I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley
Published by Simon and Schuster on September 7, 2021
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult Fiction / Action & Adventure / General, Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Young Adult Fiction / Science Fiction / Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Bookshop
Also by this author: The Bones of Ruin
An African tightrope walker who can’t die gets embroiled in a secret society’s deadly gladiatorial tournament in this thrilling historical fantasy set in an alternate 1880s London, perfect for fans of The Last Magician and The Gilded Wolves.
As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a strange sight for leering British audiences always eager for the spectacle of colonial curiosity. But Iris also has a secret that even “strange” doesn’t capture…
She cannot die.
Haunted by her unnatural power and with no memories of her past, Iris is obsessed with discovering who she is. But that mission gets more complicated when she meets the dark and alluring Adam Temple, a member of a mysterious order called the Enlightenment Committee. Adam seems to know much more about her than he lets on, and he shares with her a terrifying revelation: the world is ending, and the Committee will decide who lives…and who doesn’t.
To help them choose a leader for the upcoming apocalypse, the Committee is holding the Tournament of Freaks, a macabre competition made up of vicious fighters with fantastical abilities. Adam wants Iris to be his champion, and in return he promises her the one thing she wants most: the truth about who she really is.
If Iris wants to learn about her shadowy past, she has no choice but to fight. But the further she gets in the grisly tournament, the more she begins to remember—and the more she wonders if the truth is something best left forgotten.
This week I am reading The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley. I am five chapters in and I really like the main character Iris. She’s got sass, a sense of survival and a need to discover the mystery of her real identity. She is also a Black girl who works in a circus as a tightrope walker which seems like a reasonable occupation because she can’t die.
Now, so far I am with the plot. There is mystery in every corner it seems. Iris doesn’t know who she is. She has no memory of her past and the girl does NOT know how old she is. She also hasn’t physically aged inthe 10 years since she arrived at the circus.
The mystery is only intensified by one of the other main characters, Adam Temple, who has fake-killed his father for reasons we don’t know. He belongs to a mysterious order called the Enlightenment Committee. Who have declared that the end of the world is nigh and they also happen to be a bloodthirsty group who has a habit of killing each other.
There is also Jinn, which is not even is real name. Jinn is Iris’s sexy tightrope walking partner. But really no one knows what the heck Jinn’s name is! And if you do your research name jinn has some dicey connotations to it that imply he could be good or bad.
But what I have figured out is that people are running around London like 19th century predecessors to the X-men and something is about to go down!
Book Cover Hook
Can we take a moment to relish in the beauty of this book cover??? To get the full effect you have to open it up so that you can see the whole thing from back to front. I’m going to be real, the cover is the real reason I decided to read this book in the first place. It’s got a Black girl tight rope walking across a city in flames carrying swords! Yes, please!
This book starts off with a murder scene. There is a group of characters that seem pretty nonchalant about murder, death, kill stuff. Sooooo if you aren’t into that kind of thing, consider this your warning. Iris also can’t die, which means in order to prove that she of course has to die several times, as in she goes through the motions, which are described as being quite painful, before she is revived and brought back to life.
Favorite Moment So Far: Hair Braiding Scene
Iris and Granny’s relationship is a highlight. When Iris first appears at the circus, she is partially drawn there because of Granny’s presence. Both women are of African descent and Iris is convinced Granny must have known her in her previous life. Granny takes care of Iris and I love the scene when she is braiding Iris’s hair before a performance.
Enter the Instagram Giveaway
Curious? Check out my Instagram post that I did for Turn the Page Tours as part of the The Bones of Ruin Book Tour. If you hurry you can enter the giveaway contest to win one of three copies of the book. Just follow the directions in the post.
Friday Night Highlights is a quick Friday evening post featuring anecdotes and highlights of my current reads of the week. If you feel inspired, it’s the perfect time to grab a new book for your next weekend read.