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Publisher's Summary

An emperor fights to reclaim her power and her place on the throne in this "utterly absorbing" fantasy tale of magic, mystery, and revolution (Emily Duncan).

The emperor's reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire's many islands.

Lin is the emperor's daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright - and save her people.

"One of the best debut fantasy novels of the year." (BuzzFeed News)

"An amazing start to a new trilogy." (Culturess)

"It grabs you by the heart and the throat from the first pages and doesn't let go." (Sarah J. Maas)

"Epic fantasy at its most human and heartfelt...inventive, adventurous and wonderfully written." (Alix E. Harrow)

"Utterly absorbing. I adored it." (Emily Duncan)

"A thoroughly fantastic read." (Kevin Hearne)

"Stewart's debut is sharp and compelling. It will hook readers in and make them fiercely anticipate the rest of the series." (Booklist)

"Groundbreaking epic fantasy for a new age." (Tasha Suri)

"Begins with a spark of intrigue that ignites into a thrilling adventure." (Hafsah Faizal)

©2020 Andrea Stewart (P)2020 Orbit

Critic Reviews

"An unforgettable tale of magic and intrigue, and the start of a fascinating trilogy." (Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, author of The Gutter Prayer)

"A grand, ingenious and sweeping tale of power, magic and heart, The Bone Shard Daughter is groundbreaking epic fantasy for a new age." (Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand)

"Stewart etches this story into your heart, filling it with everything I love about fantasy: a well-realized world, dark magic that challenges your presumptions, and deep questions about identity. Highly recommended." (Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of the Maradaine Saga)

What listeners say about The Bone Shard Daughter

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I didn't like it

I am a few hours in and have been actively avoiding listening to this book. I'm a big fantasy nerd and have been very interested in reading books from female authors recently because, a) I spent a childhood not knowing there were any female epic fantasy authors and b) well, they tend to write 3D female characters, and it's nice to relate to a character of your own gender on more than a superficial level.

First, the good. I like the storyline with the guy with the watercat. It's fun and a bit swashbuckling. I also like the story with the key lady, it's mysterious and full of tension.

Now, the bad. I hate the story with the relationship in this novel. Firstly, it feels like it was written as a heterosexual relationship and then the male pronouns were swapped out for female ones.

And that would be absolutely fine, except so far it's been painfully 2D, the characters seem happy to completely disregard their main character motivations to stay together. Specifically, the more feminine character does this.

The more masculine character behaves like a very traditional man. Asking for manly relationship advice from her sword teacher, not really listening to anything her partner says, justifying treating her partner like her opinion doesn't matter because of how much she loves her... Which is apparently only for her grace and beauty, and less for the books on democracy she makes her read.

It was so bad, so traditional fantasy bro (Robert Jordan I'm looking at your gravestone), it made me go check to see if the author was indeed a woman (She is).

The world has enough stories like this, I don't need to read another one, and maybe you don't either. If that relationship does ever resolve into something less painful, I'd appreciate a summary!

83 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous Debut Novel - Magic & Mystery

I won't lie, I bought this book because it had a great name and a great cover, but it was a gamble that paid off: the book is a good as it's awesome cover and epic name implies.

THE GOOD

Pacing: First off, the pacing is excellent. The author employs a trick used by graphic novel writers to keep you coming back for the next chapter (or issue in the case of comics); she ends each chapter with a mini cliffhanger. It works great for keeping you invested in the story, and due to it the book has nearly flawless pacing.

Characters: All of the characters are interesting, altough Lin, Jovis, and Sand are the stand-outs. Phalue & Ranami aren't quite as compelling for me, but I appreciate the complexity of their relationship. I also appreciate that they are a lesbian couple and that is really no big deal at all. Unlike ours, this Fantasy world is apparently not obsessed with how people have sex. It was quite refreshing.

Point of View: I was surprised when I realized that the book shifts back and forth from first and third person perspectives. It was so smooth that I didn't notice at first. Usually such a switch would be jarring or at least noticeable, but in this case it was handled deftly by the writer. An impressive feat for a new author.

Island Setting: I enjoyed the shades of Earthsea I detected with the world being made up of islands. Islands to migrate! I'm looking forward to learning more about that particular detail.

Cool Magic Systems: Right now the book appears to have two different magic systems, one which is delved into with some detail, the other which is a bit more vague, though I suspect future volumes will better explain. The Bone Shard magic that this book details is interesting and unusual. It seems to be a mostly "hard" magic system, though time will tell.

Unsolved Mysteries: the author does a great job of surrounding Lin, Jovis, and Sand's stories with multiple layers of mystery. And while we do get some answers by the end of the book, they just create more questions. I can't wait for the next book to learn more!

Prose: I'd actually say the prose is neither good nor bad, it mainly just doesn't "get in the way". There is no real poetry to the writing, but neither is the writing or dialogue "clunky".

THE BAD

That's a bit of an exaggeration, since there was nothing bad about this book at all. I will indulge in some nitpicking however...

Rushed/Pat Ending: the book ties things up somewhat abruptly at the end. There are some moments which feel a little too choreographed, and left me wanting a little more, especially where character interactions are concerned.

