The Bone Houses

The Bone Houses

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn ("Ryn") only cares about two things: her family, and her family's graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home...

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Title:The Bone Houses
Author:Emily Lloyd-Jones
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Bone Houses Reviews

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    Spooky, heart throbbing, can you hear it? BA BOOM! BA BOOM! THUMP! THUMP! Those kind of perfectly written, well-crafted thriller stories with adorable characters always make me feel alive! So I toss around 4 and 5 stars and finally I decided to be good-hearted grader (or I could find somebody wearing Ryn’s costumes for Halloween at my door, chasing me with her axe) and clicked to 5 HORRIFYING STARS!

    I think I made the best choice for my Halloween week by reading this epic, fantastic journ

    Spooky, heart throbbing, can you hear it? BA BOOM! BA BOOM! THUMP! THUMP! Those kind of perfectly written, well-crafted thriller stories with adorable characters always make me feel alive! So I toss around 4 and 5 stars and finally I decided to be good-hearted grader (or I could find somebody wearing Ryn’s costumes for Halloween at my door, chasing me with her axe) and clicked to 5 HORRIFYING STARS!

    I think I made the best choice for my Halloween week by reading this epic, fantastic journey, with the sweet touch of Welsh folklore and urban tales introduces a rough, strong, invincible, brave heroine Aderyn (let’s call him Ryn), the gravedigger!

    Ryn meets her first BONE HOUSES- dead people who don’t die and wonder around the forest at night time- when she was a little child, following secretly her father to the forest without listening his warnings. That day, her faith changed and she started to follow her father’s footsteps, choosing his carrier for herself. (Can you imagine a heroine who buries dead people and uses her axe efficiently to crush the skulls of Bone Houses, yes, you found one, Ryn is unstoppable and merciless!)

    Her father goes to work for mine but he never returns. When their mother passes away, not so decent law abiding citizen uncle start to live with them (we cannot say he takes good care of them, he is so occupied with his gambling and loaning money from village’s one of the rich and powerful man Eynon who is also big asshole! Very same guy threatens three siblings to evict them for the house left them from their family!) and of course he also leaves the house and nobody hears from him.

    Ryn lives with her brother and little sister, taking care of them, isolated from the life and mostly connects better with dead people than the living ones.

    She lives to slay the creatures and finally she meets with the map-maker boy Ellis (who gets lost by a lost map and finds himself to be killed by a bone house but thankfully Ryn and her magical axe solves the problem. She saves his life!) is also reserved, orphaned, lost (literally and mentally), thinks the real people are more dangerous than the creatures. Their loneliness, relation issues with other people, passions about their jobs ( Ryn expresses herself by digging the soil and Ellis tries to find his way and his identity in life by drawing new road maps.), their weirdness, isolated natures and finally grieving ( Ryn misses her father and their special connection marked by the half spoons –her father takes the half and tells her, he will come back to unite them- her death mother and Ellis suffers from his parents’ absence who he never met.) make them MATCHED MADE IN HEAVEN.

    Now they come together to start their journey to find the cauldron which is the source of dead-bones and destroy it to save the village from the attacks of them.

    So I loved the detailed, gore, dark, stunning writing. I visualized all the parts on my head and scared shitless. The impeccably written action parts were heart throbbing, terrifying but also very entertaining. I felt the blood pumping into my veins and pure adrenalin rush so I jumped up and down, screamed, dropped the book and started to run, then I got bored from the real life as I saw my husband and friends yelled at the soccer game on the TV so I returned back and bit my fingers during my reading. (Not nails! My manicurist will kill me if I do!)

    So urban tales, magical folkloric elements, some Welsh some Eastern cultural elements perfectly mixed with horror genre. And of course Ryn is my favorite kind of badass, straightforward, stubborn, free, self-confidant, witty, entertaining character with her awkward sense of humor.

    I also loved Ellis. He seems like a little overshadowed by Ryn because she is so powerful character. But his emotional side, loneliness, loyalty, suffering from physical and mental injuries do not make him vulnerable, these attributes make him adorable and quite a great fit for Ryn. (They complete each other and best part is Ellis accepts and loves Ryn’s antics, quirkiness.)

    I

    highly recommend this especially to the horror genre fans!

  • Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

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    THE BONE HOUSES is

    , but I don't really think I agree with the comparisons to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and SKY IN THE DEEP-- if anything, it's like a cross between SABRIEL and THE BLACK CAULDRON. THE BONE HOUSES is a fantasy set in a place that seems to be based off Wales. Aderyn is a grave-digger who lives with her sister, Cerridwen, and her brother, Gareth. Their mother is dead, and their father and uncle have both disappeared mysteriously, leaving them all effectively orphaned.

    Aderyn goes

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    THE BONE HOUSES is

    , but I don't really think I agree with the comparisons to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and SKY IN THE DEEP-- if anything, it's like a cross between SABRIEL and THE BLACK CAULDRON. THE BONE HOUSES is a fantasy set in a place that seems to be based off Wales. Aderyn is a grave-digger who lives with her sister, Cerridwen, and her brother, Gareth. Their mother is dead, and their father and uncle have both disappeared mysteriously, leaving them all effectively orphaned.

    Aderyn goes into the forest to forage, but is mindful of her father's warnings that dangerous things rove in the trees after nightfall, including the "bone houses": or, the animated dead. They only stay in the forest and they only come after dark, but lately, Aderyn has been noticing that they have been venturing closer and closer to the edges--until one day, they're

    .

    In the meantime, their village has been graced with the presence of an unusual boy: a map-maker with chronic pain, who won't tell them his surname or why he's come to their village. Aderyn meets him when she saves his life and they end up forging an unusual alliance. Both of them need to go into the forest to find a legendary castle in the lands of the faerie, and a cauldron rumored to give life.

    So, this was fifteen different kinds of amazing. The writing was lush and gorgeous, and it set the scenery of the village and the forest

    . I was very impressed by how richly-imagined this world was, considering that it was relatively simple. It does for Welsh folklore what Naomi Novik did with Eastern European folklore in

    and

    . The faerie legends and the nod to

    made me so happy, and the Medieval village setting was so well done.

    Other things I liked about this book were the chronic pain rep (understated, but rare in fantasy), especially since Ellis was never painted as weak or as a victim. Aderyn is a strong female character who doesn't need to be brash or throw her weight around (just her axe, heh heh) to be respected. I loved her close relationship with her siblings and the family goat, and her slow-burn attraction to Ellis. The way she fought back against the injustice of the village lord who wanted to ruin her family in his greed, and the hero's journey she goes upon to find the reason the dead are rising, were both really empowering for the character and instilled her with agency. She was never passive or bland.

    Anyone who likes strong female fantasy characters and Welsh settings should pick up THE BONE HOUSES when it comes out, especially if, as I mentioned before, you enjoy Naomi Novik's work, or enjoyed SABRIEL and UPROOTED. It has that same fun, folkloric fantasy vibe, with a gloomy, Gothic edge to keep things interesting. Apparently it's a standalone too, so no need to commit. ;)

    4.5 stars

  • jessica

    // my little welsh heart is so happy right now.

    i can count on one hand the amount of mainstream novels that have incorporated traditional welsh influences into their stories. welsh folklore and culture - particularly northern welsh - is rich and magical, so i am beyond happy to see a story represent it (this even mentions the legend of beddgelert, which i may have lowkey freaked out about. lol).

    and i think its these influences that i hold dear to my heart

    // my little welsh heart is so happy right now.

    i can count on one hand the amount of mainstream novels that have incorporated traditional welsh influences into their stories. welsh folklore and culture - particularly northern welsh - is rich and magical, so i am beyond happy to see a story represent it (this even mentions the legend of beddgelert, which i may have lowkey freaked out about. lol).

    and i think its these influences that i hold dear to my heart which helped me fall in love with a story about zombies. zombies are so not my thing. but this comes from a place of myth and legend, rather than something from horror, and it makes all the difference. it feels more like the opposition in a fairytale and not like something you would find in a nightmare. i really appreciate how emily lloyd-jones took that approach and told that aspect of the story from that kind of perspective.

    at the end of the day, i know this might not be everyones favourite book. the characters could be considered a little one-dimensional and there are some moments that might be forgettable. but seeing a culture i love be represented is a truly wonderful feeling, so this gets all the stars from me!

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  • Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

    WE HAVE FINALLY BROKEN THE YA FANTASY CURSE!

    Here is why this book worked for me in every way possible:

    It’s a fantasy set in medieval times, at least that’s how I pictured it but I picture everything in medieval times because hello. Nice to meet you. You must not know me.

    You have a small village that is fenced in by Iron because zombies lurk in the dark wood beyond it, you’re following siblings, the main character is a gravedigger which I found interesting as fork, you hav

    WE HAVE FINALLY BROKEN THE YA FANTASY CURSE!

