Published by Titan Books on March 9, 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Horror
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About All the Murmuring Bones
A Gothic tale involving sea creatures? All the Murmuring Bones by AG Slatter was an absolute must-read for me.
A once powerful and prosperous family, still proud, has fallen on difficult times. Miren’s grandmother is determined to restore the O’Malleys to what they once were. To do that, she’s willing to wed Miren to a distant but wealthy cousin. But Miren has other ideas.
Full of sea creatures, they’re from nightmares not sweet stories of silent, loving mermaids. Cold, seeking retribution and flesh – these are horrors of the sea and they’re angry with the O’Malleys. And they’re willing to make Miren pay for her family’s many sins.
While lots of things happen, this isn’t a fast-action fantasy. Revelations and slow horrified realizations are what make up the story. In trying to escape her fate, Miren discovers truths to debunk the lies she’s been told her entire life. Those truths lead her on a dangerous journey of discovery.
Miren discovers truths about her birth, her family and its bargains, and her own abilities. Adding to her discoveries are family fairy tales- dark and disturbing stories of the supernatural that hint at the truths of her family’s activities.
Miren is strong, smart, resourceful and thoroughly unwilling to accept defeat.
My thoughts about All the Murmuring Bones
The writing is gorgeously Baroque – ornate and polished paired with a Gothic folktale of a story. A shadow drenched, decaying mansion full of long hidden, terrible family secrets like murder, ritual sacrifice and incest, a young girl unwilling to be sold into marriage, witchcraft, the Church, and the terrible magic of sea creatures. All the Murmuring Bones has it all.
Exquisite world building with a true sense of place and character creation. Even secondary characters are fully realized with their own wants and agendas.
For more creepy, Gothic family secrets in a decaying, old mansion, try Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Read my full review.
For more gorgeous language and a puzzle to unravel, try The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky. Read my full review.
I loved this book! It’s the darkest of dark chocolate tortes – gorgeous and rich. Consume it slowly. Let the words melt on your tongue. Appreciate AG Slatter’s artistry. She reminds me of the amazing Tanith Lee. I’m looking forward to reading more of AG Slatter’s work.
Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for the ARC.