The Bone Houses

Emily Lloyd-Jones. Little, Brown, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-41841-6
With her mother dead and her father missing, Aderyn, 17, has become a gravedigger for the town of Colbren, which borders on a forest where the dead walk at night. When Ellis, 18, arrives in Colbren seeking to map the nearby mountains, Aderyn takes a job as his guide to help repay urgent family debts. Then the dead attack the town, and Aderyn and Ellis head into the forest accompanied by an undead goat in hopes of finding Annwvyn, once home to the legendary Otherking, and thereby ending the threat of the dead at its source—“the cauldron of rebirth.” Lloyd-Jones (The Hearts We Sold) creates an evocative world of magic and haunted forests rooted in Welsh folklore. Although some plot twists are overtly telegraphed, she skillfully builds tension and plays with the conventions of fairy tales and horror, adeptly leading to a rewarding conclusion. The appealing main characters are notable for their persistence—Aderyn through ever-mounting obstacles, and Ellis through his chronic pain. The story serves as a meditation on the complicated relationship between the living and the dead, combining fear, humor and enchantment in equal measure, and alloying them with humor. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/14/2019
Release date: 09/24/2019
Genre: Children's
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5491-2988-9
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