Book Review: The Bone Way

Holly J. Underhill

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 26th June 2021
spoilers? nope


Teagan’s wife, Cressidae, is missing. She has left for the Shadow Realm, a kingdom of the dead filled with untold nightmares—and the only place that can save Teagan from a lethal poison that’s killing her slowly. It is ruled by a princess said to make powerful deals with those brave enough to find her, and Cressidae has gone to bargain for Teagan’s life. Cressidae has forgotten one very important thing: no one makes it out on their own.

Despite the risks to her own safety, Teagan is determined to save her wife—and perhaps even herself in the process. The princess of the Shadow Realm, however, doesn’t let mortals roam her territories without opposition. In this thrilling fantasy novella, Teagan and Cressidae must face both the horrors of the Shadow Realm as well as their own past.

Galley provided by publisher

The Bone Way is a short and sweet novella, a retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice, but with a bit of a twist. It’s an easy read, one you can get through in a single sitting, but ultimately, it didn’t really stand out for me.

Let me start with the positives. The story that the novella sets out to tell is basically the perfect story in terms of length, pacing, and so on. It cuts between the present and the past, giving you background for the characters along the way, so you don’t feel like you’re being asked to care about them for no reason. It doesn’t try to tell too expansive a story, and leaves you satisfied with what it has told.

In general, when I’m reading, I find myself struggling when a relationship is already established, but here I didn’t have that. I think it’s because what the book does well is give you enough of their backstory for you to root for them. And it probably also helps that you’re introduced to them in a moment where things aren’t all that peachy in their relationship.

I think, then, what made me rate this book 3 stars and not higher was mainly that nothing about it really stood out to me. Yes, I enjoyed reading it, but I didn’t love it. I didn’t feel like I wanted more having finished it. So, for all that it was good, it was just missing a little something.

But, on the whole, I think it was a very solid novella, and definitely one I would still recommend.


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