• Farah Khaled

Book Review: The Bone Houses by Emily LLoyd Jones


The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd Jones


Author: Emily Lloyd Jones

Published by:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 24th, 2019

Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Young Adult // Paranormal Fantasy

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn ("Ryn") only cares about two things: her family, and her family's graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don't always stay dead.


The risen corpses are known as "bone houses," and legend says that they're the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?


Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.




What happens when a gravedigger, a mapmaker, and a very clingy goat embark on a quest together? To tell you the truth, I had no idea what I expected when I first sat down to read this. But let me tell you, this book is definitely in my top 5 favourite books in 2020.


This book follows two main characters, Ryn a daughter of a gravedigger who when her father goes missing is forced to become the sole gravedigger/fighter. Secondly, there’s Ellis a mapmaker who’s new to town, he’s from the prince's court and this small town isn’t the most welcoming to people like it. Both of these characters are about to be pulled into a new adventure! I loved their friendship, their relationship, and how they trusted each other until the end. Also, I absolutely loved the romance and how cute they were.


“Ellis smiled, just a little. It wasn't as if Aderyn was not attractive - she was, of course. She reminded him of an ocean - beautiful, with enough salt to kill a man. He suspected it would take a knight or a hero of legend to impress one such as her.”

This is just a brief paragraph on how I really loved Bone Goat. Like, I found her to be super epic and she always ended up turning up at the weirdest and most random times. But the stubborn goat continued on the way anyway, because besides being stubborn she is loyal to Ryn and her family.


The Bone Houses has some twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Each page was a new surprise and something that moved the plot along. Emily's world-building was gradual and enough that I was able to picture Ryn and Ellis's journey clearly. The Bone Houses was also an emotional roller coaster for me. There were times I was laughing, times I thought something scary and I even teared up a few times. Emily made her characters feel real.

“She was half a wild creature that loved a graveyard, the first taste of misty night air, and the heft of a shovel. She knew how things died. And in her darkest moments, she feared she did not know how to live.”

Overall, I loved the book. THE BONE HOUSES is a story that creeps up on you in the best way. It’s an atmospheric, utterly enthralling tale about life after death that mixes thoughtful characterization with whimsy, horror, and a dash of magic. Emily Lloyd-Jones instantly transports you from page one to a northern Wales of old where the dead rise and legends may turn out to be histories after all. It pulled me - and every bone I possess - in from the start and never let me go.

Have you had the chance to read The Bone Houses?

Let me know in the comments!

happy reading :)


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