July 2, 2021

ARC REVIEW: Crown of Bones (Amassia #1) by A.K. Wilder


Crown of Bones (Amassia #1) by A.K. Wilder
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Format: eARC
Publisher: Entangled Teen

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First of all, how pretty is that cover? I know that they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case, the cover was one of the first things that attracted me to Crown of Bones. 

One of our main characters is Marcus, who is the heir to the kingdom. He has challenges with maintaining control over his phantom (the only warrior class phantom in the entire kingdom). His best friend is Ash, the ward of the High Savant who doesn’t have a phantom of her own and is considered “non-savant”. Together, they go on a quest with their friends to Aku, where all savants must continue their training and learn the finer points of controlling their phantoms. Their group is behind schedule, as Marcus took much longer than anyone would have expected to get his phantom to manifest correctly. Marcus and Ash are points of view characters for the novel, and I enjoyed getting to know them over the course of the story. Over the course of their journey, they discover hidden dangers and the secrets behind the voice in Ash’s head. 

Wilder’s prose is beautiful and impactful. The images she paints (for example, the scene in which Marcus finally connects with his phantom in front of a crowd of expectant people) are attention-catching, and the line of “Raise your phantom” is particularly striking. 

The phantom component of the book is super unique and fun to learn about. Wilder gave us the information we needed to be able to understand the magic system and the world the story is set in. Thankfully, I never felt like I was getting an “information dump”. I envisioned the phantoms in the novel as a cross between patronuses in Harry Potter and the daemons in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. This book is best for young adults who enjoy epic fantasy and adventure reads. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for my copy. 

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