Book Review: BONE CRIER’S DAWN by Kathryn Purdie

Title in white above two girls on midnight sky
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - second book in duology



Book cover for BONE CRIER'S DAWN: title in white on two girls at night

Love is a matter of life and death.

Bone Criers have been ferrying the dead into the afterlife for centuries, a dangerous duty only possible with the powers they gain from sacrificing their amourés the men destined to love them and die. But Bone Criers Ailesse and Sabine—along with Ailesse’s love, Bastien—are working to chart their own course and rewrite the rules of the afterlife. If they don’t break the soul between Ailesse and her amouré, she could die—just as Bastien’s father did.

Sabine struggles to maintain her authority as matrone of her famille—the role always destined for her sister—even as she fights to control the violent jackal power within her.

Bastien is faced with a new dilemma as the spirits of the Underworld threaten the souls of his friends—and his father.

Ailesse attempts to resist her mother’s siren song as she’s drawn into her own version of the Underworld. How will she save her friends once she’s cut off from their world?

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


BONE CRIER’S DAWN is the next book on my (slow) quest to clear my shelves of long-lingering books.

This is the book that very clearly shows that, for all the advertising of the series as a fantasy romance, it isn’t really. The little Library of Congress description in the first book is definitely more on point; this is a series about friendship and saving each other. And this book ups the stakes by having the girls grapple with various consequences and desires for power, all while dealing with supernatural threats.

I did enjoy the somewhat OTT feel of the plot, the increasing “how can this be even more dire?” question as plot point after plot point happened to throw all plans awry and make it worse. By just embracing all the twists and turns (and not letting the reader have enough space to go “hang on a minute”) the ever escalating danger and problems turns into a fun ride towards the finale.

As well as the original core cast returning, we have (relative) newcomer Cas and a larger, returning role for Birdie. New/bigger parts cast members helped avoid stagnation as the old core cast were already known, and had found an equilibrium between them emotionally. Cas in particular tossed a lot of new dynamics in.

Thankfully the potential love-triangle set up with Cas was diverted quickly, feeling a bit like it was being set up to have it and then the author thought better of it. The “groundwork” for it is all there (complete with the stirrings of jealousy on Bastien’s behalf) but then the relationships take a left turn and all the work just sort of goes nowhere. I was very glad that it did go nowhere, but it makes some the relationship pacing a bit wonky due to that “blip.”

In all, it was an enjoyable finale and I’m glad I did eventually get around to it.

Read my reviews of other books by Kathryn Purdie:

Bone Grace (this series):

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s