March 26, 2021

Blog Tour | All The Murmuring Bones

Photo taken of Kindle

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.

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