Blog Tour | All The Murmuring Bones

Photo taken of Kindle

                                                    ihiygbjg            
All The Murmuring Bones
A.G. Slatter
UK Publisher | Titan Books
UK Release Date | April 8th, 2021
Format | Paperback
Page Count | 368
RRP | £8.99

Thank you to Titan Books for this Netgalley arc, in exchange for an honest review; and thank you for the opportunity of this blog tour. All opinions that you'll read here are my own. 
Long ago Miren O'Malley's family prospered due to a deal struck with the Mer: safety for their ships in return for a child of each generation. But for many years the family have been unable to keep their side of the bargain and have fallen into decline. Miren's grandmother is determined to restore their glory, even at the price of Miren's freedom.
A spellbinding tale of dark family secrets, magic and witches, and creatures of myth and sea; of strong women and the men who seek control them.
Other families might have stories of curses, cold lads and white ladies, but we have old gods, merfolk and monsters.

All The Murmuring Bones is a Gothic folk-tale, that pays a tithe to the dark atmospheric lore of the sea. An all-consuming tale of a young woman, Miren, who must pave her way beyond the tradition of old, and make for her own freedom from the men who wish to control her and the desperation to restore the power that once gave the O'Malley's their power over the town of Breakwater. 

There's an old woman, though, with plans and plots of long gestation; and there's the sea, which will have her due, come hell or high water; and there are secrets and lies which never stay buried forever.

Breakwater, as well as the other towns we encounter in All The Murmuring Bones, is very much a Fantasy 19th Century Irish backdrop where magic, while still thriving, is something old and forgotten with the remnants of Kelpies, Mer, and Ghosts still wander as a remaining reminder of the land's history. Serving as the perfect setting for a story of a family that once owed their power to the child sacrifices that they made as payment to the Mer. 

One for the house, one for the Church and one for the Sea.

Throughout, I came to deeply adore the characters, in particular the female characters, who all seemingly fit around each other like some form of knot that comes from complex and matriarchal family dynamics. They were all fierce, a force and all have a found strength that I deeply admired, despite the obstacles that they posed to Miren. 

All The Murmuring Bones is not one I would recommend if you don't like lyrical, ornate prose. As well as overall this felt a lot more literary and character-driven, which slowed the pacing; this is something I really love, but I know that this isn't going to appeal to everyone. 

As a child, I had a fascination with mermaids, and have been searching for years for a book that as an adult reader, could connect with and fall in love with. All The Murmuring Bones achieved that for me, encapsulating the Gothic genre and utilizing it to heighten the fantastical elements and enamor me with rich, inviting prose. Despite this being labeled as a Mer book, they were more an omniscient threat to the protagonist, in addition to the fantastical elements of Slatter's worldbuilding and I really vibed with that. 

This is definitely for fans of Naomi Novik and Katherine Arden; for fans of alluring prose, fierce women, and dark folklore. A.G. Slatter is an author to watch, and I cannot wait to see what she will bring with her next release, Morwood, which is set for release sometime in 2022.





World Book Day Celebration | Diverse Books for Kids & Teens


If I were a meme, I'd be this little guy.
Always.

I have quickly forgotten what it means to be organized and get things written up in preparation for the cool happenings of bookish events. When I got the notification reminder, I may have panicked a little.

If you've made it this far, welcome, thank you for following whatever hyperlink you clicked on. It means you're here and about to get three more stellar diverse reading recommendations to check out the next time you're adding books to your shopping cart.


A Blade so Black (The Nightmare-Verse #1) 

L.L. McKinney

Goodreads

Synopsis

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she's trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn't always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice's handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she's ever gone before. And she'll need to use everything she's learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head... literally.


Why You Should Read It?

I have been on a quest for an Alice in Wonderland retelling that spoke to me and incorporated all the storytelling elements that I have found I love at this point in my life. A Blade so Black is multifaceted with great depth that I haven't come across before; well-developed characters, high stakes, and a world that, and take this in the best way possible, I would never like to live in. Both the author and main character are black, and this book does lightly touches upon some elements of racism and police brutality.


   Other Words for Smoke 

   Sarah Maria Griffin

   Goodreads

   Synopsis

   The house at the end of the lane burned down, and Rita Frost and her       teenage ward, Bevan, were never seen again. The townpeople never           learned what happened. Only Mae and her brother Rossa know the truth; they spent two summers with Rita and Bevan, two of the strangest summers of their lives... Because nothing in that house was as it seemed: a cat who was more than a cat and a dark power called Sweet James that lurked behind the wallpaper, enthralling Bevan with whispers of neon magic and escape. And in the summer heat, Mae became equally as enthralled with Bevan. Desperately in the grips of first love, she'd give the other girl anything. A dangerous offer when all that Sweet James desired was a taste of new flesh...


