, Seol exists outside of it all. Alone in Joseon, she is searching for her brother. She is clever and curious, determined to find the truth no matter the cost. Throughout The Silence of Bones we are asked about our own agency versus the community. Are there times when we should stop asking questions, to cover up the truth?
What is the price of justice? Because of the mystery and conspiracy, Seol has to figure out if anyone is above suspicion. Who deserves our loyalty? The Silence of Bones is about family mysteries and secrets that won’t stay buried.