ARC Review: THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER by Andrea Stewart

I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

title in red and white on ivory carving
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 2.5 stars
Series: Yes - first book


Book cover for THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER: title in black above an ivory carving of keys and waves

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.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This book has five POVs, who aren’t really connected. I’ve decided that I really don’t do well with books where the POV aren’t intrinsically linked throughout the story from the get go. I find it really hard to engage and like characters when they don’t affect each other. Of the five POV, only two play any real part in the story, and they could be in completely different books. These two POVs are written in first person, and the other three are in third person, which was a little jolting.

There is Lin, the one mentioned in the synopsis, who connects with ONE other POV in the final 5% of the book. I found her goal unsubstantiated and without reason. She wanted to be Emperor because… reasons? The big plot twists in her POV, that come around the 75-80%, are completely obvious from the outset.

Jovis, not at all mentioned in the blurb, is the most interesting POV by far, who interweaves a tiny bit with other POVs. He had the most interaction with the world and had an obvious goal driving him onward. Also Mephi is so cute, and steals a lot of the page time. I feel like he had more lines – her certainly dominated the first half.

The other three POVs are barely there. Two of them are at least linked, but they’re just so short they feel pointless. One is in very abstract terms. I think the book would have worked just as well with all three cut as one has no plot, and the other two have plot that is subsumed into Jovis’. I simply wasn’t interested enough in the other POVs to pay them much attention, which made the story drag.

Because of the poorly connected POVs, it took me a while to get into the book. I also found the magic system took a very long time to be explained until it made sense why people were annoyed. The mentions of rebellion were also stuffed in rather clumsily in the first few chapters to set it up for later on.

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