The Silence of Bones
I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;Ears, but I mustn't hear;Eyes, but I mustn't see.1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.As they delve deeper into the dead woman's secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.June Hur's elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

The Silence of Bones Details

TitleThe Silence of Bones
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 21st, 2020
PublisherFeiwel & Friends
ISBN-139781250229557
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Literature, Asian Literature, Fantasy, Young Adult Historical Fiction

The Silence of Bones Review

  • June Hur
    January 1, 1970
    THE SILENCE OF BONES is, in part, my love letter to Korean history. I was born in South Korea, but I was raised in Canada, and spent all of my teenage years obsessing over British history, Jane Austen and BBC dramas. In short, I grew up knowing almost nothing about Korean history, except for the brief stories my parents shared with me, and the snippets I learned about whenever I managed to stay awake during Korean history class (back when I studied in South Korea). Then everything changed for me THE SILENCE OF BONES is, in part, my love letter to Korean history. I was born in South Korea, but I was raised in Canada, and spent all of my teenage years obsessing over British history, Jane Austen and BBC dramas. In short, I grew up knowing almost nothing about Korean history, except for the brief stories my parents shared with me, and the snippets I learned about whenever I managed to stay awake during Korean history class (back when I studied in South Korea). Then everything changed for me in 2015 when I, out of sheer curiosity, read further into Korean history – and fell madly in love with it. I was fascinated by everything and was gripped by a terrifying desperation to write a Korean historical mystery. I hesitated for a while, wondering if I, a Korean-Canadian ‘diasporan’, even had the right to write about Korea, and afraid that no one would be interested in a mystery set in a non-western country. It was the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement that finally gave me the courage to write.At the very heart of this book is a more personal story inspired by my family, a family dispersed. I spent nearly half my life living with my siblings in Canada, far away from my parents, far away from my relatives. And so, while I was writing this book, I found myself wrestling with two questions that always haunted me: What will it cost to keep family together when things are falling apart and everyone is scattered? And where is home when you live far away from those who have loved you for all of your life?Soon THE SILENCE OF BONES will be out in the world, no longer mine but belonging to the readers! I hope this book will introduce you to—or deepen your appreciation for—the complexity, depth and grandeur of Joseon Dynasty Korea. I especially hope that those who are homesick, like I was and still am, will feel less alone.CONTENT WARNINGS: violence | murder | gore | character death | misogyny | mention and description of animal abuse | mention and description of suicide
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    (Thank you Chels, I love you!)Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Blog | Spotify | Twitch
  • Amélie Zhao
    January 1, 1970
    This book, you guys. My heart just filled with ten thousand rivers of emotions and tears. Set in Korea in the 1800s, TEN THOUSAND RIVERS follows the journey of Seol, a girl indentured to the police bureau who becomes caught up in an investigation of a murder. She quickly becomes entangled with the dark secrets and political intrigue surrounding the case.TEN THOUSAND RIVERS swept me away to ancient Korea, filled with misty mountains and hazy, foggy cities; paddy fields and oceans. June's writing This book, you guys. My heart just filled with ten thousand rivers of emotions and tears. Set in Korea in the 1800s, TEN THOUSAND RIVERS follows the journey of Seol, a girl indentured to the police bureau who becomes caught up in an investigation of a murder. She quickly becomes entangled with the dark secrets and political intrigue surrounding the case.TEN THOUSAND RIVERS swept me away to ancient Korea, filled with misty mountains and hazy, foggy cities; paddy fields and oceans. June's writing is so atmospheric, and sometimes I had to pause and close my eyes over the gorgeous imagery her prose evoked. Even better than the setting are the characters -- strong, wounded, yet brave -- and the relationships between them. It's not often that I get teary or feel sad reading a book -- but certain chapters of June's had me clutching my chest and reading the lines over and over again because they were just so perfect a delicate balance of hope and depth and grief. The book is filled with themes of courage, morality, feminism, and family relationships, each explored in such sweeping, lush ways.I'm so honored to have read an early version of this, and I cannot wait to buy this once it's out. A gorgeous debut.
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  • Lady H
    January 1, 1970
    I have been looking forward to June Hur's debut for years, long before I became somewhat jaded by YA literature, and so I was not really expecting my expectations to be met, but I am so pleased to say that they absolutely were. The Silence of Bones is a vibrant, carefully researched, melancholic murder mystery that kept me reading for hours straight, until I lost track of time. Hur's writing is elegant and mature, as are her characters, who are all multi-faceted and complex. The mystery is I have been looking forward to June Hur's debut for years, long before I became somewhat jaded by YA literature, and so I was not really expecting my expectations to be met, but I am so pleased to say that they absolutely were. The Silence of Bones is a vibrant, carefully researched, melancholic murder mystery that kept me reading for hours straight, until I lost track of time. Hur's writing is elegant and mature, as are her characters, who are all multi-faceted and complex. The mystery is intricately crafted and genuinely interesting; Hur managed to weave her own characters into actual historical events and people in a skillfull way.
