Book Review – The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

the cold is in her bonesMilla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.


My rating: Cyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Half starNo-Star

I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this book. It wasn’t what I expected but it is beautifully written, and contains some really powerful thoughts around how society treats girls.

It is a slow read, and for that reason I nearly put it down several times. And it’s definitely not as close to the Medusa myth as I was expecting.

However, the concept of demons and being less than someone else for being less pretty or not as well behaved is really interesting and well done. I just sort of wanted more? Despite the demon link it didn’t feel as fantasy-like as I wanted.

I felt Milla’s frustration with her life, and really liked her character, but I still didn’t connect like I felt I should have. I think her boredom with her life and frustration bled through to me too much.

The whole concept of Hulda, the snakes, the demon and the girls really worked for me though – I loved a lot of the latter half of the book so much for how that played out, and there’s real beauty in how it’s written.

Overall, I’m giving this 3.5 stars.


Buy The Cold is in Her Bones from Amazon UK.

4 thoughts on “Book Review – The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

  1. I was intrigued by this one, but hesitant to try it and your review has confirmed my initial reaction was correct. it ain’t for me! I do like the idea of YA fantasy books exploring society’s treatment of women (Sawkill Girls was another one that did that well, imo), but it doesn’t help make a slow storyline or character’s feelings about being bored and frustrated more engaging to read.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. that would be the attraction here, so I don’t understand why Medusa’s story isn’t a stronger influence. normally I like when authors do their own thing in retellings and break away from the source material, but that’s with stories that have been retold over and over (Beauty & the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, etc.) Medusa is one that I’ve never seen another book for, so it’s a shame this one didn’t live up to expectations

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m in two minds – i love a retelling and would have loved to have seen a Medusa one. However, there are lots of retellings around and its nice to have a story used for inspiration too. But I think the marketing has focused on Medusa a bit and that has led people to think it’s a retelling when it’s not.

        Liked by 1 person

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