“Remember, my dear, you do not really and truly exist.”
Made of dust and bone and imagination, Irréelle fears she’s not quite real. Only the finest magical thread tethers her to life—and to Miss Vesper. But for all her efforts to please her cruel creator, the thread is unraveling. Irréelle is forgetful as she gathers bone dust. She is slow returning from the dark passages beneath the cemetery. Worst of all, she is unmindful of her crooked bones.
When Irréelle makes one final, unforgivable mistake by destroying a frightful creature just brought to life, Miss Vesper threatens to imagine her away once and for all. Defying her creator for the very first time, Irréelle flees to the underside of the graveyard and embarks on an adventure to unearth the mysterious magic that breathes bones to life, even if it means she will return to dust and be no more.
With echoes of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, debut author Heather Kassner crafts a gorgeously written story humming with magic, mystery, and dark imaginings.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Bone Garden gets 3.5 stars for being a gloriously atmospheric story that I fell easily into! Irréelle accepts how her life is until it’s threatened and that makes the situation pretty normal, even though it’s far from it. In many ways it’s a sweet love story, and I love that it’s really not, but you get this overpowering sense from it. Miss Vesper’s story is so at the heart of everything that Irréelle, Guy and Lass do, that it’s hard not to feel wrapped up in it yourself. Even when cheering them on to take her down!
It’s a surprising middle grade story – I was expecting YA, but also it’s not like most MG that I read and that worked really well for it. It’s more obvious from the American cover – the British one definitely makes it seem darker and scarier haha. And I hear the American book has illustrations, so I’m sad we didn’t get those! I do love illustrations, and feel they would have added to the atmosphere. But still, it doesn’t need them – it stands well alone as a dark but hopeful story.
Buy The Bone Garden from Amazon UK.