Updated: Jan 14
Author: A.K. Wilder
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Raise. Your. Phantom. In a world on the brink of the next Great Dying, no amount of training can prepare us for what is to come...
A young heir will raise the most powerful phantom in all of Baiseen. A dangerous High Savant will do anything to control the nine realms. A mysterious and deadly Mar race will steal children into the sea. And a handsome guide with far too many secrets will make me fall in love.
My name is Ash. A lowly scribe meant to observe and record. And yet I think I’m destined to surprise us all.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
What a fun ride! Crow of Bones is a clean young adult read that keeps the reader guessing. I can spot a plot twist a mile away, but author A.K. Wilder’s clever writing acted as a blindfold. I never saw the jaw-dropping twists coming.
Though the author’s writing style catered toward the young adult genre, at times it felt restricted. Her new adult/adult background yearned to come out. The graphic combative scenes and sexual tension between characters are two examples that stood out. Regardless, A.K. Wilder did a beautiful job transitioning into the young adult marketplace.
What started out as an initiation journey, developed into a nail-biting story of survival. Marcus, the heir to the Baiseen throne, leads his fellow savants, along with his recorder, Ash, a girl who lacks the powers of the others to the Sacred Isle of Aku, a politically neutral island realm where all initiate savants go to train for advancement to yellow robes.
Their journey doesn’t go as planned, but with the help of a handsome sailor who’s torn between the sea and his affections for Ash, the misfit crew makes it to Aku before the gates close.
This is where the story takes off. Training phantoms isn’t a simple task, especially stubborn ones like De’ral, Marcus’s warrior phantom whose unique connection to Ash leaves the readers scratching their heads. But Marcus and the other savants hold their own. An act of betrayal test the savants’ loyalties and friendships solidify after an unexpected attack. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Once the action built, it never stopped.
I have so many burning questions after finishing this book. The cliffhanger blew my mind. I need the second book—now.
Readers: a fantastic book for those who love YA adventure and clean romance
Writers: a brilliant case study for those studying world-building, combative scenes, and dialogue
Warnings/Triggers: graphic fight scenes
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Completed Read: December 29, 2020