The Bones of the Past (The Books of Dust and Bone #1)
A special thanks to Inkshares for sending a copy of The Bones of the Past for review.
Set in an ever evolving fantasy world, Craig A. Munro’s debut novel, The Bones of the Past treats readers to a well executed and captivating world. Told in third person alternative POV, Munro’s world is full of mystery, companionship, and magic.
Synopsis of The Bones of the Past
Throughout this series opener, we meet a wide range of characters including Nial. Nial is a young girl who lives with her abusive, drunken father in the old world of Bilata. She is given a chance to escape her terrible life and takes it without question. The only problem is, her escape is at the hands of a demon who attaches herself to Nial’s soul. Interestingly, instead of
Salt was a sailor who in one night finds himself close to death at the hands of a disguised demon to the newest recruit of Bilata’s Night Watch, a local patrol that keeps magical evils at bay. Through the watch, Salt finds a place to call home and learns more about the horrors of the occult world that hide in plain sight.
Meanwhile, the city of Sacral has reemerged and has a new leader, the White Mother. In the city, challengers may fight in pits against the current champions. Beren is a Runesmith who provides the best weapons to the city’s Warchosen and pit champions. After Sacral commits to assisting the foreign Abolians, Sacral discovers their own city may fall. As each of the storylines unfold, we are introduced to mages, dark magic, heroic champions, and mysterious foes.
While the world building was solid and the overall story was well executed, I did have a hard time feeling attached to the novel for the first hundred or so pages. The characters and world drew me into the story quickly, but I often times found myself rereading early passages to see if I was missing a larger overall link within the early story. While this improved as the book went on, it would have been nice to feel a bit more of a sense of urgency in the plot in early chapters.
Overall, The Bones of the Past is a strong debut novel. The world building and writing style is beautiful, the POV style, while popular today, holds the same appeal as A Song of Ice and Fire — it allows for personal, intimate look at multiple plot lines across a vast world all at once, making the story engaging. The fight scenes and descriptions of magic are excellent. Violence is carefully crafted and slowed down, allowing you to soak in the wonder of the moment while also understanding the gravity of the situation as it unfolds.
The characters in The Bones of the Past are dynamic and believable. Everyone has their flaws and even for the less likable characters, there is always something unique that allows them to hold your attention.
When given the time, The Bones of the Past is a welcome read for those who are new to the world of epic fantasy novels. If you enjoy a rich world with dynamic characters and a sometimes sauntering pace, this is a series to check out.
At the time of this review, the second book in the Books of Dust and Bone series has not been named.
To learn more about Munro’s novel, check out his author page on Inkshares.
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