March 2020 #IndigoStaffPicks: Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

Bone Crier’s Moon, set to release on March 3, 2020, is the newest Young Adult Fantasy novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Purdie. Bone Crier’s Moon is the first book in a new, high-stakes fantasy duology flush with doomed romance and macabre magic.

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love. Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love. Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death. Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

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Not only is Kathryn Purdie’s Bone Crier’s Moon blessed with a simply gorgeous cover, it is also a fantastic addition to the shelves of any YA Fantasy lover. With intriguing protagonists, a darkly engaging magic system, and a classic enemies-to-lovers romance, means there’s plenty for all fan of the genre to love.

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Purdie’s latest novel focuses on the perspectives of Ailesse, an heiress who longs to please her cold and merciless mother; Bastien, a young thief on a crusade for revenge against the women who murdered his father; and Sabine, a kind-hearted ferrier who never wavers in her commitment to Ailesse or her famille. Sabine and Ailesse are Bone Criers, women tasked with the monstrous effort of ferrying the dead to the afterlife. They belong to a famille of women like themselves, led by Ailesse’s mother, their matrone. Yet, despite similar upbringings, and a close friendship, the girls are significantly different. Where Ailesse is fierce, headstrong and brave, Sabine is quiet and reserved, but is fiercely loyal to Ailesse. Ailesse clearly sees her path as a ferrier – and warrior – before her, and seeks to achieve greatness, embracing her famille’s customs and expectations openly. Sabine rails against the cruelties associated with their practices, unwilling to take life until the lives of those she cares for are in danger. Bastien, for his part, has grown up an orphan after the sudden death of his father at the hands of a mysterious Bone Crier, working alongside fellow orphans Marcel and Jules to exact his revenge against the mysterious women who caused his father’s death. Despite this, Bastien is shown to be an intelligent and empathetic character, who is willing to learn, rather than simply abide by what he has always known.

“You’re not missing from me. I’m not missing from you.” – Kathryn Purdie, Bone Crier’s Moon

Chapters alternate points of view, offering insight into the individual protagonists thoughts and experiences. Between Ailesse, Bastien, and Sabine’s perspectives, the reader learns much regarding the magical side of Purdie’s world that Ailesse and Sabine have been raised in, but also about the non-magical world Bastien, Marcel and July call home. In this regard, the multiple perspectives added a significant amount of detail to the world-building and magic system Purdie created. However, as is often the case in novels with multiple perspectives, this did not allow for as much character development, leaving a significant amount of room for Ailesse, Bastien, and Sabine’s characters to grow and for their relationships to be expanded upon.

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Overall, readers will greatly enjoy Kathryn Purdie’s Bone Crier’s Moon, with its dark magic, alluring characters, and lush setting – nevermind a delightfully forbidden romance that seems sure the end is heartache. Readers will undoubtedly be waiting impatiently for the next installment in this thrilling YA Fantasy duology (4/5).

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

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