by Andrea Stewart
This is an absolutely fantastic book. It’s got a sentient animal familiar, political intrigue, light romance (including sapphic), and many twists and turns.
The Bone Shard Daughter is told from the point of view of four protagonists: Lin, Jovis, Phalue, and Sand.
Lin is the emperor’s daughter who has lost the last five years of her memory. She is in competition with her foster brother to inherit the throne, but Lin soon discovers not all is as it seems.
Jovis is a smuggler turned reluctant hero. He is wanted by the Empire, with wanted posters of him posted everywhere. He’s quite the con man, but all he wants to do is find his missing wife. After he rescues a few children he becomes a folk hero, complete with songs written about him. I can’t say what he rescues the children from; that would give away too much.
Phalue is a governor’s daughter. Her girlfriend, Ranami, wants to overthrow the governor leaving Phalue torn between loyalty to her partner or loyalty to her father. I liked the romance was handled. Phalue and Ranami are already a couple when they are introduced, and their romance is fraught with tension.
Sand is on an island with several other people. The have no memory of their former lives and believe they have always lived and worked on the island. Once again things are not as they seem.
Around the halfway point of The Bone Shard Daughter I thought I had guessed how things would end up. I kept reading anyway, because the book is so well written. Boy howdy were my assumptions wrong!
Out of all the characters, Jovis was my favorite. I enjoyed the POV of all four characters, but I just fell in love with Jovis.
I really can’t go too far in the plot without giving away spoilers. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I loathe spoilers.
I opted to listen to the audiobook when I saw Emily Woo Zeller was one of three narrators. I will listen to anything she narrates. Seriously, she could read the phonebook, and I would listen. (Am I showing my age by mentioning the phonebook?)
My only (small) complaint is I went in thinking The Bone Shard Daughter was a stand alone, but it is the set up for a series, or at least a duology. On the other hand I am v happy that I will get to read more about this world. The wait for the next book will be sheer torture! I hope Andrea Stewart writes faster than George R. R. Martin and Patrick Rothruss.
I would 10/10 recommend The Bone Shard Daughter. I will be an Andrea Stewart evangelist to my friends and loved ones.
Happy reading y’all,