Review | The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart ★★★★½

“It’s hard to remake one’s view of the world, to admit to complacency. I thought remaking myself for you was hard enough, but doing that was something I wanted. I didn’t want to realize how much I’ve hurt the people around me, and that’s what confronting my beliefs meant. We all tell ourselves stories of who we are, and in my mind, I was always the hero. But I wasn’t. Not in all the ways I should have been.”

The Bone Shard Daughter is a strong debut with an intriguing plot and beautifully written characters

I received this e-book from NetGalley. This does not affect my review or opinion. All thoughts are my own and I’m being 100 percent honest. Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for providing me this paperback for reviewing purposes.

What an intriguing and beautiful book. I took me ages to finish this because of work but I couldn’t stop thinking about it! Every time I put the book down I immediately wanted to pick it back up. The characters were amazing and the plot original.


In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people. 

Where to begin? I am struggling to find the right words so let’s begin with the cover. There is so much detail in it, and I am obsessed. However, I did get this book from NetGalley and when scrolling through their catalog I scrolled passed The Bone Shard Daughter quite a few times. I only requested it after seeing an amazing review on Twitter. I thought because of the color of the cover, this beige kind of color, the book was going to be boring? (don’t judge a book by its cover huh)

The plot of The Bone Shard Daughter is so unique. I can’t think of any book with the same storyline. This story is so well-built it’s insane. There aren’t any plot holes whatsoever. The plot twists in The Bone Shard Daughter were so original and unexpected. Stewart created multiple stories and succeeded in connecting them all. I never got confused about where the book was going. The Bone Shard Daughter is definitely an exciting read.

The worldbuilding is exceptional. There wasn’t a thing that I couldn’t picture. There is an important scene in the beginning that just blew me away. I could picture myself standing there on Deerhead Island and watching everything happen. This worldbuilding was just fantastic.

“I would drink a thousand lies just to see your face again.”

I loved the multiple point of views. There are five in total: Lin’s, Jovis’, Phalue’s, Ranami’s and Sand’s. The multiple POV’s suited the story and I enjoyed reading about all these characters and their lives. I loved how we got to see all the different views on the Empire. At the beginning I wasn’t a fan of Sand’s POV because the reader doesn’t get a lot of information about who she is and what her role is. Towards the end you do get some more information and then Sand’s story does get interesting. I would’ve liked to see more of Sand in The Bone Shard Reader because she is very important to the story. Now the reader has to wait for book two to really get to know Sand.

I connected with all of these characters, which doesn’t happen a lot to me. All the personas in The Bone Shard Daughter were interesting and had depth to them. They all felt so sincere and real. All of them grew up differently and all have a different view of the Empire. It was nice to see all their thoughts and reactions. I didn’t even have a favorite character because they were all so wonderful.

In terms of character development everyone changes, but I think the two characters that have grown the most are Jovis and Phalue. They change a lot throughout the book.

The f/f romance in The Bone Shard Daughter was superb and well written. Phalue and Ranami come from two different families and have completely different views. I loved to see the interaction between them and the struggles they have.

The only critique I have is that there were some unnecessary dialogues which slowed the pace of the book down. Those scenes did contribute to the worldbuilding and setting but slowed me a bit down at times.

I absolutely loved the magic system. Magic with bone shards??? Like who thinks of something like that? Miss Stewart, that is who! I loved the idea of the constructs, the power of Mephi and Jovis and the use of bone shards. Such a cool magic system.

This review is a hard one to write because I want to keep this spoiler free. The only thing I can say is read this book.

Would I recommend it?
Yes!!!!! You have to add this book to your tbr. What an amazing debut. I can’t wait to read the next one in this series.

Trigger warnings
Death, blood, death of a loved one
Main character of color, lesbian main character, f/f romance
Young adult, fantasy
Publication date
September 8, 2020
Little, Brown Book Group UK
About the author
Andrea Stewart is the daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. Her parents always emphasized science and education, so she spent her childhood immersed in Star Trek and odd-smelling library books. When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn’t pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sunny California, and in addition to writing, can be found herding cats, looking at birds, and falling down research rabbit holes.

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