by Sarah Beth Durst
Narrator: Soneela Nankani
Length: 16 hours and 35 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.3x
From award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst, a standalone epic fantasy set in a brand-new world of towering mountains and sparkling cities, in which a band of aging warriors have a second chance to defeat dark magic and avenge a haunting loss.
Twenty-five years ago, five heroes risked their lives to defeat the bone maker Eklor—a corrupt magician who created an inhuman army using animal bones. But victory came at a tragic price. Only four of the heroes survived.
Since then, Kreya, the group’s leader, has exiled herself to a remote tower and devoted herself to one purpose: resurrecting her dead husband. But such a task requires both a cache of human bones and a sacrifice—for each day he lives, she will live one less.
She’d rather live one year with her husband than a hundred without him, but using human bones for magic is illegal in Vos. The dead are burned—as are any bone workers who violate the law. Yet Kreya knows where she can find the bones she needs: the battlefield where her husband and countless others lost their lives.
But defying the laws of the land exposes a terrible possibility. Maybe the dead don’t rest in peace after all.
Five warriors—one broken, one gone soft, one pursuing a simple life, one stuck in the past, and one who should be dead. Their story should have been finished. But evil doesn’t stop just because someone once said, “the end.”
What happens after the end, when the battle is won? The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst shares that story in this standalone fantasy with magic, battles, friendship and more.
Narrated by Soneela Nankani, I was quickly pulled into the story. We meet Kreya, the warrior and hero of Vos who led her team to victory against the bone maker, Eklor, twenty-five years ago. The battle cost her her husband Jennt, and she has closed herself off in her tower, working bones to resurrect her beloved. To do so, she needs human bones. Using human bones to work magic is illegal in Vos, but when an idea strike to return to the forbidden battle zone, she reaches out to her friend. The tale that unfolds was spectacular and filed with danger, love, loss and more.
The world building is woven throughout the tale and told through the characters, their actions and flashbacks of the five warriors. The bone magic is something I loved. Some bones are used to make tokens that give the user abilities like agility, flight, balance, and more. Other bones are read, allowing the seer to see into the future or answer questions. Other bones are used to animate objects or to create constructs. Kreva wields this power and has rag dolls that do her bidding, along with mechanical birds and squirrels.
I loved the camaraderie between these aged heroes. Snark, compassion, respect and a keen ability to work together as a unit. The villain is infuriating. Each time they go to the leaders of Vos to expose him, he thwarted them. It was like he was constantly one step ahead. The mist was creeptastic and so were the creatures who lived there. Each part of the world Durst shared made me want to learn more.
I became completely caught up, cheering and jeering my way through. I shed a tear or two and laughed aloud with joy. Soneela Nankani’s narration added another level of enjoyment. She brought each character to life, giving them a unique voice and capturing the unique differences in each of them.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
hmm a stand alone fantasy is kind of like a unicorn and I’m so glad this one was good for you. It sounds like something I would like too thanks Kim
Oh this sounds like a great read.
Tyler H. Jolley
This is SUCH a cool premise. An army made of animal bones? I love it. This is a completely fresh idea to me. Thanks for sharing, Kimba.
So do we know who’s dead? Or it’s one of those mystery slash thriller fantasy?
More like discovering all isn’t as it seems and what happens to the heroes after the battle is won.
sounds interesting enough, though I think i have to change genres soon after a fantasy binge
I am loving the sound of this one. Adding it to my wishlist.
I love that this is after the war and the bone magic sounds intriguing.
Good reviews everywhere for this book! I really like that the protagonists are not young. Great review, K!
I had a good time with this one as well!