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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

A Secret of Birds & Bone | Review

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐1/2

"In an Italian city ravaged by plague, Sofia's mother carves beautiful mementos from the bones of loved ones. But one day, she doesn't return home. Did her work lead her into danger? Sofia and her little brother Ermin are sent to the convent orphanage but soon escape, led by an enigmatic new friend and their pet crow, Corvith.

Together they cross the city underground, following clues in bones up to the towers of Siena, where - circled by magpies - the children find the terrible truth."


A Secret of Birds & Bone is a standalone middle-grade fantasy novel by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

In all honesty, I had no idea what this book was nor did I remember how I came across it. I was browsing through the books I have that were published last year, and the title of this stood out to me so I picked it up. For a standalone novel, I think this did a pretty good job with the conceptualization of the world and story. The ideas in this are a bit odd, because of the use of bones, but it made for some interesting imagery.

On the negative side, I feel like the story fell a bit behind the world-building, because it had a rather simple storyline. Like, although this is a normal-length book, I got through this in less than an hour. Because of that, I also wonder how long I am going to remember this, which is a bit of an issue. The book also ended off on a bit of an off note, as there was information revealed that should have happened a long time ago.

If you like the concept of this but are looking for something more mature and more on the horror side, I would recommend The Promised Neverland (the manga and not the anime).

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