Title: The Bone Queen
Author: Alison Croggon
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Synopsis on Goodreads:
Seduced into sorcery by an agent of the Dark, the promising Bard Cadvan of Lirigon recklessly unleashed the terrible Bone Queen, bringing destruction down upon Annar. Cadvan, cast out of the Schools of Barding for his crime, now lives in exile, burdened by memories of his dealings with the Dark. At Cadvan’s former home, his mentor, Nelac, and his rival, Dernhil, begin to suspect that the Bone Queen may yet lurk in Annar, and a young Bard, Selmana, is plagued by an ominous presence and an unsettling new ability to step between worlds. With darkness gathering and Bards giving in to fear and paranoia, a guilt-ridden Cadvan must earn back the Bards’ trust and Selmana must gain control of her newfound powers to bring peace to the living and the dead.
Alison Croggon’s Pellinor series was one of my absolute favourites throughout my teen years, so naturally, I was thrilled to hear that this prequel was coming out and I pre-ordered it as soon as I heard. It was exciting to return to a beloved series and I wasn’t disappointed. Croggon gives readers a bit more background on her character, Cadvan, giving us some insight into his past and young life. This book hints at things to come in the Pellinor series, tying Cadvan’s history to his future. We get to see younger versions of various characters that are introduced in the main series. This book serves to round out the world even further. Reading this book was like being welcomed back into the familiar. It was comfortable and exciting in the same way the main series is.
If you’re coming into this series for the first time, I would strongly suggest reading the main series first. Although this is a prequel, readers would gain a greater understanding of the characters and this world by reading the original four books first. Reading some of the review on Goodreads, many who did not realize this book was a prequel to another series were quite lost. It doesn’t seem to be a book that can be easily read as a standalone. One will need the background information that the subsequent books provide.
I rated this book 4 stars out of 5 because I didn’t feel that it was as strong as the original series, but it was still excellent. It’s sparked a need in me to re-read all the Pellinor books once again. I’m so excited by Croggon’s writing and I hope that we will get to read more from her in the future.