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  • ♠ TABI ♠
    January 1, 1970
    GUYS I AM LIVING FOR THESE CULTURALLY-CORRECT AND STUNNING COVERS OKAY . . . and now I feel weird because I truly SAW this cover, okay!! It was on Goodreads and it was beautiful . . . and now it's gone??? I am confused and devastated. a n y w a y sconsidering I am learning the Korean language, culture, and basically as much as I can about that country . . . yes, this is calling my name very loudly.yay we have a new cover . . . although I loved the first one better and I'm still super hyped for GUYS I AM LIVING FOR THESE CULTURALLY-CORRECT AND STUNNING COVERS OKAY . . . and now I feel weird because I truly SAW this cover, okay!! It was on Goodreads and it was beautiful . . . and now it's gone??? I am confused and devastated. a n y w a y sconsidering I am learning the Korean language, culture, and basically as much as I can about that country . . . yes, this is calling my name very loudly.yay we have a new cover . . . although I loved the first one better and I'm still super hyped for this!!
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  • Elora Cook
    January 1, 1970
    I had the utmost pleasure of reading this a while back and adored every word. June's writing is breathtaking, her characters pull at your heart, and her mystery is both alluring and constantly leaves you guessing! I am so excited that others will be able to read this beautiful book as well and that someone as deserving as June gets to have her words be out in the world.Everyone, you are doing yourself a favour by adding this book to your TBR!
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  • Joshee Kun (조수아)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Macmillan, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.There are usually only three causes of murder: lust, greed, or vengeance. Among these three, vengeance is the most common. Inspector HanDo you enjoy watching K-dramas, particularly those with vivid, historical settings and well-developed characters? Shows like Splendid Politics and Empress Ki can have as many as 40-50 episodes because they have multiple story arcs, but this debut novel will give you all the Thank you, Macmillan, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.There are usually only three causes of murder: lust, greed, or vengeance. Among these three, vengeance is the most common. — Inspector HanDo you enjoy watching K-dramas, particularly those with vivid, historical settings and well-developed characters? Shows like Splendid Politics and Empress Ki can have as many as 40-50 episodes because they have multiple story arcs, but this debut novel will give you all the delights of the genre with just 336 pages. I was excited to read this book when I first heard about it last year, so I'm glad that it exceeded my expectations.The Silence of Bones is about Seol, a 16-year-old girl who is indentured to the police bureau during the Joseon Dynasty. She misses her family dearly, particularly her brother who died around 10 years ago. In addition to her homesickness, she has to deal with much fear and anxiety as she helps the authorities solve a murder mystery. Seol finds herself under the wing of Inspector Han, a highly esteemed noble (and the head of the investigation). However, as they collect more pieces of evidence, Seol begins to doubt Han's integrity. Could he be the killer they were all looking for? Seol prides herself in her loyalty, but not even her faith in the inspector will keep her silent.For someone who was barely an adult, Seol had a tough life because of the political climate. Nonetheless, I loved the historical context of this book. Joseon's queen regent was like the counterpart of England's Bloody Mary, planning to sniff out all of the Catholics in the country. After Seol's father was executed for converting to Catholicism, her mother committed suicide. Then, Seol was exiled for three years and was eventually bought as a slave. The Christian in me mourned the deaths of the Catholic characters, but the Asian part of me understood the queen's refusal to embrace Western ideologies.The police officers generally didn't abuse Seol, but the conservative rules of Joseon society (e.g., men couldn't touch female non-relatives) obliged them to use her as a collector/handler of female victims. As a result, Seol wasn't a stranger to violence and death. I was surprised that she didn't let those noseless faces drive her to insanity. But if I remember correctly, Seol rarely smiled or laughed in the novel. Her circumstances were that dire.Most of Seol's moments of positivity were linked to Inspector Han. Seol respected him a lot and did whatever she could to prove her usefulness and competence. She believed that he was the very first person to look beyond her status as a servant, the first man who really saw her. These epiphanies hinted at a possible romance, making the plot more exciting. Most K-dramas (and YA books) feature couples to root for, so I'm sure that other readers will also see the chemistry between the characters.Inspector Han was a puzzle to me. I couldn't predict his actions because his feelings for Seol were as fickle as the wind. His hatred for Catholicism was perhaps the most consistent thing about him. One scene in the book almost made me despise Han. Seol's life was in danger, but he conveyed (or feigned) indifference. Still, Seol resolved to set aside her emotions and give him the benefit of the doubt. Until she found solid proof, she wouldn't abandon her friend and mentor.June Hur excelled at making me doubt the characters. Seol wasn't an unreliable narrator, so I knew that she wasn't the killer. On the other hand, Inspector Han, Lady Kang, Officer Shim, and even the mother of one of the victims were potential criminals. Seol's fellow slaves weren't necessarily innocent, either. There were so many suspects that I was tempted to look at the last page of the book. The tension was almost unbearable!My one, nitpicky problem was the repetitive use of the word "silence." Whether or not it was intentional, I couldn't unsee it. You can blame my career as an editor, which encourages me to notice such minor details. xDOverall, The Silence of Bones is one of my favorite 2020 releases. It's probably the best Korea-inspired work in my collection, so I can't wait to read June Hur's sophomore novel. Be prepared for a tragic yet beautiful ending. ;)