Why You Should Read It?

I read this in one sitting, two years ago, and it still remains embedded in my heart. I debated what book I wanted to put down for LGBTQ+ representation, and funnily enough, the struggle was between two phenomenal Irish voices, and as much as I adored All the Bad Apples, it's the way Sarah Maria Griffin writes that first all-consuming crush, all in enriched lyrical writing that has never left me. 

If you're interested in hearing more, I wrote a review.


An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1)
Sabaa Tahir
Synopsis
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death.
When Laia's grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn to are the rebels.
But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they deman that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff, the Empire's greatest military academy. Should she fail it's more than her brother's freedom at risk... Laia's very life is at stake.
There, she meets Elias, the academy's finest soldier. But Elias want only to be free of the tyranny he's been trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are interwined - and that their choices will change the date of the Empire itself.

Why You Should Read It?

If you're looking for an action-packed YA high fantasy, then look no further. When this first came out it was quite hyped up as a standalone, that I feel like as it became a quartet, people don't hype up the series as much as they should. A fusion of Roman and Middle-Eastern inspired mythology, this world is one of the YA fantasies I would greatly like to re-enter and read more from, with well-developed characters that quickly stoke their way into my heart.


Looking for more recommendations on this fine World Book Day? Why not check out the previous post from Books With Ben, or onwards to Sifa Elizabeth Reads.

You can see today's schedule below, and special thanks to Charlotte, over at Wonderfully Bookish, for organizing us today!



Where Have I Been?



Hello! 


*looks at date of my last post* 


Well... This is awkward. 


If it was not entirely noticeable, by my complete lack of posts last year, I took a little break from the book community last year. It wasn't intentional until about October when I tried to write comprehensible reviews for two books I had adored and just couldn't do it. I had somehow lost my love for sharing my thoughts about the stories I was reading; Book Twitter (where I predominately lurk) has felt less and less about reading and more about the drama, the 'tea'. And while sometimes things need calling out it's the same three topics that keep coming back up. I just couldn't take it anymore. So I put my Twitter into semi-hiatus mode, ignored as much as I could, and just let myself read when I felt like it or play video games.`


It did me a world of good! In 2020, I picked up a crochet hook for the first time since I was 15. I didn't think I could still do it, but within moments of getting the hook and wool home, I had the starts of a granny square blanket. I've since made a cardigan, a few octopuses, completed a commission for Dragon Egg Dice Bags and I would love to maybe do some ivy and forget-me-not garlands for my shelves. 



Just at the end of the second lockdown, I began to cross stitch for the first time ever! Currently, I am working on some silhouette pieces of Geralt of Rivia, Yennefer, and Ciri (pictured below). I've always wanted to learn to embroider and I'm slowly making my way there. I think I'm going to try blackwork next and then start practicing harder stitches. 




I am loving it as something to do while I watch something on the TV or chat with friends over discord. Oh, Discord, my salvation when I needed to socialize outside close circles and talk books, music, and crafting. To all the new servers I joined in 2020: thank you for adopting me into the pride with great warmth and love.


So what next?


Well, I don't know. I've missed this. Writing about stories... writing stories. I want to take it easy in 2021, even though I may have signed up for Susan Dennard's Story a Month challenge on top of everything else. I might share what I write ... probably not though. We will see.


My two biggest goal for 2021 is posting once a week. Sometimes it'll be a review, sometimes a blog tour, sometimes a few thoughts, sometimes something else completely. The second is something I've always aimed for, but am yet to achieve: reaching that "owned TBR zero". I woke up one morning in November, and just took one look at my shelves, and began piling books into an unhaul bag. ARCs that I felt if I really wanted to read them, I could rebuy them, or I'd owned for years and lost all interest. Tastes change and my shelves weren't reflecting the types of books I love anymore. I'm now under 90 books and considering I read 100 last year, it's entirely possible to at least half that. If I reach that then I've succeeded. 


When I started blogging, you feel like you have to have these grand shelves and unbroken spines. Or at least when I first started. But at the end of the day, all that matters is that I've bought the books, or have been gifted to read and do what I want with (ARCs excluded - stop overpricing books to sell ARCs Ms. Alsberg) so in short: fuck it. 


For now, though, I'm off to reread The Bone Season series for the fourth time in preparation for The Mask Falling to come out at the end of January. 


Come find me on my socials, Twitter, and Instagram.


Until the next time, stay safe.



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