Synopsis: I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.
1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.
As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.
But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.
June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh. (Goodreads)
Publication Date: April 21st, 2020 (Feiwel & Friends)
Genres: YA, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Trigger Warnings: scenes of torture
The Silence of Bones was an extremely well written and beautiful murder mystery set in 1800’s Korea and is the story about sixteen year old Seol who is indentured to the police bureau. She is a very inquisitive and curious girl and is always trying to find something interesting. She gets involved in investigating a murder mystery along with the Inspector and forms a friendship with him along the way. This is definitely a YA book like no other and deserves all the praise.
The Silence of Bones follows the story of Seol who is an orphan indentured to the police bureau. She is a curious person and due to this she gets involved in the investigation of the murder of a noblewoman. This murder is politically charged and is filled with lots of secrets. Seol helps the Inspector is small tasks to find out more about the case. In solving the case, she also forms a bond of friendship with the Inspector. The mystery is so well-written. It is unpredictable and there’s no way to know who the real murderer is until the end part. This keeps you on the edge of the seat and it definitely makes you want to read it in one go. The mystery elements were really well-written. The story was filled to the brim with secrets and questions and I loved how it all comes together in the end and just clicks.
I used to love reading mysteries growing up but nowadays I am always more inclined towards to fantasy so I don’t read many mystery and thrillers. The Silence of Bones was a murder mystery I read after a long time and I loved it so much. It definitely made me realise my love for thrillers and mysteries and that is the best compliment.
The character in this book were so interesting and varied and well fleshed out. They were all morally grey characters and you’ll know how much I love well-written morally grey characters. The main characters were Seol and Inspector Han. This book is also very character oriented so it was important to have strong characters to carry the mystery forward. The characters and the story blended well together and this made it such a good read.
Seol is a very curious and inquisitive girl which goes against the nature of the her job and standing in the society. She is an indentured servant and is only expected to listen and follow orders. Due to her nature, she gets involved in the case. She is smart, intuitive and very observant. Even though people treat her badly, she treats people without judgement and always asks the why and how. She doesn’t try to be all this but she just is this way by nature. This makes her a very interesting protagonist.
Inspector Han is the lead inspector of the murder case. Seol forms a friendship with him and this makes us understand Han’s character from Seol’s point of view which makes it a very interesting way to read about a character. He had a lot of mystery around him also. So along with the mystery of the murder there was the mystery of unraveling the characters with it.
The Setting and World Building
I absolutely adored the setting of the book. Set in 1800s Korea makes this a very unique book and the author’s well-written story and setting makes it even more interesting. While reading the book, you can imagine the book playing out and it is set and written in such a way that the vibe is dark and gritty too.
The world building is simply brilliant. The author mentions that her book is inspired by the Joseon Dynasty Korea. There are some real life characters who are also included in the story. This makes it super amazing.
The writing is absolutely brilliant. Writing such characters and a story so rich in mysteries and keeping the readers interested throughout is simple amazing and June does an awesome job at it. The writing is another good part about this book!
Overall, The Silence of Bones is a haunting and beautiful debut. This is a definite must read for all lovers of mystery and thrillers. Honestly, I would recommend this book to all because it deserves all the love, hype and praise for being brilliant. This book is highly recommended.
Thank you to the publisher for an eARC through Edelweiss.All opinions are my own.
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