Reviews

Review : Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

“𝗢𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗺𝗼𝗼𝗻 – 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗺𝗼𝗼𝗻 – 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗲𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗹𝘀 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗲𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗱.”

  • Author : Kathryn Purdie
  • Release date : March 3rd 2020
  • Publishing house : Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Collins)
  • Number of pages : 480
  • Illustrator : Charlie Bowater

I was happy to pre-order this book and receive several gifts (which you can see here) + a bookplate.

Spoilers ahead


Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die. 


Characters :

Sabine : She is Ailesse’s best friend and while she may be the character I’ve loved the most, her habit of being insecure during a good portion of the story almost made me dislike her. Fortunately, she steels herself to become a Bone Crier despite her aversion of what it entails (kill three animals and her amouré). As the story unfolds, she grows bolder and understands that she has to become as ruthless as the Bone Criers in order to save Ailesse.

Ailesse : She is the matrone’s daughter and is the opposite of Sabine. She is gutsy and has been trying to have the best graces to please her mother. She is portrayed as the perfect and strong female character but along the book, we see that there’s more to her than just that. Her weaknesses, her fears are all put in the spotlight, especially after some of the cliffhangers.

“The dead must be ferried, my mother told me as I prepared for my rite of passage, or they’ll wander the land of the living and wreak devastation.”

Bastien : He is obsessed by his revenge because his father was killed before his very eyes by a Bone Crier. This clearly is an enemy-to-lover book and I felt that the turnaround in Bastien’s behaviour towards Ailesse was a bit too hasty. As the story goes on, he quickly understands that their actions may have dire consequences for everyone. I felt that his anger and his rage towards Bone Criers faded too quickly.

« You’re worth the risk, do you hear me? You’re always going to be worth the risk. »

I don’t forget Marcel whose character I’ve loved. He was carefree, intelligent, a tad gullible but he was a good character. On the contrary, I did not like Jules whose character was full of jealousy and childish. She did not think that her actions would have consequences. However, by the very end of the book, she seems to change but how much ?

Story :

Bone Crier’s Moon is a three-point-of-view story in which we follow two Leurress/Bone Criers and a teenager wanting to take his revenge on them for murdering his father. And this teenager also has two friends (Jules – short for Julienne- and Marcel) whose father was also killed by a Leurress.

The story opens on Ailesse – who is the heir to the matrone (basically the leader of the clan) and one of the most promising Bone Criers- hunting with her best friend (Sabine) for a tiger shark in order to become a bona fide Leurress.

You see, to become a Leurress, you have to hunt and kill three animals who will give you powers (or graces as it is called in the book). Some will give you enhanced vision/hearing/sense of smell, while others can give you more strength, stamina or the capacity to see the dead. To have these powers, you have to cut a part of the animal’s body and touch your blood with it. Then, you have to carve the bone to put it on a necklace displaying your graces.

Once you have killed your three animals, you have to show your commitment to the gods by organising a ritual. You have to choose a bridge in the city and play a song using a bone flute. The melody entrances your destined lover who is attracted to the bridge. Then, you kind of dance with him and at the end of it, you have to kill him. In some occasions, you can live and have a child with him but only for one year. If you fail to kill him after this deadline, both of them will die.

“We will have to make our own sacrifices one day, and it will be easier if we don’t grow attached to those destined to die.”

Their only task is to guide the dead into one of the gates (either Hell or Heaven) using the same bone flute but not the same melody. Some accept their fate but others called Chained try to get away from them and want to wander into the world to steal people’s light or to go into the gate leading to Heaven. That’s where their graces are important because they used them to battle the dead who do not accept their fate.

Let’s talk a bit about the world-building. The story occurs in France and most of the action happens in a Paris Catacombs-like place with a maze-like structure and bones everywhere. Chilling, isn’t it ? The mythology is interesting and all along the book we learn about the gods and their story. And Elara and Tyru’s story is a sad one. I had some problems concerning the French language included in the story. For instance, here  “Tu ne me manque pas. the « s » is missing from « manque » which is as serious as forgetting the « s » in the third person singular. Other than that, the term « amouré » is really uncommon and frankly I did not know it.

I particularly enjoyed the ritualistic part of the Bone Criers. Everything they do, they do it out of reverence for their gods. They have a duty and they have to see it through. The importance of bridges was a good idea because well it represents a link between both Hell and Heaven or between the Bone Crier and her amouré. When they are dressed in white, they could also be seen as spectres showing up in the dead of the night to frighten the passerby, it fuelled the legends about them. It made me think about the White Lady. The dance, the soul-link between the man and the woman, the bone flute, the graces accentuate this ritualistic aspect.

This first book was a promising start and the last cliffhanger was good. I look forward to seeing how the situation will resolve. The pacing and the action scenes were enjoyable and I don’t remember having been bored.

Note : 3.5 sur 5.

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