Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway - The Silence of Bones by June Hur

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The Silence of Bones by June Hur
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: April 21st 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical, Historical Fiction


I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;
Ears, but I mustn't hear;
Eyes, but I mustn't see.

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seolis living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman's secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

June Hur's elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

Book Links:


Fate. A shackle as solid as truth— unchangeable, unmovable. On the day of my departure, my sister had told me how long I was bound by the government to serve in the police bureau, away from home, from family. For one generation, she’d whispered.
My entire life.
That is, I would be free by the age of forty-one, as old as death itself.
A thunder of fluttering wings filled the sky in all directions, the birds overhead taken to flight. A shriek in the distance pierced the air; a terrified horse. Officer Kyŏn charged ahead, while it took me a scrambling moment to realize what was happening. I jabbed my heels into Terror’s side and followed him through the thicket, over the protruding roots, branches hitting my face.
Then we reached a glade and my heart stopped. Across the stream stood Inspector Han, his sleeve blood-soaked, his hand inching toward the sword at his side. A matter of paces away prowled a tiger, a deep growl rumbling from its white- and- black- striped chest. Powerful paws with sharp claws. The beast looked as large as Inspector Han himself.
“Do not move,” the inspector said, though not to us. Past the thick cluster of leaves was a horse struggling on the ground, shaking its head as blood continued to ooze from its wounded side. And hunkered down behind the creature was Maid Soyi.
Unable to look away from the scene, I hissed to Kyŏn, “Shoot it!”
A muscle worked in Officer Kyŏn’s jaw. Clearly he was incensed at an order from a girl, but he drew out an arrow and nocked it to his bow. As he aimed, the iron point trembled. What resolve he had, I watched falter and crumble.
“I’ll do it.” I snatched the weapon from him and rode out into the glade for a better aim. My motion caught the tiger’s attention. Good. My fear had reached its climax, and another sensation flooded in, a powerful longing that churned within me: the desire to matter.

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and the Fantastic Flying Book Club*

Orphan Seol is sixteen-years-old and is a servant at the police bureau.
Seol assists a young police inspector in investigating the murder of a young noblewoman, Lady O.

As they work together, Seol develops a fierce loyalty towards the inspector, one that will be tested as they uncover secrets and clues as to what happened that night.

Will Seol’s curiosity get her in trouble?

Who killed Lady O? And why?

One of my favourite things about The Silence of Bones was the setting of Joseon (Korea) in 1800. I didn’t know much about the history of Korea, so it was interesting to read a book set there and at that specific time period when Catholics were being persecuted.

Seol was a relatable and likeable protagonist. I liked that she wasn’t meek and silent – instead she was curious despite how much trouble that might get her in, being indentured as she was at the bureau.

The characters were all interesting and intriguing. There were some I liked more than others, but none of them felt flat.

The plot was interesting and held my attention. Towards the middle the pacing was a little slow for me, but it did pick up and the storyline drew me back in.

The mystery aspect was done well and kept me guessing. This is definitely one of my favourite YA mysteries that I’ve read and it was quite refreshing to read.

I liked the themes of family and loyalty.

The writing style was easy to follow and understand. I would definitely read another book by the author.

While I did enjoy The Silence of Bones, I wasn’t gripped or blown away by what I read, but I would definitely recommend it and would consider reading it again at some point in the future.

Overall, this was a unique YA mystery that I enjoyed and would recommend.

About the Author

JUNE HUR (‘Hur’ as in ‘her’) was born in South Korea and raised in Canada, except for the time when she moved back to Korea and attended high school there. Most of her work is inspired by her journey through life as an individual, a dreamer, and a Christian, with all its confusions, doubts, absurdities and magnificence. She studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto, and currently works for the public library. She lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.

Her debut novel THE SILENCE OF BONES (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, April 2020) is a murder mystery set in Joseon Dynasty Korea (early 1800s), and also a coming-of-age tale about a girl searching for home. It was recently selected by the American Booksellers Association as one of the top debuts of Winter/Spring 2020.

She is represented by Amy Bishop of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC.

 Author Links:

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