Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Bonemender's Oath

The Bonemender's Oath, by Holly Bennett

Sequel to The Bonemender

Yet another Canadian teen fantasy with strong female characters for this year! Excellent!

I have not read the first book in this series, The Bonemender, in which our heroine Gabrielle is first introduced and first learns of her healing powers. I was a little behind at the beginning, but after the first 10 or so pages that ceased to be a concern because I had already grown to know the characters.

Gabrielle is a foundling, adopted by the King and Queen of Verdeau. In the first book she discovers important things about her heritage, and become the titular bonemender. Needless to say, being fantasyland, there is a war, and though she is unable to save the life of certain of those who are dear to her, she does save a young boy from the opposing army. Derkh is brought back to Verdeau in this book, and much of the story revolves around his attempts to make sense of his new life. Gabrielle also has a brother, Tristan, and a lover, an elf named Feolan, who have both been introduced in the first book. In this installment, the story splits and we follow the different narratives of Tristan and his Rosie, Gabrielle and Feolan, and Derkh. I found the jumping back and forth a little disconcerting, but there is no other way this particular story could have been told. It had the feel of a middle book in a trilogy. I am not sure whether this was the case, but that is the feel.

Those last sentences make this sound a little like a negative review. This is not a negative review. I liked the characters, I thought they were beautifully drawn, and I want to know more of them. The world felt real. The emotions rang true. There was a good mix of realism and magic, human drama and adventuring battles. It was a very comfortable fantasy novel. A pleasant read.


Maggie said...

I haven't read this series yet. But I quite like their covers. :)

MadJenny said...

I like the titles too.

I think, based on other things that I know you've enjoyed - like Sherwood Smith - that you'd probably like them. They are kind of like her in that they are fantastical while also being very realistically natural. (if the first book is anything like the second). Must find time to read the first.

Karen said...

I am Holly's sister-in-law, and as such I am able to view advance copies of her books. This is indeed the second of a trilogy and the third, The Gray Veil, is at least as good (maybe better) than the first two. I forget when it'll be out, but it might be this fall.

MadJenny said...

Thanks Karen! And thanks for stopping by! I will be sure to keep an eye out for the third installment later this year.