Anti-climatic Climax: so the "final battle" that one characters story led up to was a little undercooked. What should have been an exciting action scene lacked a lot of the tension necessary to build excitement. As a new author I'm sure she'll improve here, and it wasn't BAD, just not the Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson/Joe Abercrombie level of "boss battle" I've become accustomed to. (I'm spoiled, I know).

No Humor: It is actually quite a compliment to the writing that it didn't occur to me until about 80% of the way into the book that there is almost no humor at all. While this certainly isn't grimdark, the lack of humorous dialogue may leave some readers feeling it's lack, especially if you are used to writers who mix in witty banter with their drama. Despite the lack of laugh-out-loud moments, I don't feel the book lacked for much. The book has a lighter and more hopeful tone, so the humor is not needed to offset the drama as it would in say... a grimdark book.

THE VERDICT

Don't let the "BAD" points I listed stop you from reading, as again, they were all just nitpicks really.

This is a fabulous first book from a clearly talented writer, and I'll be anxiously awaiting for the sequel!

p.s. great narration!

47 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Story but One Narrator sucked

I really enjoyed the story and thought the world that Andrea Stewart built in this books was fascinating. It was very unique from other fantasy books I have read recently. I also really enjoyed Andrea Stewarts writing style. It was easy to get into and I flew through this book. I do feel like this book is setting up a really interesting series and I am excited for the next book to come out.

I thought Natalie Naudus and Feodor Chin were great at their narrations. I am really not a fan of Emily Woo Zeller as a narrator. I have no idea why she keeps getting put on so many audiobooks. She almost mumbles or whispers anything that is not a characters spoken dialog. It's hard to even describe but she almost goes monotone and drops her volume in half like she is telling you a secret. It is super distracting and pulls me out of the story. She was on the Poppy War as well and I stopped listening to that series due to how she narrates. Maybe it is just me because she is seems to basically be the go to narrator for female Asian fantasy characters.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Two out of three performances solid

Two of the three narrators were great, but the last one (female) would announce the chapter title loudly and then lower her voice so softly I had to jack up the volume to even understand what she was saying. It drove me insane, especially since I listen on a commute and, when the chapter would change, I would be blasted by the regular sound level of the next narrator. This continued to be a pain throughout the book, so much so that I began to dread the change of narrator. The narrators obviously didn't talk to each other about performances either because when characters were interchanged throughout the journey of the book, the performances for the same character were wildly different.

Overall a decent read with a refreshingly new storyline for the YA community with lackluster performances by the audiobook narrators.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Shaky writing leans on great ideas

I love the ideas this book presents when it comes to its world. Unfortunately it doesn't follow through on them satisfactorily. The characters are all one dimensional. They often act in ways that don't make sense to advance a predictable plot. Some of the characters are downright painful to listen to.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Just ok

Too much telling and a couple of inexplicable character shifts (abandon a years-long search) and slow pacing

I’ll buy the next installment

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Good story to long

Good story, could be shorter and not lost any context. Got really good at the last 5 chapters

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Spectacular

It started out a little slow, but that is most stories we follow 4 different POV'S

*Lin : The daughter of the Emperor. Lin has lost all of her memory and must regain it before she can be heir and also prove that she is more worthy of the right than her adoptive brother.

*Jovis: (my favorite) he is a smuggler with so much Flynn Rider vibes it's not funny. He is on a mission to rescue his wife even after it's been years since she has been taken. Once his new companion Mephi comes into his life something inside him starts to awaken.

* Ranami : The Daughter of a Governor who has fallen in love with a commoner woman who tries to show her how bad it really is in the "real world"

*Sand: She has an accident that awakes her from a haze and once you start learning more about her it is mind blowing.


I did so enjoy this book and can not wait for the next one

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Refreshing and Unique

‘The Bone Shard Daughter’ by Andrea Stewart was phenomenal!
Andrea’s storytelling, world building and unique magic system made this a 5 star read!
I enjoyed reading about how the constructs were made, given commands, and how complex those commands could get. I’m eager to learn more!
It did take me a few chapters to really get into the story but around chapters 3 and 4 was when I dived right in!
The audiobook narrators captured my attention and gave each of the characters a distinct voice. I was never confused while listening and I enjoyed the cast very much!
I’m anxious to see how the main characters will navigate the new changes in the Empire and I’m very much looking forward to the next book!
Also I want a Mephi 🥰

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Don't overlook this one!

Absolutely 5 stars!!
I was so looking forward to reading this story, because of all the great reviews. Glad to say, I agree with the hype and just want to blow a horn and proclaim "Read this!"
It takes place on a series of islands, ruled by an experimenting emperor, that says he's protecting his people from the rise of the previous rule. His methods don't bode well with the inhabitants of the islands, so a revolution is planned.
The story is told through the eyes of several people, all having different agendas that seem to flow in the same direction, unbeknownst to them. The whole story is an ever unfolding mystery, with memorable characters that you quickly grow to like, and for me one furry creature that I loved, but I'm a sucker for animals (if this can even be called that).
I don't want to spoil the experience, as is best to let things develop naturally. If you like magical fantasy, with mysterious puzzles unwrapped by curious and determined characters, then please give this series a try.
I enjoyed the narration.

6 people found this helpful