Sunday, April 03, 2011

Review: Crystal Bones by C. Audrey Hall

Book Description from the back of the ARC:

ARC, 313 pages
April 28, 2011, Marshall Cavendish

Stay out of sight. Avoid strangers. Don’t tell anyone who we are or where we come from.

Diello and Cynthe have always believed their parents’ rules are too cautious. The twins expect things to be different on their thirteenth birthday. Their mysterious Fae mother has promised that today they’ll be given magical gifts, and they’re planning to sneak off to the village fair. But nothing goes right. The magic isn’t what they hoped. Their human father won’t let them out of their chores. They’re forbidden to attend the fair and sent on an errand instead. Then the day turns deadly as Diello and Cynthe are plunged into a lethal game of cat and mouse with old enemies of their parents. Suddenly there are secrets upon secrets to unwind. Who is friend and who is foe? And what have their parents been hiding?

Source: Marshall Cavendish & Diana (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Set in a time when barons, serfs and castles were present, Hall introduced Fae and Faelin into this traditional society. Because of a great war between Fae and Goblins in the past, Antrasin held a grudge against them – including half-breeds. But Diello and Cynthe, twins of a farmer and a Fae woman, had never been exposed to this kind of cruelty and hatred. As Faelin, they were treated with no fairness. They were despised, feared and perceived as people who do not belong in Antrasin.

They ventured into the village to witness the fair despite their mother’s warning. In the fair, they found wonders, human magic, merrymaking and horrible things. With newfound awareness, they realize that the village was not a good place to be in when you were Faelin. Goblins were everywhere, blending in as human. When one of the goblins bumped into them and realized they knew he was not human, the game was on. Soon Diello and Cynthe were running for their lives, with wounds as reminders of the danger they were in.

I never thought there could be this much action involving thirteen year olds but there was! It reminded me of the movie The Lord of the Rings – swords, bows and arrows, tracking and a great deal of running. There was so much wickedness in the place and there was so much distrust and neglect in the people who were supposed to be helpful in the first place. I hated how they made Diello and Cynthe’s situation much more difficult and loathsome.

Although at times I found the story dragging and slow, it was countered by really exciting and heart-pounding action scenes. Soon, I found myself lost in the adventure, the danger and the drama. They were realistic and worrisome but nonetheless entertaining and kickass. The twins were on their own, looking after each other and searching for a way to save themselves and their little sister, Amalina, while trying to decipher the mystery of their parents’ lives. Diello and Cynthe were really different and they got into fights sometimes. I appreciated the love-dislike-love relationship between the twins. They cared for one another so much that living without the other would be unbearable. They had a really hard time as they faced the people of Antrasin and its ruler Lord Malques who looked at them with discriminating eyes and followed laws that only considered humans.

Crystal Bones is dramatic, tragic, exciting and action-packed. Magic, mystery and emotions combined into an adequate mix that heightened enjoyment. This has so much promise. The next book will be more exciting than the first, I can feel it. I recommend this to readers of Fae novels and lovers of fantasy.



  1. Oooh this sounds great! I love that the main character's are twins. We really don't see that too often and I love seeing the intense bond that twins share. Faeries, goblins, action and adventure? You realise you've said all the key words to suck me in? I'm really loving fey novels right now so I look forward to getting my hands on this. Great review!

  2. Wow this sounds pretty unique. Faeries and castles. Loves it!

  3. I've recently finished this one. I enjoyed it too! I can't wait to read the sequel ;) Great review, Precious!