The Bone Ship’s Wake (The Tide Child Trilogy book 3) by R.J. Barker

Joron Twiner’s dreams of freedom lay shattered. His Shipwife is gone and all he has left is revenge. Leading the black fleet from the deck of Tide Child, he takes every opportunity to hurt the Hundred Isles he is given. But his time is limited.

His fleet is shrinking, the Keyshan’s Rot is running through his body, and he hiding from a prophecy that says he and the avian sorcerer, the Windseer will end the entire world.

But the Sea Dragons have returned, a miracle in itself, and who is to say that if you can have one miracle, there cannot be another? (taken from Amazon)

Thank you to Orbit books and Angela Man for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. The Bone Ship’s Wake is available for purchase now.

Every now and again a series comes along that completely wrecks me, in the very best way. The Bone Ship’s Wake perfectly ended a series that surprised, touched, thrilled, and saddened me (the author is not nice to his characters). It was an emotional roller coaster, one that was so well written that I was constantly astonished.

It is difficult to review the final book in a series without accidentally giving spoilers. I’ll be as vague as possible, but warning: There be spoilers ahead!

The Bone Ship’s Wake wraps up the story started in Call of the Bones Ships (book one) magnificently. Joron is doing everything he can, and then some, to rescue Meas. He is now the leader of the entire black fleet. He is called the Black Pirate and has gained quite the reputation for being a bloodthirsty murderer. Joron is desperate. He is violent. He is fantastic. I loved his character development. He is scared, angry, and lonely. He is incredibly human. He feels the weight of everything that has happened and everything he fears will happen and- despite this- he somehow keeps going.

As always, each character was well written and a great addition to the story. I love found families, and that’s exactly what we have here. A ragtag group, to be sure, but that made the relationships and the characters’ interactions even better.

I would love to say that Barker’s writing is “even better in this book”, but how can you improve upon magnificence? There is not a single misstep and Barker happily took my feelings and stomped all over them. How dare you, sir (and thank you for devastating me with your storyline)!

The pacing was fantastic, each word placed with care. There’s violence galore, but there are also introspective moments that I found to be even more riveting. The story moved at a great pace, not too slow, but not so quickly that details or important plot points were discarded.

If you’re looking for a books with happily ever afters for each character, keep looking. This series will not be for you. However, The Bone Ship’s Wake brilliantly ended a series that was both brutal and beautiful. Yes, that seems like a bit of a contradiction, but I promise it makes sense. Go into the final book expecting to cry.

I highly recommend this series.

Call of the Bone Ships by R.J. Barker

Dragons have returned to the Hundred Isles. But their return heralds only war and destruction.
When a horde of dying slaves are discovered in the bowels of a ship, Shipwife Meas and the crew of the Tide Child find themselves drawn into a vicious plot that will leave them questioning their loyalties and fighting for their lives. (taken from Amazon)

Thank you to Orbit Books for providing me with Call of the Bone Ships in exchange for my honest opinion. This is book two in The Tide Child trilogy. You can find my review for book one, The Bone Ships, here.

Holy wow, Call of the Bone Ships is good! A more-than-worthy continuation of the story that began with The Bone Ships, this book adds new levels to an already amazing storyline, and new complexities to the characters.

I have to be honest: nothing went the way I expected it to when I opened the pages. It was a much murkier book than I expected-and I loved it. There were layers upon layers in the plot, and a grim sort of hopefulness in a world that isn’t particularly nice.

The story didn’t rush through at a break-neck pace; rather, I was given the time to really be sucked into the world. And what a world! The more I learn, the more I want to learn. This is one of the most fully-realized settings I’ve had the pleasure to read. Before I started The Bone Ships (book one in the trilogy), I said to myself, “Self, you might need to cut the expectations for a unique world down a notch. It’s a ‘boat book’, after all.” Oh, how wrong I was! Not only is this not just a ‘boat book’, the world continues to grow.

The characters were fantastic, of course. Everyone was flawed and delightfully complicated. The interactions made for interesting growth that- though unexpected- nonetheless made perfect sense. I made a huge mistake, though: I became too invested in some of the characters. Let’s just say that Barker happily stomps on people’s emotions. I both love and hate writing like that. It’s brilliant, but OUCH!

The Tide Child series is showing itself to be absolutely fantastic. I can’t wait to see what happens next, although I’m sure I’ll need about a box and a half of tissues once everything is said and done. Call of the Bones Ships is gripping and ridiculously well written. Read this series.