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The Bone Shard Daughter: The Drowning Empire Book One

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Here’s a list of my favorite debuts both written and read in the past three years: Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames in 2017, The Poppy War by R. But on the note of the pacing, I think for some this book won't appeal as strongly because it's very much a first-in-a-series development novel.

Since Bone Shard Magic was used to overthrow the tyrannical Alanga centuries ago, and is now the front line defense in the event they ever come back, it’s considered everyone’s patriotic duty.The Drowning Empire is an apt series name, and I do believe we’ll learn more about this phenomenon and the Alanga in the sequels.

The former two show us other aspects of the empire, and also addresses the theme of class differences in romantic relationships, while the latter keeps us guessing and ties into a complex plot. The openly and transparently gay element is handled with welcome subtlety; some characters are gay; many of the soldiers are women, though, crucially, this is never offered as an overriding issue. The geographic background of islands that move with the seasons is quite original, as is the system of magic by which it is ruled. I'll confess that at first I was like ' I came here to read about the daughter of the emperor who makes strange bone constructs, not another male smuggler smh' .

I just love when, after reading about the characters through different POVs, they finally cross paths! Shutting himself away with Bayan—the Emperor’s protégé and Lin’s rival—to experiment and pry away at the bone shards inside of his constructs, the Emperor has no time for her brokenness. From the statuary to the clothing, I couldn’t believe that I missed this glaringly obvious component of the story!

But it also pulls at your emotions through great character work, strong world-building, stomach-turning revelations, and hopeful paths toward the future.One day, Jovis plucks a strange creature out of water, and the strange creature plucks him out of a grief so vast Jovis can't see its edges.

Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart was an intriguing and exciting start to a new adult fantasy series, set in a world controlled by bone shard magic as the Emperor’s rule begins to fail and revolution sweeps across.

Lin is able to command the constructs because they’re supposed to listen to Nisong, and Lin is kind of Nisong. However, the f/f relationship was not as central as I’d believed it to be, and there was no comparison I could draw between TBSD and TPW, besides the East Asian inspirations/authors and inclusion of politics. No, what you actually get is a clever epic fantasy that is at least trying to be adult-ish, a promising debut that should not certainly go unnoticed. Sand has forgotten everything about her life before now, where she moves through her day in a fog, on an island full of other people with lost memories. Her actions lead to additional confrontations, eventually leading to her meeting with Jovis, who approaches the palace on behalf of the rebels, thus tying together the four narrative strands.

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