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  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;Ears, but I mustn't hear;Eyes, but I mustn't see.Sixteen year-old Seol has been indentured to the police bureau for one generation. She'll be 41 when she's finally released, and after a failed escape that leaves her branded, she's nearly resigned herself to a life of drudgery. Until a noblewoman is found murdered with her nose cut off, and her murder may be connected to the un-investigated deaths of several lowborn men and women who also died in a similar I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;Ears, but I mustn't hear;Eyes, but I mustn't see.Sixteen year-old Seol has been indentured to the police bureau for one generation. She'll be 41 when she's finally released, and after a failed escape that leaves her branded, she's nearly resigned herself to a life of drudgery. Until a noblewoman is found murdered with her nose cut off, and her murder may be connected to the un-investigated deaths of several lowborn men and women who also died in a similar fashion. Only Seol thinks they're connected, and Seol's past may contain all the answers.I normally don't read historical fiction mysteries, but this was pretty good.The writing sucked me in despite myself (I was a little leery on this one). The writing is beautiful, and Seol's voice is strong, passionate and what I would imagine a teenager of 1800 Korea to be like. She's bright and too curious for her own good, and her unfortunate habit of eavesdropping tends to bring her more trouble than she imagines.Without giving any spoilers away, I did like slowly finding out the mystery of her past, and I thought that it was very well done. A young child can forget some traumatic things that happen, but remember others, and can also forget key details like who their parents were or what happened or the names of their siblings, particularly if they are only referred to in honorifics.And I also liked reading about this aspect of Korean history, with the persecution of Catholics and the tension between the Asiatic and European worlds, and the tensions within Asian countries as well, and how it affected Seol in small and large ways.I also enjoyed her relationship with Inspector Han, and her realizations that good can mean many different things, and that most people are in shades of grey and are neither wholly good nor bad but can be motivated either way.Your inspector is like every other aristocrat. His kindness is conditional. So Long as you please your inspector, do what he tells you, he will treat you like his sister. But upset him, and you become again a mere slave to him.And that witness testimony can be flawed, particularly testimony that is "revealed" under torture.And, of course, the invisibility of women played a key role in this book. Seol was enslaved, and worked with other damos who were in a similar situation but well-educated, and for the most part they were ignored by their male counterparts unless they were wanted for something. The investigative and forensic techniques were also really fascinating to read and learn about.Anywho, this was solidly plotted, well researched and thoroughly engaging. It's not usually a genre I pick up, but I'm happy I gave this one a chance.I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
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  • shri (sunandchai)
    January 1, 1970
    Full review on my blog! I want to start off with a thank you to the publisher, Feiwel and Friends, for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.The Silence of Bones is one of my most anticipated releases of 2020, and I could not contain my excitement at the chance to read it. Seriously, I dropped my entire TBR just to dig into The Silence of Bones. And lads, it did not disappoint.I went in expecting a dark and generally typical who-done-it murder mystery with an interesting Full review on my blog! I want to start off with a thank you to the publisher, Feiwel and Friends, for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.The Silence of Bones is one of my most anticipated releases of 2020, and I could not contain my excitement at the chance to read it. Seriously, I dropped my entire TBR just to dig into The Silence of Bones. And lads, it did not disappoint.I went in expecting a dark and generally typical who-done-it murder mystery with an interesting setting: 1800s Korea. I came out with tears in my eyes and a weight lifted off my soul.My opinion of mystery/thrillers in YA leave something to be desired. I mentioned this on Twitter, but the genre is often diluted or pushed to the side to accommodate a romance plot because that’s what the industry says will sell. The Silence of Bones not only brings something fresh to YA mysteries, but also transcends most adult mystery novels I’ve read in the past.
