If you were going to battle, what sort of weapon would you yield?
I don’t know about y’all, but a battle axe sounds pretty badass. Or a dagger that could be hidden under a really dramatic ball gown. Anything that is equal parts stabby and shiney will honestly work.
Huge thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for sending me an eARC to read and review!
Book: The Bone Spindle
Author: Leslie Vedder
Expected publication: January 11th 2022 by Razorbill
Fantasy violence, Weapons, Past abusive / manipulative relationship
Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.
Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.
Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him.
Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi–until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.
Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way–not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose. (from Goodreads)
A high stakes Indiana Jones x Sleeping Beauty adventure, with a sapphic romance and battle axes. That. That is what I came for. And The Bone Spindle delivered on all accounts. Ah, where to start with it all?
I suppose the beginning is as good of a place as any. The Bone Spindle starts off with a fairytale-esque prologue that is so vibey. Reading like a whimsical bedtime fairytale that gets passed down generation to generation, it was both a clever way to set expectations, build a base foundation for the world, as well as set the tone for the entire Sleeping Beauty segment of the story.
After the prologue we follow Fi and Shane as they embark on a quest. Originally for riches (or in Fi’s case books, which honestly respect for that), it eventually develops (in true YA fantasy fashion) into a quest to save the realm! The narrative is split into three third person pov so you get multi-angle questing and never a dull moment.
Fi (a bookish adventurer who doesn’t believe in love) and Shane (axe-weilding huntswoman with a complicated past) are both strong main characters. With complex backstories and unique characterization, you can’t help but root for both of them. They both came alive throughout the journey and it was so rewarding to learn more about both Fi and Shane as they got to know more about each other.
A lot of the secrets unraveling between Fi and Shane revolved around past events. Cue the flashbacks.
Now I don’t want to say the flashbacks were all bad, but there were moments that felt a bit chunky. I’ll even give The Bone Spindle the benefit of the doubt and say the eARC formatting was partially to blame. Even still, more transition into the flashbacks would have been much appreciated. Just some quick merger so it was clear right away that ohhh this isn’t live and rolling, this is a flash to the past.
Briar (magical prince who has been asleep for 100 years) is also an important character, which a couple POV scattered about. There was really great characterization and internal monologues in those bits, but I think they could have been harnessed more consistently throughout. There were moments (especially towards the end) where hearing from Briar’s perspective would have added more depth and perspective to what was going on.
Imagine my absolute shock when I found out the girls on the cover are not in fact the main couple. It’s ok though, because we actually get two romances which is always better one. And! Bonus points for the fact that one is a f/f romance!
Fi and Briar had a lot more page time than Shane and Red did. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the dynamic Fi and Briar had going on (if you ignore like half of Briar and his long winded procliamtions of love) (man really needed to chill his biscuit), but the ending would have been better if we got equal development on all romantic fronts. Shane and Red had the romantic tension and the banter, but I needed a bit more.
I also could have used more stakes throughout. When it comes to books that are straight-up adventure, it can be hard to keep the stakes and energy going the whole time. The Bone Spindle was most certainly fast paced, but I would have liked to feel more oh…oh no NO! NOOOOooo while bad things were happening throughout.
The moral of the story: I WANT MOREEEEEEEEE!!!! I really had fun while reading this one and couldn’t put it down, like a spider trapped into a web of intrigue and adventure. If you are a fan of retellings, adventure, and partners that would literally die for each other, then The Bone Spindle should be added to your tbr asap.
Also. Major sidenote: this book has the same energy as All the Stars and Teeth, but swap the pirates for adventurers??? (stoppp I’ve never had an original thought in my life— it’s literally the comp title byeeeE)
Are you planning to read The Bone Spindle? What weapon would you wield in battle?