    Here is why this book worked for me in every way possible:

    It’s a fantasy set in medieval times, at least that’s how I pictured it but I picture everything in medieval times because hello. Nice to meet you. You must not know me.

    You have a small village that is fenced in by Iron because zombies lurk in the dark wood beyond it, you’re following siblings, the main character is a gravedigger which I found interesting as fork, you have a friends to lovers dynamic which is my preference. The love interest is glowing with Hufflepuff aura. You’ll want to carry him in your pocket at all times.

    This book hit me in all the right places. It has the grim, it has the Huff, and a pet goat companion named Goat.

  • Hannah Greendale

    Would definitely classify this as dark fantasy, what with the rotting corpses and reanimated dead and all, yet it's strangely funny at the most unexpected times. Reads like a YA version of

    and features a cast of fully-realized characters, including a fierce, axe-wielding female protagonist, a gallant map maker, and a loveable goat. A gruesome delight!

  • Lola

    I never thought a book about zombies could be so elegantly told. But I should have expected to be swayed by Emily Lloyd-Jones, the same author who wrote The Hearts We Sold which, despite the less-than-pretty-topic, sold me with its beautiful neat writing.

    It’s not easy to turn a fantasy story, with zombies of all things, into a fairytale complete with a moral message and universal themes of family, love and acceptance. Yet this author succeeded. She most certainly improved upon her previous rele

    I never thought a book about zombies could be so elegantly told. But I should have expected to be swayed by Emily Lloyd-Jones, the same author who wrote The Hearts We Sold which, despite the less-than-pretty-topic, sold me with its beautiful neat writing.

    It’s not easy to turn a fantasy story, with zombies of all things, into a fairytale complete with a moral message and universal themes of family, love and acceptance. Yet this author succeeded. She most certainly improved upon her previous release and I would even go as far as to say she went above and beyond what I expected.

    This is about two young people who set on a journey into a dangerous forest. Ryn is trying to stop a deadly curse from destroying her family and Ellis is a mapmaker with huge ambition who decides to map a place no one dares explore – the forest. Together they face obstacles and become stronger on the inside and the outside.

    My only issue with this book, and this author it seems, is that while her characters are not one-dimensional per se, they never do turn into real beings that could jump off the page. It very much feels like we are reading someone’s story as opposed to someone telling us their story.

    But this book remains a lovely and surprising experience. Normally I do not read about horror-ish elements but the un-dead and the violence did not shock me one bit, possibly because the writing enchanted me too much. Or maybe I’m changing. Regardless, I can’t wait to see what Emily comes up with next and I am pleased to recommend this book to you.

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  • Chelsea Humphrey

    This was a wonderfully atmospheric read, with lovable characters, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading a MG fantasy instead of a YA one. Either way, there's a lot of heart and hope here, and this was a lighter read that I would think the younger end of the YA spectrum would enjoy. Full review to come.

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    Buddy read with the lovely

    !

  • Rachel Reads Ravenously

    The Bone Houses was one of my most anticipated Fall 2019 books. While I didn’t love it, I did enjoy it and it was the perfect book to kick off October with.

    The Bone Houses is a fantasy novel about Ryn, a gravedigger in a small town. When a bunch of bone houses (aka the dead) begin to rise and attack her village every night, she sets out on a quest with a map maker to save the town.

    The Bone Houses was one of my most anticipated Fall 2019 books. While I didn’t love it, I did enjoy it and it was the perfect book to kick off October with.

    The Bone Houses is a fantasy novel about Ryn, a gravedigger in a small town. When a bunch of bone houses (aka the dead) begin to rise and attack her village every night, she sets out on a quest with a map maker to save the town.

    There was a lot of amazing world building and imagery in this book, that’s my favorite part about it. Many parts of the book were written in such a way that I could see the landscape so clearly in my head. I liked that we had a strong female heroine and a sweet and respectful hero. The pacing was what made this a 3 star and not a 5. I had no problem putting the book down and sometimes struggled to get back into it. Otherwise, a very unique and solid story.

    Follow me on ♥

  • Emily Lloyd-Jones

    Eeeek. I’m so excited to share this book with everyone. There are folktales and magic and undead corpses shambling around. There is a teenage gravedigger with a (slightly) dysfunctional family. There is a mapmaker who can never find his way. And my favorite character is a goat.

    EDIT: For more information about the book’s release and some

    , check out my website!

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