The Bone Shard Daughter – Andrea Stewart

In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

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.


I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 4 Stars

Can we take a moment to talk about first lines? I have always believed that the first line of a book can tell me a lot of what I need to know about how much I’ll enjoy the story. In fact, I just posted an entire Tik Tok video about books that had me hooked by the end of the first line. Want to know what book was included in that video? The Bone Shard Daughter. The first line to this amazing book is “Father told me I’m broken.” I don’t know about you, but that one line had me so intrigued that I couldn’t stop myself from starting this book immediately. Even though I was in the middle of another book…

The main characters of this book are the Emperor’s daughter, a Governor’s daughter, the Governor’s daughter’s girlfriend, and a lovable, if a little broken, smuggler. Let’s be honest, we love a tortured soul in a book. Oh, and did I mention that aforementioned tortured soul has a talking animal companion? While all of the characters in the book were great, I’m a sucker for a talking animal so Mephi was hands down my favorite.

While I did enjoy the main characters immensely, and can say with complete confidence that I liked all of their POVs almost equally (the smuggler was obviously my favorite because of Mephi), the strongest thing in this book for me was the magic system. It was unlike anything I had ever read and was morbidly fascinating. It was interesting to see so many facets of the magic, and to see how its use impacts people differently throughout the Empire.

Overall, this book surprised me, delighted me, intrigued me, and kept me interested all the way through. While there were a few pacing issues, and fewer action scenes than I tend to like in a book (a matter of personal preference, I know) I thought that the characters, world, and magic system were all set up well for future books. I can’t wait to see where this series goes, and can only hope that Andrea Stewart plans to keep my precious Mephi safe. Hey Orbit, can we get Mephi plushies?

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