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Book Review: Hills of Heather & Bone

Table of Contents

“The bones of the dead hold stories.

On the fringes of Errigal, Morana longs to exchange a life of hiding for a peaceful one with her husband, Percy. While Percy’s bloodgift lets him grow plants and heal broken bodies, Morana’s a boneweaver, despised and feared because she can hear bones and raise the dead. Morana doesn’t want to be seen as a villain from the old stories and instead spends her time gardening, writing the stories of the dead, and fending off a spiteful chicken.

Morana and Percy’s lives are shattered when a group of Failinis tasked with capturing boneweavers and rogue bloodgifted find them. On the run and battling the elements, ancient creatures, and the loss of all they called home, Morana and Percy search for any sanctuary left in Errigal. Morana must choose between the call in her blood or the family she holds so close to her heart if she and Percy are to survive.

Please be aware that this book contains some scenes of violence, death, depression, mentions of miscarriage, birthing scenes, suicidal thoughts, suicide, and cannibalism.

Title: Hills of Heather & Bone

Series: Standalone

Author: K.E. Andrews

Page Count: 412

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: January 5th, 2023

Our buddy read group’s first read of 2024 was Hills of Heather and Bone by K.E. Andrews. When I first looked into this one based strictly by the cover, it didn’t seem like my type of read. I glanced through some of the brief reviews and comments though that gave me some hope that I might end up liking it though. Inadvertently, this one also becomes my 31st read from SPFBO-9 entries. It wasn’t on my personal TBR list for the competition but I’m adding it to the total number read.
 
I am still not sure how I feel about the first half of this book. It just seemed so depressing. I don’t want that to take anything away from the author as I’m sure this is the atmosphere that was designed. I think this will be one of those reads with some polarizing views on it. There is a lot of emotion events laid out for the reader to experience and even in our group it seemed like it hit some harder than others.
 
December and January are those months that are usually more difficult for me mentally to begin with so this story and it’s character hit deep for me. I wasn’t sure I was going to continue and finish but I stuck with it. We had a couple of members of our group DNF this one fairly early on and I get it. Let us go ahead and talk more about my usual three categories.
 
As I mentioned that first chapter seemed a bit clunky to me but it didn’t take long for the writing to really smooth out. Other than the mental and emotion struggles for me to get through, this seemed really well written and flowed easily. Another thing I’d like to point out is there are a lot of Irish, Scottish or Welsh terms used and I found myself looking a lot of them up over the first few chapters. Don’t be like me and realize these are laid out for us at the back of the book! Don’t hesitate to flip back there to look things up if you need to.
 
The world building was also done well once things seem to level out a bit for me and I can focus more on the world and not entirely on the protagonists thoughts. We had a good mix of locations and regions to explore and some different cultures as well. The magic and martial abilities were also interesting.
 
The character development was probably the strongest aspect in my opinion. Morana had quite the story arc through out this book to say the least. We also had some other interesting characters of smaller or less defined arcs which made some strong relationships for good or bad.
 
I am glad that I stuck this one out because the back half was very much up my alley. I just struggled in that first half and I think that really is more of a personal thing on my end as the writing was really good in Hills of Heather and Bone.

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 3.5/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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