Title: Crown of Bones (Amassia #1)
Author: A.K. Wilder
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: January 5th, 2021
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Thank you to the publisher for sending out an arc box! All opinions are my own.
“In a world on the brink of the next Great Dying, no amount of training can prepare us for what is to come …
A young heir will raise the most powerful phantom in all of Baiseen.
A dangerous High Savant will do anything to control the realms.
A mysterious and deadly Mar race will steal children into the sea.
And a handsome guide with far too many secrets will make me fall in love.
My name is Ash. A lowly scribe meant to observe and record. And yet I think I’m destined to change us all.” (Goodreads)
Edit: Finished rereading this one as an audiobook so I am ready for the sequel! It was as good as the first time I read it.
As an anticipated read, this did live up to a lot of the hype for it. I can only think of a couple things that didn’t fully work for me but honestly, they were very minor and I had a fantastic time reading this book!
One of the things I enjoy seeing in a book is multiple point-of-views. It helps build the characters and gives us different perspective to each situation. In this book there are five point-of-views. Some get more pages than others but each one weaves into the full picture nicely. I will say that one left me a bit confused at first but as the story progresses there is clarification as to why that character is important.
Ash is a scribe that we are introduced to pretty quickly into the book. I loved her spunk even if others didn’t like her because she is non-savant (explained later in review). She didn’t let that stop her though and is amazing at her job. Although she easily trusts, sometimes it works out in her favor!
Marcus is the heir to his father’s throne because he was born savant. He does have a brother who seems like a dillweed but I’m a sucker for brothers so I’ll let it slide, haha! Marcus has a lot to live up to since his father’s phantom is very strong and that puts a lot of pressure on their relationship. He may not always be the smartest but he does want what is best for his people and he just seems very kindhearted all around.
There are other characters but some are better to be left introduced on their own when you read the book. You’ll also fall in love with one because I know I did, haha.
In the book, we do get hints for relationships and at times it does seem like a love triangle but one party isn’t really ever jealous so I’m not sure what’s going on. I guess that would be my biggest gripe of the book is that I don’t really understand the relationship dynamics that Ash finds herself in. I also felt like one was a bit rushed and didn’t have a lot of development but I am willing to see where it all goes in book two.
The magic system isn’t quite like anything I have read before. Each person is either born savant (phantom wielder) or non-savant. Each savant has a phantom that they control. It takes on a shape of a creature, like wolves, leopards, or even a gazelle. I thought this was really cool and the author does a great job of explaining it all so it is never confusing.
The savants get categorized based on robe color and each color signifies how powerful they are. There are ones called the bone throwers and they give readings by bones. I wasn’t sure how much this would play a part in the overall plot and was pleasantly surprised that it comes into play quite a bit and even the opening lines before the prologue gave information I didn’t realize until the end of the book!
There is so much adventure wrapped into the book that I never got tired of reading it. From traveling adventures, whether on sea or foot, there is never a dull moment for these characters. Seriously, they can never catch a break! Even though a couple things felt a but obvious before the reveal, there were still plot twists that surprised me. And that ending, I’m going to need the next book asap.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one and the world the author created. It is full of interesting magic, loveable characters, and plot twists that will have you wanting to come back for me. I’d definitely recommend adding to your tbr if it isn’t on there already!