Book Highlight: The Bone Ships by RJ Barker

book highlight the bone ships rj barker
Book Review: The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker

Title: The Bone Ships (The Tide Child Trilogy #1)

Author: RJ Barker

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: September 24, 2019

Genre: Fantasy

Two nations at war. One prize beyond compare. 

For generations, the Hundred Isles have built their ships from the bones of ancient dragons to fight an endless war. The dragons disappeared, but the battles for supremacy persisted.

Now, the first dragon in centuries has been spotted in far-off waters, and both sides see a chance to shift the balance of power in their favor. Because whoever catches it will win not only glory but the war.

Why This Book

This book has a special place in my heart. Even though I’d been receiving eARCs through NetGalley since late 2018, I never have nor do I ever expect to receive any book I request, so I’d been reluctant to even wish for a book. But I saw The Bone Ships and fell in love with the description. So, with one eye closed, I hesitantly clicked the Wish For It button, and then promptly chose to forget ever doing such a thing, certain I’d never heard back. But then my wish was granted. And then one of the publicists reached out and asked if I would like to be added to their reviewer list and I nearly fell out of my chair. Since then, I’ve not only had the opportunity to finish this series, but also enjoy so many other amazing Orbit books. So of course I must be thankful to this one for not just the beginning of an adventure that broke me and then put me back together, but also for some really amazing opportunities.


My review: “Overall, this is a great adventure book hinting at underlying politics, but mainly focusing on the formation of a trustworthy crew trying to do the right thing for the people of the world. This was great book with an interesting setting, fascinating characters that change over time, and an intriguing story”

Speculiction said “On the surface, The Bone Ships is a fun book. Featuring a fresh fantasy world, ship battles on the high seas, spyglasses, corsairs, sea dragons—it has the elements to succeed. And indeed, there are moments the fun is realized in story. But in its bones (sorry for the pun), The Bone Ships doesn’t feel nautical. Like a white, suburban teen dressed for the ‘hood, the book feels like it’s trying to be nautical but lacks the soul to be nautical.”

The Book in Hand said “This is a great story, it takes a hold of you in the first few pages and this is testament to R J’s flowing writing style. It is easy to read and wonderfully descriptive, and immerses you in this brutal world”

Books, Bones & Buffy gave this 5 stars, saying “Yes, I did have a couple of issues with the pacing, which is slow for the most part, punctuated with bursts of frantic action. But Barker won me over in the end with his phenomenal world-building, characters and unexpected emotional moments”

Just Another Struggling Writer gave this a 4.5, saying “All told, The Bone Ships is an excellent marriage of setting, plot, and character. It is full of compelling people, monsters from the deep, and plenty of fantasy trappings to make my heart sing.”

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Target | Waterstones (UK) | Booktopia (Australia) | Books-A-Million | Flipkart (India) | Kobo | Audible | Google Books | Apple Books | Thrift Books | Book Depository | Abe Books | | Foggy Pine Books

Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.

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