Reviews

Boneset & Feathers, by Gwendolyn Kiste

biancarosesmith's review against another edition

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4.0

This was my second time experiencing Gwendolyn Kiste’s work, with the first time being the Rust Maidens. The Rust Maidens left a lasting impression on me for all the right reasons, and this experience has been much the same. It is very obvious why Gwendolyn is a Bram Stoker Award winning author. Her voice is unique and she has such gorgeous writing. This lyrical writing style is captivating but it has also shown her ability to write diversely and far ranging. I find her work to be incredibly enchanting.

The story follows Odette, a witch who has been living in isolation in a little cottage away from the main town. Odette is determined to live a magic free life. That is until strange events begin occurring and it becomes apparent that the Witchfinders have come back and are intent on harming witches once more.

This is a coming of age story about identity, courage and destiny. Odette tries to run away from her true self but ends up being forced to embrace her true path and to stand up even when faced with fear. Odette’s strength really shone throughout.

Those who enjoyed the Year of the Witching may also enjoy this as it had a similar feel.

Thank you to Netgalley and Broken Eye Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

evavroslin's review against another edition

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5.0

The book reads like a grim, dark fairy tale, and called to mind the atmosphere of the film Sleepy Hollow (1999), but make no mistake — there’s no room for whimsy or Burtonesque fanciful humor here. These are dangerous times for the protagonist, and have been for too long. She guards her secrets, and her sorrows run extremely deep. Kiste infuses this story with several unique elements that I won’t spoil — when you get to them, you’ll know and I hope you will marvel at them as much as I did.

By the time you hurtle toward the epic conclusion, you will be wowed and left wanting more from this master storyteller and weaver of magic tales. Buy all of Gwendolyn Kiste’s books if you haven’t already. As well, award jurors and influencers should take note, because this book deserves to take home all of the prizes.

daniellestarredpages's review

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dark tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

Review to come

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

chemicallykat's review against another edition

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medium-paced

3.75

carolined314's review against another edition

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5.0

If you had already hidden yourself away from the witchfinders, and they came back, what would you do? This story unfolds and unpacks so much around home, integrity, joy, magic, and trusting yourself. All with ravens, weird kids, a sentient forest, and so much more. Don't miss it.

jasmeaniethebookish's review against another edition

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4.0

This is my first foray into Gwendolyn Kiste’s work and I absolutely adored her writing style! Kiste is one of those authors you see on bookstagram pretty much incessantly and now I get it. You should definitely check her out if you haven’t already.

Boneset and Feathers is kind of a horror-lite book with more fantasy elements. The main character has heart and power, but was well balanced in both. She uses her pain to strengthen herself and those around her which takes this story to some awesome places (which is kinda crazy considering it’s a little under 200 pages!). So what I’m saying here is that if you like stories about witches, power, struggle, and overcoming all matter of things, this book is calling your name. It’s 4 stars from me :)

Thanks so much to NetGalley, Broken Eye Books, and Gwendolyn Kiste for a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

sophie_moon's review

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dark emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

carolmariee's review

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dark emotional fast-paced

3.5

madkat78's review

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adventurous challenging dark mysterious sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

luftschlosseule's review against another edition

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3.0

trigger warning
Spoiler misogyny, grief, trauma


Five years ago, the Witchhunters came and killed every witch but one. It's only a matter of time till they get back.

In most regards, this is a short and solid book about a witch who can't bring herself to leave the place she grew up in, because that would mean to sever the last ties to her dead family, despite knowing that she'll pay the price rather sooner than later.

I have a very special problem that might not even be a problem for most readers, because it's a trope that's frequently used in fantasy: You use magic or get in a fight and give your all. Maybe just once, maybe more often. You can't even stand properly, you're depleted, you need food and sleep. The author does their best to show how down you are - but then you use your magic again. And again. And again. And again.

So, either the character doesn't know their own strength, but the author fails to address this properly, or the author just ... doesn't care? And the editor didn't catch it?
For me, it's a sign of bad writing and it annoys me hugely.
But, yeah, that was the only problem I had. If this doesn't annoy you, and you want a witchy tale, go on, give it a go!

The arc was provided by the publisher.