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  • Kat Cho
    January 1, 1970
    June Hur paints a beautiful picture of Joseon Korea in her gripping historical mystery novel. An intriguing tale that touches on class, honor, the value of one's beliefs, and the lengths one is willing to go for loyalty and family. Hur presents such a vivid portrayal of the Joseon Era that it's like stepping back in time. With its breathtaking prose and complex characters, this mystery novel is sure to keep you guessing until the very end!
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  • The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsReview to come!
  • Kelsea
    January 1, 1970
    Friends, Ive been wanting to read The Silence of Bones since I first read the synopsis half a year ago, so you bet I squealed when it arrived in the mail! And guess what? ITS JUST AS AMAZING AS THE PREMISE PROMISES! Its an #ownvoices YA historical thriller (hello perfect genre) set in 1800 Joseon (Korea). I absolutely loved the MC, Seol. Shes smart, determined, ambitious, curious, loyal, compassionate, and obsessed with finding the truth. Shes 16 and indentured to the police bureau, where she Friends, I’ve been wanting to read The Silence of Bones since I first read the synopsis half a year ago, so you bet I squealed when it arrived in the mail! And guess what? IT’S JUST AS AMAZING AS THE PREMISE PROMISES! 🥳🥳🥳It’s an #ownvoices YA historical thriller (hello perfect genre) set in 1800 Joseon (Korea). I absolutely loved the MC, Seol. She’s smart, determined, ambitious, curious, loyal, compassionate, and obsessed with finding the truth. She’s 16 and indentured to the police bureau, where she becomes involved in a murder investigation.It was fascinating watching Seol do everything she could to investigate and solve the murder, not an easy task in a society strongly divided by class and rigid gender roles (both of which were written so, so well). Seol forms a connection with the lead inspector... but then he becomes the chief suspect. I loved watching her loyalty war with her sense of justice. And the ending was perfect!I highly recommend this one — I'd give it 4.5 stars! This phenomenal debut is out TOMORROW!! Thank you Fierce Reads for sending me a free hardcover of the book. All opinions are my own.
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  • Merie Shen
    January 1, 1970
    AsdfghjklI love this book
  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    This brilliant YA Historical Fiction deserves to be on everyone's TBR. Meticulously researched, richly drawn and resonating with multi-faceted characters, The Silence of Bones is one of the best YA books I've read in a long, long time. We're introduced immediately to our MC, Seol, who is just an absolute delight. She's strong, she's smart, she is independent despite her hard circumstances, and she is fantastically HUMAN. June Hur really has an understanding of how people think and feel, and this This brilliant YA Historical Fiction deserves to be on everyone's TBR. Meticulously researched, richly drawn and resonating with multi-faceted characters, The Silence of Bones is one of the best YA books I've read in a long, long time. We're introduced immediately to our MC, Seol, who is just an absolute delight. She's strong, she's smart, she is independent despite her hard circumstances, and she is fantastically HUMAN. June Hur really has an understanding of how people think and feel, and this is never more apparent than in Seol's head. Author June Hur has also woven an intriguing mystery, one that will keep you guessing until the very end. (Also, PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK, JUNE!)Overall, if you want a brilliantly woven and researched historical fiction, you couldn't do better than this AMAZING book!
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  • Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
    January 1, 1970
    I tried getting into this book but after a misunderstanding involving what the book was actually about and what the author actually said...I just lost interest? I'm definitely not a mystery reader so this rating is based on my lack of interest and in no means, a reflection of the book being good or not. DNF 30%
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  • Adah Udechukwu
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars to The Silence of Bones. It is an exceptional mystery thriller.
  • Liz Lawson
    January 1, 1970
    I finished THE SILENCE OF BONES last night, late. This book is phenomenal. It's a well-paced, well-plotted mystery, but it's also so much more than that. It's an exploration on family, about what loyalty means, and is just gorgeously written. I felt like I was in 1800's Korea, traveling alongside Seol. I could not recommend this book more highly -- I'm so excited for it to get into the world and for other people to have the opportunity to read it. An absolutely stunning debut.
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  • Sasha Nanua
    January 1, 1970
    A fantastic, twisty tale following a murder investigation in 1800s Korea. If I could pre-order it right now, I would. I am so excited for the world to read this book in 2020! Congrats, June!
