I was going through my shelves and found Emily Lloyd-Jones’, The Bone Houses, that I finished last fall. And I really enjoyed it! It brought the perfect amount of Halloween start to my fall season last year and it is already making me wish that my favorite time of year was here already. So here is a glimpse into a world were there are still simple things in life from a family trade and finding a family to a little wooden love spoon’s promise and a few Bone Houses wandering the woods. Hope you enjoy!
So here’s the story:
They were always told never to go into the forest at night, because of the the bone houses wandering the forest of Colbren, watching for those who entered the forest. Most in the town use to think that was a bedtime story meant to scare kids into stay in the house at night. However, lately the dead have become a little more lively than usual.
Ryn, a young gravedigger, is following in the footprints of her father. He taught her everything there is to know about being a gravedigger and taught her the importance of respecting the bone houses. Being in the trade of death, her father never feared them as long as he stayed to the paths and did not wander in the forest. Because they are not just stories told around a fire. The bone houses are real and they are out there. Now for some reason, these once watchers in the woods are starting to leave their forest and stray towards Colbren and Ryn’ home. Ryn takes up the responsibility to protecting her home and peers. Besides, who better to guard the town from the animated skeletons than a gravedigger?
Ellis is a young cartographer, a mapmaker, striking out on his own after years of study. He is determined to map every inch of forest and small towns that other mapmakers have simply lumped into one giant group of trees or towns. Every little thing matters when it comes to have accurate maps! Ellis enlists the help of a young woman in Colbren who knows the town and forest better than anyone. If anyone can help him complete his person goals, it would be her. Not only that but she would be able to protect him against the bone houses that roam the forest.
Together, Ryn and Ellis strike out to map the forbidden woods. However, Ryn can tell that something isn’t normal out amongst the trees. The bone houses seem far more angry than usual.
I like this book so much! Lloyd-Jones made this world entirely her own and I felt like it was a fresh story and great idea. Or at least one that I have not come across before. I loved the story from the forest that has undead people wandering around and no one knows reason why this happens to individuals to us reading from a gravedigger’s point-of-view. It was able to give the understanding the living people surviving with the knowledge and acceptance of death, but they are fearful of the dead themselves. Then the understanding of the dead from the tradesman of death herself, where there is nothing to fear from death, but one’s mortality is precious and should be protected.
The Bone Houses was wonderfully written! This book was able to pull off jump scares, so there are some bits that were some startling moments. – This is not a scary story, if you were worried. I don’t read the scary stories or the horror genres that are out there. I am kind of a chicken when it comes to reading or watching anything along those lines. And I quite enjoyed this novel. – Also the sounds and smells that came off of the creatures made them so vivid that I was cringing at some of the swings and crunches that were being described. I thought that was amazing! I will have to warn some, if you are not a fan of skeletons or the undead, this isn’t a book for you. However, if you want a book to start off on with these topics, pick it up and start reading it!