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The Bone Road

The Bone Road - Mary  Holland Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I won’t rehash the plot here as I see many reviews dealt with that already. This review will therefore only be about my experience reading The Bone Road. It took me a while to settle in the story and it wasn’t a particularly fast read, but that probably says more about me than it does about the book. I’m glad I didn’t give up. It is a good story--part adventure-quest, part romance, part social commentary, with some added mystery--all wrapped up in a fantasy/sci-fi setting. I have to say though, at first the story had more a feel akan to those old western settler stories; mostly the wagons on the Bone Road (trail), the way the people survived and bartered, and lived from day to day, but then later on--for me at least--it took on a more distinct sci-fi feel and less a fantasy. After all, Deo is an alien world with alien customs and concepts (albeit familiar social norms, class division, issues of property ownership, etc.). It is well written and the author is good at exploring the emotional turmoils that often plague ordinary human beings in extraordinary circumstances, and it was done naturally which is impressive given that this is no ordinary world. The same goes for the imagery used. I like the author’s voice. There is a relaxed tone to it, the way she describes the world, the people, the first protagonist’s daily routines, and is partly why I enjoyed it and why I initially thought it closer to an old western tale. Yes, I did say first protagonist for there are two. The Bone Road is essentially divided into two books, and each book is told from the perspective of a different protagonist, but their respective stories are aligned and it makes sense in the end.

Despite The Bone Road not being my usual taste and despite my inability to identify with the characters, I enjoyed the book. The writing style and talent of the author kept me immersed and I thank her for that.

I won’t penalize this book for not conforming to my taste. Objectively speaking, there is nothing wrong with the story, so I’m giving it five stars.