The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst

The Bone Maker

 

The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst

Publishing: March 9, 2021 by Harper Voyager

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  First, I have not read any of her novels before because I thought she wrote children’s books.  My apologies to the author.  The premise of this book caught my eye, which is when I checked out her website and realized my mistake….and here we are.

 

The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst is a fantasy novel.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher Harper Voyager, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

All she wants is her husband back.  She lost him 25 years ago, when she and four others risked their lives to defeat the corrupt magician Eklor.  Her husband did not survive the battle.

Since then, Kreya has lead a solitary life in a remote tower, trying to resurrect her dead husband using human bones and a sacrifice of her blood.  For every day she resurrects him, her own life loses a day. That is no concern, but finding the bones has become an issue, and even though she uses the bones from the already dead,  what she does is unlawful.

She has no choice left.  She approaches Zera, once her best friend, and one of the five heroes who battled Eklor.  Only Zera’s skill at creating talismans can protect her while she searches for bones to resurrect her dead husband.  But the reunion was not as she had hoped, and although Zera eventually agrees to Kreya’s rather outrageous idea, nothing goes according to plan.  It forces the original 5 hero’s to re-unite to once again save the day.

And so they come together 25 years after the first battle.  Kreya, the leader, the one who can make the bones into mechanical “constructs” to perform almost any task.  Zera, who can make talisman’s out of bones to empower them. Jentt, who could manipulate talismans and perform amazing feats.  Marso, who could read the future in the bones.  Stran, whose warrior strength is enhanced even more by the talismans that Zera creates.  All of them have changed since that first battle, but their enemy remains the same.  But this time, the five alone will not be enough.

 

My Opinions:   

Well, this novel surprised me, as did the author.  The author created a new world of magical creations that had me begging for more.

I loved the banter between Kreya and Zera.  It felt like a true friendship. The characters were amazing, and they all sucked me in to caring about them.  Both their strength and weaknesses made them “real”.   Strangely enough, even the “constructs” earned my admiration and devotion.  Those little rag doll constructs had me on edge every time they were asked to do something.  I feared for their lives! And that little bird…..

The plot was fast-paced, wildly entertaining, and it was very well-written.  There were no major surprises, but none were needed.  The story just carried the reader through. It is a long book, but it didn’t drag.

It was a story of friendship, of love, of redemption, of second chances.  It is also a story of overcoming fears, of ethics, of sacrifice, and of acceptance.

I liked the ending.  It wasn’t a true happily ever after, but it was right…and it left me wanting more.

Read: March, 2021

Favorite Quotes from The Bone Maker:

“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.”

For each day he lived again, she would live one day less.  Worth it, she thought. A thousand times worth it.”

“Maybe there were no perfect choices for anyone to make, hero or villain. Maybe there was only doing the best you could do with the time you had.”

 

Sarah Beth DurstAbout The Author: Sarah Beth Durst is an American author, born in Massachusetts.  She is the award-winning author of over twenty fantasy books.  She graduated from Princeton University where she studied English.  She currently lives in New York with her husband and children.   Check out Sarah’s website at http://www.sarahbethdurst.com/

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3568798400

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

The World That We Knew
The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

 Published: September 24, 2019 by Simon and Schuster

5Stars

 

 

Just a Few Words:  Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, WWII, it doesn’t matter how it is classified, it is a book that will stand the test of time.  It is a story of hope.

 

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman is part fantasy, part fiction, part history….all good!

 First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Simon and Schuster, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

WWII, and it doesn’t matter what country, if you are Jewish, you are being hunted.

Hanni Kohn will do anything to keep her 12 year old daughter Lea safe.  Lea must leave Berlin, but Hanni cannot travel with her.  She enlists the help of Ettie, the daughter of a rabbi.  Ettie has learned a lot of the old religion by watching her father.  They create a “golem” out of clay, and water, and air and words.  The golem comes to life and they call her Ava.  She will keep Lea safe on her journey to their distant cousins in France, and continue to keep her safe until the need passes.  

Ettie and her sister Marta also try to escape Berlin on the train, but their VISA’s are obviously fake.  They leap from the train, but Marta is killed in the field.  Ettie joins the resistance group to avenge her sister’s death.   

The paperwork Lea and Ava present pass inspection.  Having reached their cousins, Lea and Ava take refuge with the Lévi’s, although they are not really welcomed.  Viktor Lévi soon leaves to join the resistance, but his younger brother Julien becomes close with Lea.  Unfortunately,  evil is on the brink of finding the Lévi’s house, and Ava and Lea move on.  Before they leave, Lea and Julien make a pact to stay alive.

But Lea and Ava and Ettie are still tied together, and they are bound to meet again.  Their journey’s take unexpected turns.

 

My Opinions:  

First, let me just say that I love the cover.  Second, this was a little out of my comfort zone, because I rarely read anything about wars or history.  That being said…..this book was amazing.

The characters were wonderful, the writing sublime, and the story heart-breaking and up-lifting all at the same time.  It is about the travesty of war,  about bigotry and hatred, and the atrocities that follow.  It’s also about love and sacrifice, bravery and hope…and it’s about humanity, which can sometimes be found in strange places.

I loved how the author wove fairy tales and real events.  How she took stories that were handed down from one generation to the next so that they live on.  I worried how she would end this tale, but it was perfect.

Alice Hoffman has now written another epic tale, one that will live on in my mind for a long time to come.  I will never look at a heron the same way again! 

 

Read: September, 2019

 

 

Favorite Quotes from The World That We Knew (there are so many more):

“Her heart was already beginning to break, but she was a seamstress and she stitched herself together well enough so that she could go forward.”

“A lone heron stood at the edge of the river. Ava could tell this one was in mourning, for herons were always in pairs. His heron wife had been shot by a farmer who believed the flesh of a heron brought good fortune and courage. It was an old story, fashioned out of a lie, but people believe lies if they’re told often enough. In ancient Rome, this was the bird of divination. Its hollow bones tossed onto the floor would form an augury used to predict the future, and its bold call warned men of wars and famine. In Greece, herons were messengers, for both mortals and gods.

“But the thing about saving yourself is that once you do, you have to live with it.”

 

Alice Hoffman

About the Author:  Alice Hoffman (March 1952 – ) is an American writer. She has published over thirty novels, three books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. She lives near Boston.

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2996196784