The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields

ARC received via Netgalley for a fair review
Publish date: May 21, 2019


In a world where your future can be told by a bone charmer, society is balanced by those who can set a person on the best fit path. But when Saskia has her own reading and is given a future she didn’t think she wanted she accidentally breaks a bone in her reading. The breaking of the bone splits her future into two and she must find a way to consolidate them as well as piece the bone back together before she may cease to exist. All the while something seedier is playing in the background that brings danger lurking at her door.

The Story

This book was so much more than I expected! At first I only really cared about one of the POV, but I learned to cherish both sides of the story. Obviously in the end one of the stories is thought to stop existing, but I was definitely set up for a surprise with the direction the story went.

Fighting the future is reminiscent of time travel and going back in in time to fix things. Except instead of changing something in the past and then seeing the reaction you don’t quite know if the future is what your reaction is going to be? Anyway, all if it is so mind boggling and I guess I can understand how some people don’t really care for futures/time travel books, but when they’re done this well I relish it.

The World Building

So the world building isn’t super in depth. We have this society where there are people with bone magic (and people who don’t have it to) and they get some special training to hone their skills. The skill vary depending on the bone magic, and none are really put in depth, but I don’t think I would have appreciated the book as much if a thorough report of how each one worked was included. The amount that was there was sufficient to keep the plot going.  I loved the multiple dimensions to bone magic. It wasn’t just that Saskia was read to be a bone charmer, but the type of bone charmer she was – and the fact that there were types as opposed to one all seeing person was clever. I love that there was unraveling of the past, seeing the future, and in her case seeing the current happenings.

I think it’s important to remember that the book is called Bone Charmer, which means we don’t really need to know all about the society and where they live and what it looks like etc. The story was about the bone charmer. Therefore, the fact that I am normally enthralled with world building, I was still satisfied with what amount I got. The focus was on that particular magic and that was enough. If you’re expecting a lot of differential in the bone/blood magic included in this, there really isn’t much going on, so please don’t be disappointed. Aside from different types of bones doing different readings, and the infusion of blood with the readings, there isn’t too much to it.

There was a little bit on how the society revolved around these bone readings and I found it super intriguing, because not everyone could get one and there are obviously more than just the regular professions. So it ended up being this idea of this magic that is built upon an already functioning, non-magical type of world. There was one instance in fact of how the dangers on how one could overly spend and invest in bone readings and how that money could be better spent equalizing the bone readings to those of lower classes.

I loved the allegory seen there that portrayed the idea of something that should be accessible to everyone as it being a common right, not just something extra for those who can afford it.

The Characters

Saskia is such an entitled brat in the beginning that I almost immediately hated her. I loved her character ARC and how she learned through her own unsheltered experiences how to view the world. Her whole life was somewhat controlled by her mother as she constantly was able to do bone readings on her as she was growing up (her mother is a bone charmer as well) and the way she breaks the barriers that her mother’s path sent her on was smoothly written. She obviously stumbled a little on the way, but I love how she comes through at the end. Despite her desires she still holds true to her nature, and is completely honest with herself if not with others.

The Soundtrack

Maren Morris – The Bones



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