The Bone Maker focuses on a group of hero’s who 25 years ago managed to save the world from an evil and inhumane bone magician called Eklor. Eklor mass murdererd many innocent people in order to complete his goals. Thankfully the team were able to stop him before i Since then the group has disbanded and are now living semi normal lives. However, everything changes when these rusty old hero’s must reunite to once again fight evil.
This was a fast paced and action packed standalone fantasy novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. I really needed a simple and easy book to read and this was definitely that. The month I read this(November) was a pretty mentally draining month so I really needed a novel that I could easily immerse myself into. This was definitely one of those novels as it was easy to follow and get through.
What I really enjoyed about the story was the depiction of the characters. Many of the characters were a lot older and I guess wiser which I haven’t come across since Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eame (A must read for fantasy fans). These are people who know they don’t have the va va voom they once had. They have to be smarter and thoughtful in their actions, which is understandable obviously.
I loved all of the characters as they had big personalities and had their own distinct voices. At the very beginning of the story we meet Kreya who was the leader of this band of merry hero’s. We find her attempting to steal bones from a dead corpse in order to resurrect her husband, Jent. Jent who was the teams thief, sadly lost his life 25 years ago during the infamous Bone War. You feel that Kreya has a lot of regret over Jent’s death and has found everyday difficult since his passing. I found her sadness and feeling of loss over losing Jent really heartbreaking like she’s not been in touch with anyone since what happens and lives all on her own. Her character somewhat focuses on the matter of “what would you sacrifice to save a loved one”.
“It’s always about time, Kreya thought. How much you use, how much you waste, and how much you waste regretting the time you already wasted.”
Other characters include Zera who I absolutely loved because she had so much confidence in herelf and believed in her sauce! She now living it large with lots of money and is well known to flaunt her riches. Above all else however, I loved her closeness to Kreya. Even after everything that has happened she still loves Kreya and truly cares about her. Other characters include Stran the muscle of the group. He’s now a family man and farmer. I must say there’s one point in the story where things go a bit pair shaped for him which had me ready to throw hands at the people who hurt him! Stran was a very likable individual and I loved how much he cared for his family. Then we have Marso a bone reader who by analysing bones can tell the future. However, these days Marso’s mind has been broken into tiny pieces 😅.
Basically you can tell all the heros are dealing with PTSD. Even though it’s been 25 years the war was so horrific and Eklor’s evilness is something these hero’s can’t forget at all.
“We’ve already had a war in my lifetime. I’d never wish for another. So much death. So many bones, she thought”
The villain Eklor was one creepy dude like I’ll level with you. If me and Eklor were stuck in a room together I’d get the “Ek” outta there *ba dum tish*. However, I did like how Sarah Beth Durst makes you sympathise with him at a point. Then you’re like wait a minute why am I???? Dude killed millions?? Like huhhhh. What this does is make you really question his actions and I guess begs the question as to what is true evil. It’s Eklor, Eklor is true evil who am I kidding.
So yeah overall I liked the characters but I do wish we could have seen more from the POV of the other characters. In fact, I would’ve been loved to see what was going inside Eklor’s mind at times. I would love the read a prequel to this novel too! It would be great to be given the chance to bond with the characters even more.
In terms of the magic system it was a pretty simple concept. Bones along with talismans give the protagonists super powers such as super strength, speed, inanimate different objects and other things which I won’t say because SPOILER. But yeah the idea was pretty cool and reminded me a lot of The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea G Stewart (absolutely brilliant).
Finally, I thought the writing again very simple and easy to comprehend what was going on. Sarah Beth Durst’s writing was very imaginative and flowed really well. Even though it’s a standalone the ending is wrapped up really well and no holes are left unfilled. The action scenes were also super intense and exciting!
“Dirt flew. Rocks were tossed. Jentt felt sweat pour off his body. He felt his muscles strain. He inhaled the dirt-saturated air, and he had never felt more alive.”
Overall, I’m pretty chuffed with this standalone. I wish there would’ve been more time to explore the world a bit more but maybe in the future? I would definitely like to read more from Sarah Beth Durst in the future hopefully 😊. Thank you so much to Jamie and Harper Voyager for sending this to me. I am super super grateful.