March 8, 2021

All the Murmuring Bones by AG Slatter

All the Murmuring Bones by AG SlatterAll the Murmuring Bones by AG Slatter
Published by Titan Books on March 9, 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Horror
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
five-stars
Reading Challenges: GoodReads, NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2021

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.


Blurb:

A spellbinding tale of dark family secrets, magic and witches, and creatures of myth and the sea; of strong women and the men who seek to control them.


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.

Other books

mexican gothic
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
the seventh perfection
The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky

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.

In conclusion

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.

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About AG Slatter

Specialising in dark fantasy and horror, Brisbane-based Angela Slatter is the author of the Aurealis Award-winning The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales, the World Fantasy Award finalist Sourdough and Other Stories, and the Aurealis finalist Midnight and Moonshine (with Lisa L. Hannett). She is the first Australian to win a British Fantasy Award (for “The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter” in A Book of Horrors).

Angela’s short stories have appeared in such publications as Fantasy, Nightmare and Lightspeed Magazines, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, The Review of Australian Fiction, Fearie Tales, A Book of Horrors, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, Blood Sisters, and Australian and US Best Of anthologies.

Angela was one of the inaugural Queensland Writers Fellows (2013-14). She has an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing, and is a graduate of the Clarion South Writers Workshop (2009) and the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop (2006). Angela teaches regularly for the Queensland Writers Centre in Brisbane, and has been known to give guest lectures at universities.

In 2014 Angela published three new collections: The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, a prequel to Sourdough and Other Stories, from Tartarus Press; Black-Winged Angels, a limited edition reprint collection from Ticonderoga Publications; and The Female Factory (with Lisa L. Hannett), the eleventh in the Twelfth Planet Press “Twelve Planets” series.

Angela has recently finished an urban fantasy novel Vigil (based on the short story Brisneyland by Night), and has started the sequel, Corpselight. She is also editing her Queensland Writers Fellowship mosaic novel, The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales.

Awards
2012 British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story: “The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter”.
2010 Aurealis Award for Best Collection: The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales.
2010 Aurealis Award Best Fantasy Short Story: “The February Dragon” co-authored with Lisa Hannett.
Contact Information
me@angelaslatter.com

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • GoodReads
  • NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2021
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