Friday, January 22, 2021

Review - The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire, #1) by Andrea Stewart



 Title: The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire, #1)

Author: Andrea Stewart

Pages: 416

Publisher: Orbit

Release Date: 8th September 2020


Blurb fron Goodreads:

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 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.

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My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley*


Lin is the daughter of the ageing, reclusive Emperor who uses bone shard magic to create constructs (animal-like creatures) that he uses in the place of humans to maintain his rule.

Despite being the Emperor's daughter, she has to prove that she is worthy to be named his heir, but a childhood illness that resulted in Lin losing her memories keeps the Emperor from choosing her.

As islands begin to fall to revolution and the Emperor's hold slips, will Lin be able to claim her rightful place of heir?

How far is Lin willing to go to become Emperor?


I love a good fantasy book and the premise of The Bone Shard Daughter instantly caught my attention.

The book is told from the perspectives of five characters, but the main two are Lin, the Emperor's daughter, and Jovis, a smuggler-turned-reluctant-hero. There weren't any perspectives that I didn't enjoy, but I did find Lin and Jovis's chapters the most interesting. I really liked both Lin and Jovis and it was enjoyable to read how they coped in different situations.

My favourite character was Mephi, a kind of otter/cat-like creature who was so adorable.

The setting of the islands of the Empire was interesting and I thought it was unique that the islands migrated. The mystery of the Alanga, the previous rulers of the Empire, was very intriguing.

The bone shard magic was really intriguing and I enjoyed finding out more about it. The constructs were quite a horrifying concept, as were the festivals where people had shards of bone taken from their skulls.

There weren't any parts of the book that I didn't enjoy, but the last third or so was definitely my favourite bit. This was due to the plot coming together and the action starting to happen, and this was also the only part of the book where I started to feel gripped. There were some good twists, although I did guess one, but only a few chapters before it was revealed.

The writing style was easy to follow and I'm definitely interested in reading more books by the author.

I am very much looking forward to the sequel, which I will certainly be reading.

Overall, this was an enjoyable, unique read.

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