Title: Silver in the Bone
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling / Mythology
Publication Date: April 4th, 2023
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.
“Tamsin Lark didn’t ask to be a Hollower. As a mortal with no magical talent, she was never meant to break into ancient crypts, or compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for the treasures inside. But after her thieving foster father disappeared without so much as a goodbye, it was the only way to keep herself—and her brother, Cabell—alive.
Ten years later, rumors are swirling that her guardian vanished with a powerful ring from Arthurian legend. A run-in with her rival Emrys ignites Tamsin’s hope that the ring could free Cabell from a curse that threatens both of them. But they aren’t the only ones who covet the ring.
As word spreads, greedy Hollowers start circling, and many would kill to have it for themselves. While Emrys is the last person Tamsin would choose to partner with, she needs all the help she can get to edge out her competitors in the race for the ring. Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother. . . .” (Goodreads)
This is my second time reading a book by this author. She always creates such a unique book, especially when it comes to being a retelling centered around mythology. But for me, there is always something missing to really push it over the top. Whether it be due to the characters or the worlding. Sometimes it is a bit of both, which is how what I would say for this particular book.
The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Tamsin Lark. She is an orphan being brought up by a foster father and brother. It’s a unique family situation and one that is explained more throughout the book. I thought she was a decent character. At times is she unlikeable because of the way she treats people, but I can understand why she has barriers up. She doesn’t let anyone in for a reason and relies on her brother.
The other characters were fine. I think I liked Neve the most and I am hoping we learn more about her background in the sequel. Emrys was also another character I liked. He is the bad boy of the group and has his own motives, but I can’t help but like how he has a pet name for Tamsin and tends to care in some sort of way. Although, he can also kick rocks! Haha.
I did feel like the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more. This also applies to the world building as well. I already have a hard time with urban fantasy and frankly I didn’t know this would be a mix of that before starting. I still am not 100% sure how the world works and why things are the way they are. Everything just kind of exists and you just roll with it.
It was hard to get through this book for the above reasons. I had no desire to pick it back up right away after having to set it down. It’s probably why it took me so long to get through. I do think that the ending was good enough to want to continue on to the sequel though. I am hoping that more will be explained, especially with the world.
Overall, this was okay/good. I did like the retelling even though I don’t know much about Arthurian things. It can be a be grotesque at times but it doesn’t go into too much details. If you have been a fan of her work before I would give it a try!