About the Book:
Title: Silver in the Bone
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: Silver in the Bone #1
Page Length: 480
Publication Date: April 4, 2023
Synopsis: Tamsin Lark didn’t ask to be a Hollower. As a mortal with no magical talent, she was never meant to break into ancient crypts, or compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for the treasures inside. But after her thieving foster father disappeared without so much as a goodbye, it was the only way to keep herself—and her brother, Cabell—alive.
Ten years later, rumors are swirling that her guardian vanished with a powerful ring from Arthurian legend. A run-in with her rival Emrys ignites Tamsin’s hope that the ring could free Cabell from a curse that threatens both of them. But they aren’t the only ones who covet the ring.
As word spreads, greedy Hollowers start circling, and many would kill to have it for themselves. While Emrys is the last person Tamsin would choose to partner with, she needs all the help she can get to edge out her competitors in the race for the ring. Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother. . . .
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“Only deep roots survive harsh winds.”
Silver in the Bone is a YA urban fantasy inspired by Arthurian legend with epic battles, a unique found family, lies, betrayal, curses, romance, and so much more. I love the author’s writing style, use of dialogue, and interesting characters, but I struggled a bit with the world building and pacing.
The setting was a bit hard to define. It has the feel of the traditional fantasy setting, but it also seems like it is in the present, so I was a bit confused with that aspect of the story. I think I didn’t expect it to be an urban fantasy going in, so it threw me off a bit. I liked the lore and mythology, the magic and curses, and a lot of the other fantasy elements, even though there were some inconsistencies and some parts confused me, but the world-building was clunky. We are thrown right into the story with little information or context, which I didn’t enjoy, especially because the start was so slow. Later, there were a few passages that felt like info dumps, but some others left me confused and questioning.
The last third of the book was brilliant! Dark, twisted, suspenseful, and surprising, it was more violent and gory than I expected, especially in one particular scene (which also broke my heart into a million pieces!). I feel like the rest of the book was much slower-paced and set up a lot of what happened in the last third, and as much as I thought the pacing was off, the slower parts were totally worth it for that epic ending!
Tamsin often frustrated me with her stubbornness and unwillingness to change. She makes so many bad decisions, and she pushes away all of the people that try to help and support her. Sometimes, she is her own worst enemy, and I wanted to shake her. I understand how events and trauma from her past affected how she is now, and she showed growth by the end of the story. I think her relationships and what she experienced in this story will affect her and change her in the next. And I’m dying to find out about some of the other characters. There were several jaw-dropping things that happened, and I need answers!!!
“You always seem to assume the worst,” he said, “and you expect everyone else to do the same. But all you’re really doing is punching at phantoms the rest of us can’t see.”
I also love the found family element. Neve, Tamsin, Emery, and Cabell are all interesting characters, and I liked learning about each. I really want to find out more about Neve and Emery’s backstories, and I have a feeling both will come into play in future books in the series. The foursome’s journey together, and their developing relationships, were one of the highlights of the book. The sibling relationship between Cabell and Tamsin is wonderful, too. I love their staunch devotion to each other and how hard Tamsin fights to protect Cabell.
My favorite part of the story is the amazing enemies-to-lovers romance between Tamsin and Emery. Oh my word, do these two have chemistry! Their banter, the push and pull between them, and the way they fight their feelings before eventually succumbing to them are fantastic. I can’t wait to see what happens between them, and I have a feeling there is way more to Emery than meets the eye. His character is shrouded in mystery, and I am really questioning his actions and motives at this point, so I’m eager to see how his story and his romance with Tamsin play out.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s/ Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
We’d been raised at the knee of jealousy, fed by the hand of envy, and sheltered under the roof of greed.
A library was a home to those who dreamt of better places.
The problem with siblings, I decided, was that they spent years gathering up all these little knives of observation and learning exactly where to slip them between your bones.
What’s so great about this life that I have to fight to stay in it?
The pain I’d feared for so long was the very thing that told me I had survived the loss.
- found family
- enemies to lovers