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.
Thank you to Harper360 for sending me an ARC of Bone Crier’s Moon!
So this book had been on my TBR for SO long (I’ll be honest, it was initially a case of me falling for the gorgeous cover, then reading the summary and being even more excited) and I’m so glad to say it definitely surpassed the hype surrounding it for me!
Bone Crier’s Moon follows Ailesse and Sabine who have grown up training to be Bone Crier’s – women who ferry the souls of the dead to the afterlife. Ailesse is the heir of the group’s matriarch and is determined to live up to her expectations, whereas her best friend Sabine is wary of taking lives of animals as is required of her to complete her rites as a Bone Crier. I loved Sabine and her quiet but strong character instantly, and the sisterly bond between the two girls definitely made the book for me.
The magic system is based on, you guessed it, bones – each Bone Crier collects three ‘grace bones’, which they take from an animal they kill and therefore claim the grace of – for example, a bone from a bird would help with sight and speed, a bone from a large animal would help with strength, and so on. To complete the rite, each trainee Bone Crier must lure their soulmate to them in order to take their life. I loved this magic system, as although I’ve read books before with magic based around bones, this one was just so unique and the descriptions on how the magic affected the girls and people around them made it so easy to visualise.
I have to say it took me a while to warm to Bastien, the boy determined to bring an end to Bone Criers after one killed his father for their rite, but he definitely grew on me before the end! I think I would’ve loved this story even if it focused only on Sabine and Ailesse, however it was very interesting to see the Bone Criers from an outsiders perspective who knew nothing much of them outside of myths and horror stories.
The character development was absolutely perfect and definitely one of my favourite things about the book. Sabine definitely seemed to have room for development at the beginning with her being portrayed as a girl lacking confidence, but what I really loved was Ailesse appearing to be the perfect, strong female character, and yet she still had room to grow, and definitely did throughout the book.
Bone Crier’s Moon definitely ended on quite a cliffhanger and I honestly don’t know how I’m going to wait for the next book in the series!