Title: Crown of Bones
Author: A.K. Wilder
Series: Amassia #1
Audience: Young Adult
Length: 490 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Content Warnings: graphic violence
Raise. Your. Phantom.
For fans of epic fantasies and sweeping adventures, this ensemble cast will immerse you in a world of unique magic, breathtaking action and unforgettable characters.
In a world on the brink of the next Great Dying, no amount of training can prepare us for what is to come …
A young heir will raise the most powerful phantom in all of Baiseen.
A dangerous High Savant will do anything to control the nine realms.
A mysterious and deadly Mar race will steal children into the sea.
And a handsome guide with far too many secrets will make me fall in love.
My name is Ash. A lowly scribe meant to observe and record. And yet I think I’m destined to surprise us all.
Crown of Bones tells the story of a group on a journey to reach the Sacred Isle of Aku where initiate savants train their inner phantoms, but unrest in the realms threatens their success. There are three main POV characters. Ash, a non-savant scribe with a mysterious voice in her head, is tasked to record savant training. Marcus, Heir to throne of Baiseen, struggles to control his warrior phantom and his inner rage. Kaylin, a sailor with mysterious motivations, becomes the group’s guide early in their journey.
This book has a lot going on. A unique and fascinating magic system, expansive and detailed world building, a daring journey, the mysterious Mar people, secret ancient texts, prophecies, telepathy, and war among the realms.
However, the story may have too many pieces that don’t quite fit together to form a bigger picture yet. I think Crown of Bones could’ve benefitted from a little more backstory and focus. The story jumps from one thing to the next without clearly connecting the pieces. I wish this book would’ve dug a little deeper into one or two big ideas and saved some others to be explored in future installments instead of lightly brushing on so many different topics. It’s clear that the author has a master plan for the series, but the lack of depth makes this book feels a little unfinished to me, and the cliffhanger ending just intensifies that feeling.
I enjoyed this book and I will definitely keep my eye out for book two, but on its own Crown of Bones left me with a lot of unanswered questions.
Thank you to Entangled Teen for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.