- Sarah Raughley
- 4th Book; 2nd series!
- Genre: YA Fantasy
- Background: Nigerian Canadian
- Instagram: @s_raughley; Twitter: @s_raughley; www.sarahraughley.com
- Release: 09/7/2021 (If this isn’t in your TBR already, you have to change that!)
- Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (Simon & Schuster Imprint)
- Favorite Character: I fell in love with Jinn…I know I have other book boyfriends or whatever but he just had to be added to the roster! He’s just so brooding and mysterious that I couldn’t help but feel drawn to him. He is such a great balance to Iris, IMO. Granny Marlow was also another fav that I wish we could’ve seen more of!
- Favorite Quote(s): “Don’t say it doesn’t matter whether you live or die. It always matters to someone.”-Jinn. I think this serves double as a glimpse into Jinn’s softer side but also a beautiful reminder to readers that they matter, whether they believe it or not. We all need these things said to us at some point in our lives.
Hey everyone, I’ll start this by saying that from the moment I saw The Bones Of Ruin cover, I was chomping at the bit to read it (I mean, what else seems new? I’m a sucker for a pretty cover). I mean, there is a beautiful Black Girl looking fierce on a tightrope with 2 shamsirs and city burning beneath her… what is there NOT to love about it and draw a person to it?! I really want a printed copy of the cover to frame and mount on my magical Black Kids wall because what is more magical than this cover?! Who do I need to speak to to make this happen? #NoKarenDoe!
I was so lucky to acquire an ARC from a bookish friend (shout out to @recitrachel on IG for lookin out for a sista) and it made me such a happy panda…you can see me opening the package on IG live here for receipts! I promise you all that when I was able to jump into this book, I did and it was more like diving in. The day I finished it, it was almost 5 am and I had a test to take later in the afternoon but I couldn’t put it down towards the end… honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to take that test in peace if I didn’t finish it when I did so I have no regrets (in case you are worried, I did pass the test, thank Goodness)!
So for my folx who have been reading this blog for a while, y’all know how much I love a historically based book and for those who are new around these parts…I LOVEEEEEEEEEEE HISTORICAL FICTION! This not only gave me history (1880’s London), varied story lines (though it is primarily focused on Iris), a love triangle (that felt like a rectangle at times) and a mystery to solve (more than one actually) but it also gave me magic/powers that both baffled and delighted me in so many ways. I love a book that gets my brain working in different ways and lightweight turns me into a PI trying to figure out how who connects to who and what role plays into what…it gives me a special sort of thrill, really (I was living my best detective life over here)!
So Iris is not only this amazingly talented and beautiful tightrope walker/dancer but she is equally mystifying in her inability to die… We know this from the synopsis but it doesn’t make it any less mind-blowing/awe-inducing when she thinks about it and what she’s doing as she’s thinking about this fact. Her inability makes her lightweight reckless at times too, which I simultaneously lived for and mentally yelled at her about (I can’t help that I’m a literary mama bear y’all). Not only can she not die but she has also zero memory of who she is which adds another layer to the chaos. Could you imagine not being able to die AND having no knowledge of what you or your life was like prior to what you remember?! Iris actually handles it more graciously than I likely would’ve, especially when folks decided to start dangling carrots in the form of information in her face like she’s a rabbit! I’m pretty sure I yelled in those moments too while wishing I could level a side-eye that would wither those characters down to their bones (pun intended…see what I did there?! lol)!
While Iris has this complete d-bag of a boss (that’s putting it very lightly), she does have 2 bright spots in her time with the performance company which is Granny Marlow and Jinn. Granny Marlow is the granny/auntie character that we all need in our lives, bestowing both wisdom and sly shady comments within the same conversations (especially when it came to talking about Iris & Jinn). The auntie/ grannys of literature are typically the best characters IMO… I only wish we had more of her around which would’ve been all of the time if it was up to me, lol! I also adored how she was a confidant when Iris needed it. It’s so important for Black Girls to find a safe space with an elder person, whether its within a story or in real life, so I’m grateful for the moments she had (and she needed those moments y’all *whew*).
So I have a confession….As much as I loved Iris, I kept reading so I could “see” Jinn again, lol. I wanted to see their next interaction and how he would respond. I loved their banter and even though I knew he was holding back, I appreciated the little glimpses of himself that he gave and I wanted every single opportunity I could get. He’s like the grumbly old man type that you can’t get enough of, at least to me! I found myself telling characters to back off when I *thought* they would be stepping on Jinn’s toes as if they could hear me, lol. Needless to say, I was protective over a character that really needed no protecting but it’s a hill I’m willing to pass out on (see what I did there? lol)! I fully ship Iris and Jinn, if you haven’t guessed that at this point…If you read the book and not pick up on their chemistry & how perfect for each other they are, I would have many questions for you.
There are so many wild situations in this book that had me screaming out internally and externally (in the comfort of my own home). So many of these situations stemmed from the privilege of the rich colonizers in TBOR. There were so many times where I wish I could pull certain characters from the book just to throat punch them. You know that expression you get on your face when you are determining just how hard you should hit a person? Think of that and then imagine my face because….Yeaaaaaa, they were that aggravating. But honestly what would a book that takes place in the 1800s be without colonizers with an overinflated sense of importance and deep enough pockets to feed a country (or several) but chooses to watch them starve & fight to the death instead *Ye Shrug*?! Y’all, I don’t want to give them anymore thought before I get mad hype (and not in a good way either)…they don’t deserve my peace people, they really don’t.
There is so much more that could be said but I don’t want to run the risk of spoiling anything. This book is not short but it’s worth every second. Pay close attention while reading, maybe even take notes, because the pieces do start to click together. I can’t tell you how many AH-HA and OOOOOO moments I had while reading but it’s also because I was playing detective and keeping mental notes the entire time, even going back in the book to double check facts, lol. I can’t wait for the second book because Sarah was dead wrong for how she left us in “The Next Stage” chapter at the end *frustrated auntie grunt*.
Aiight y’all, I’mma end this here. If you want find & follow me out in these e-skreets then you can on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it gives me the warm & fuzzies like being in a bookstore without a budget when I see new subscribers! Later y’all!