First sentence: “Kreya always wore her coat with many pockets when she went out to steal bones.”
Ever wonder what happens to the heroes who saved the world from a big bad many years later?
The Bone Maker revisits five heroes—specifically Kreya (the group’s leader)—twenty five years later after they had defeated Eklor, a corrupt bone worker who created an inhuman monstrous army using animal bones. Unfortunately, it’s not a case of happily ever when Kreya’s husband Jentt was killed in the battle with Eklor. Kreya has spent her time exiling herself from everybody and trying to resurrect her dead husband, which comes with a price for every time she attempts it.
These heroes’ stories hasn’t ended because the dead don’t stay dead.
Readers don’t often read stories where it revisits the heroes years later. It’s rare when that happens. Every story with heroes defeating bad guys tend to leave it at “and they lived happily ever after,” but that’s not the case with The Bone Maker. You do hear about the exploits of the Heroes of Vos that made them heroes, but this story is about the aftermath—how these characters are living and what struggles they have been experiencing because it’s certainly not happily ever after. With fame and fortune, it comes with guilt, regret, and grief. They have to build themselves back up again—some better than others, but for others, it’s an uphill battle.
The only magic in this book is the ones that deals with bones. In this world, there are people called bone workers who work with bones to do things ordinary people cannot. The one thing that is absolutely forbidden is using human bones.
There are three types: 1. Bone readers who “uses animal bones to reveal the future, understand the present, and glimpse the past;” 2. Bone wizards who “carves talismans out of animal bones that imbued their users with strength, speed, stealth, and other attributes;” and 3. Bone makers who “uses animal bones to animate the inanimate.”
Using bones is not an unfamiliar concept; I enjoyed the effects of it and the constructs that are created, but I wish the book explored more of that system because it seems superficial with the way it worked.
Love and grief can make you do crazy things like trying to resurrect a loved one from the dead. Everybody will agree that they will do anything to bring back their loved ones, and that’s what Kreya is trying to do. Here is this woman who was the leader and commander of the Five Heroes of Vos—exiled herself due to guilt and grief. She has spent the last twenty five years doing everything she can, even steal human bones to resurrect her husband.
You can feel the desperation and urgency when Kreya makes her trips to find human bones. It’s not ideal, but it’s the only thing she can do. If she can have just a few moments with her husband, she’ll take it. And that’s what I liked about this book—that despite how different and strange this world is, these feelings these characters experience are relatable.
The Heroes of Vos are the definition of a found family. You have five heroes—Kreya (the leader and commander), Zera (the bone wizard), Jentt (Kreya’s husband), Marso (the bone reader), and Stran (the muscle)—who fought to protect the world and gone through the depths of hell to fight Eklor. They are intrinsically linked by their victory, their tragedy, and trauma. I love seeing how despite not speaking during those twenty-five years since the las battle, they still have each other’s backs regardless. Yeah, they may get angry at each other, but there’s still so much love and care for each other. It’s fantastic to see.
Despite the interesting world, the pacing of the story made it hard to fully get into, and the stakes—despite being high—didn’t seem as threatening. There’s something about the pacing that felt off to me. I don’t know if it’s because the story went by pretty quick or that certain sections were a bit slow. It just made it hard for me to trudge forward especially during the beginning. It only picked up as soon as the characters entered the forbidden zone. And then everything that happened with Eklor felt like it ended with a whimper. Although these characters had a lot to lose if Eklor completed his plans, the events that occurred leading up to that ending didn’t feel like he was a real threat.
Should you read The Bone Makers? A tentative maybe.