Welcome to my stop on the FFBC Blog Tour for The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields! I’m so excited to be sharing some information about the book, as well as a great giveaway!The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields
Published by Page Street Kids on May 21, 2019
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley
In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.
On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.
Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.
By Breeana Shields
Tomorrow my future will be decided by my dead gran’s finger bones. It’s how my whole life has been determined—with bones and blood and snapping flames. When I was five days old, my mother dangled me over a stone basin that was heavy with the shoulder blades of an ox and pierced my heel with a sewing needle. I’m not sure how many drops of blood splashed into the basin. One? Two? Ten? It doesn’t matter. It was enough blood to infuse the bones with my essence. Enough blood to tell my mother anything she wanted to know about the next few years of my life.
It’s always been a prickly thing between us, her insight and my ignorance. And the other way around, too. The bones can’t show her my heart.
I creep down the stairs toward the sharp scent of sage incense, a sure sign my mother is consulting the bones about one thing or another. It’s almost impossible to sneak up on her, but I can’t resist trying. Maybe if I know what she’s up to, I’ll have some hint about what the morning will bring.
The deep voice that resonates from below surprises me so much that I nearly forget to avoid the creaky fifth step. My mother isn’t alone—one of the townsfolk must have arrived for a last-minute reading before the kenning tomorrow. I sag against the wall, disappointed. I don’t care about knowing any future except my own.
Yet the sound of bone scraping against stone propels my feet forward. When I reach the bottom of the staircase, I peek around the corner.
My mother sits in the center of the room across from one of Midwood’s most prominent farmers, Mikkel Hemming. A stone basin rests on the floor between them, filled with a handful of animal bones that, from the looks of them, are probably cheaply prepared and not especially powerful. A casual reading then. Nothing like the ceremony and solemnity that always permeates the kenning. My mother isn’t even wearing her Bone Charmer robes.
“Thank you for seeing me on short notice,” Mikkel says.
“The moment I touched the soil this morning, I knew I better come see you. I’m worried it’s too wet for planting asparagus.”
“It’s no trouble at all,” my mother says. She pricks Mikkel’s index finger with a needle and squeezes a few drops of blood onto the bones. Then she uses a bit of flint and a stone to light a small fire in the basin.
The room tilts and I squeeze my eyes shut. Minutes seem to pass and then, beneath my closed eyelids, I see Mikkel at the door, his hat clutched in one hand. I startle as I hear his voice in my head, thanking my mother for her time. My eyes fly open, but to my horror my mother is still at the beginning of the reading—tipping the bones onto the rug in front of her.
My throat closes.
This hasn’t happened in years—this unsteadiness around the bones, as if the magic is like a dog on a lead, determined to reach me whether I want it or not.
And I don’t.
Win a copy of THE BONE CHARMER by by Breeana Shields (US Only)