Review: The Bone Thief by Breeana Shields

The Bone Thief by Breeana Shields

The Bone Thief (The Bone Charmer #2)
Breeana Shields
Page Street Kids
Published May 26, 2020

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About The Bone Thief

A deft exploration of the weight of grief and cost of revenge, Breeana Shields’s Bone Charmer duology reaches its spine-tingling conclusion in this high-octane fantasy-thriller.

Saskia returns to Ivory Hall to train in bone magic, determined to stop Latham from gaining the power of all three Sights—past, present, and future. But danger lurks within the fortress’s marrow. Trials are underway for the apprentices, and the tasks feel specifically engineered to torment Saskia, which is exactly what Latham wants.

As she grows increasingly more suspicious, her thirst for revenge becomes all-consuming. Together with the friends she can trust and the boy she loved in another lifetime, Saskia traces clues from Latham’s past to determine what he’ll do next. Their search leads them across Kastelia and brings them to a workshop housing a vast collection of horrors, including the bones Latham stole from Gran, and the knowledge that the future isn’t all that’s in jeopardy—but the past as well.

The Bone Thief on Goodreads

My Review

I have lots of feelings about this book. First, I loved the characters. Saskia and her friends are all great, and I loved following their stories. The choices that Saskia has to make were heartbreaking and I felt myself holding my breath so many times as she wrestled with which path to take and what the right thing truly was.

I’m a latecomer to this duology– I haven’t read the first book. I do this fairly often, and I don’t mind it. Occasionally the story is such that you really need to read the first book first. I could tell with THE BONE THIEF that there were references to things from the first book, but for the most part, I didn’t have trouble following the story or understanding what was happening. I think I’d have had a more emotional connection with Saskia’s memories if I’d read the first book, though. I felt deeply connected with her in this book, so I didn’t feel the loss as I read.

The one thing that I found challenging for me was that most of the bone magic centers around human bones. Who had possession of them and how they were used was really important. Saskia carries one of her grandmother’s bones with her through the story and is searching for her mother’s bones. It’s all very natural within the story world, but if I’m totally honest, every time something came up about using human bones for things, I felt my body physically recoil from the idea. I just found some of the traditions and magic rules in the story world to be really creepy and struggled to get past that. It’s totally a personal preference and not a reflection on the writing or storytelling, both of which I really enjoyed.

It’s definitely dark fantasy– I think fans of SHADOW MAGIC by Joshua Khan will really enjoy THE BONE THIEF.

The Bone Thief on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

I don’t remember any prominent racial details.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
Brief kissing between boy and girl.

Spiritual Content
Lots of magic involving the use of human bones, including their use to predict the future or access private memories of the past.

Violent Content
References to and brief scenes involving torture. At one point, someone has to break Saskia’s arm to complete a puzzle. Situations of peril. Magic battles to the death.

Drug Content

Note: I received a free copy of THE BONE THIEF in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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