cover image A River of Golden Bones

A River of Golden Bones

A.K. Mulford. Harper Voyager, $28.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-329142-3

Political tension between werewolf royalty animates this rip-roaring romantasy series launch from Mulford (the Five Crowns of Okrith series). Each of the four kingdoms in Aotreas is ruled by a different wolf pack, “protectors of their human kingdoms.” Since before her birth, Briar Marriel, princess of Olmdere, has been betrothed to Grae Claudius, prince of Damrienn. She and her twin sister, Calla, whose royal lineage is kept secret for her protection, grew up hiding from sorcerer Sawyn, who murdered their parents when they were children and took over Olmdere. Now Briar’s determined to use the alliance with Damrienn to reclaim the throne and avenge her parents, despite her lack of romantic connection with Grae. Before they can say “I do,” however, the Moon Goddess reveals Briar’s true fated mate to be Grae’s female cousin Maez, while Calla’s fated mate is Grae, who has long harbored feelings for her as well. Then, having discovered Briar’s whereabouts, Sawyn arrives and curses Briar into a deep sleep. Now it’s up to Calla to save her sister, defeat Sawyn, and reveal her royal lineage to the rest of the kingdom. A steamy romance between Calla and Grae unfolds amid battles against monsters and dark magic, intertwined with Calla’s fight against patriarchy and oppression and her burgeoning acceptance of her own genderqueerness. This series is off to an exciting start. (Dec.)