  • Becca
    January 1, 1970
    Ive had time to gather my thoughts (and the pieces of my broken heart...) about June Hur's stunning debut TEN THOUSAND RIVERS which is the historical murder mystery of your D R E A M S. so now its time for some screaming.set in 1800's Korea, TEN THOUSAND RIVERS is told through the eyes of 16yo Seol, who is indentured to the local police (i'd die for her) this is genuinely one of the most immersive historical books I've read it ages. Every detail feels true. You're in another time entirely. This I’ve had time to gather my thoughts (and the pieces of my broken heart...) about June Hur's stunning debut TEN THOUSAND RIVERS which is the historical murder mystery of your D R E A M S. so now it’s time for some screaming.set in 1800's Korea, TEN THOUSAND RIVERS is told through the eyes of 16yo Seol, who is indentured to the local police (i'd die for her) this is genuinely one of the most immersive historical books I've read it ages. Every detail feels true. You're in another time entirely. This book is a master class in atmosphere. From the very first page, you’re inside the story. You can feel the mist on your skin and see the gloomy sky and you’re just as wrapped up in tension as the city that’s currently reeling from a horrifying murder. It’s stunning.Seol is an amazing protagonist. This isn’t one of those books where the mc is someone with a ton of clout and power—people constantly underestimate her, write her off, and flat out ignore her. And she twists that to her advantage. She CLAWS her way towards answers. It's. Amazing. I LOVED watching this fierce girl who everyone kept underestimating unravel the mystery right under their noses (haha, book joke). Even if you don't care abt the mystery (not possible, you will) you want her to win /so bad/ because you care about Seol so much it physically hurts.the sense of dread in this book is stunning. It’s there in the beginning, lingering. the deeper you get the more it builds, & it’s like this tug-of-war because you HAVE to know what happens but oh god if I keep reading something terrible will definitely happen and I AM NOT READY. The prose is gorgeous, but don’t let it fool you—parts of this book are genuinely terrifying. Hur isn’t afraid to go dark and explore what happens when humans are pushed back their breaking point. This book also expertly explores the way people can surprise or disappoint us when we cling to our own internal, romanticized image of them. When our shining, nostalgia-wrapped image is confronted with reality—and we realize that even the people we love have an ugly side.tldr; I loved this book. I'm still thinking about it weeks later. It will crawl inside your heart and set up camp and then break your heart and LAUGH.You'll want this in 2020. Trust me.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) TW: tortureThe Silence of Bones is full of action packed mystery set in a detailed setting of 1800 Korea. I wasn't prepared for the mystery elements, but as soon as I saw them I was hooked (I try not to read the summary before reading so I don't accidentally spoil myself). Seol is inquisitive in a world which prides silence and obedience. So I basically fell in love with Seol (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) TW: tortureThe Silence of Bones is full of action packed mystery set in a detailed setting of 1800 Korea. I wasn't prepared for the mystery elements, but as soon as I saw them I was hooked (I try not to read the summary before reading so I don't accidentally spoil myself). Seol is inquisitive in a world which prides silence and obedience. So I basically fell in love with Seol from the beginning. She can be impulsive and her curiosity can get her into trouble, but above all she's passionate and determined. Seol exists in a culture that dismisses her skills and potential because she's a woman. As a whole, honor and family loyalty is valued. Acting as a servant in the police bureau, Seol is tasked with interacting and moving the female victims because of propriety. But Seol becomes immersed in a murder case that transcends secrecy, religion, and jealousy. Seol begins unraveling mysteries and asking people no one else can. The Silence of Bones is a multi-dimensional mystery that celebrates curiosity and asks questions of loyalty.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Tanya
    January 1, 1970
    I just finished this stunning debut novel and I'm left with so many feelings. When I started reading this, I really didn't have much knowledge about this period in Korean history. So the fact that I was immediately immersed in the atmosphere and the culture and its people is quite amazing. Part of its success has to do with Hur's exquisite prose, which makes it so easy to imagine the atmosphere, and feel as if you're standing right there with the characters. The other part is how the main I just finished this stunning debut novel and I'm left with so many feelings. When I started reading this, I really didn't have much knowledge about this period in Korean history. So the fact that I was immediately immersed in the atmosphere and the culture and its people is quite amazing. Part of its success has to do with Hur's exquisite prose, which makes it so easy to imagine the atmosphere, and feel as if you're standing right there with the characters. The other part is how the main characters are fleshed out with so many nuances that they feel wholly three dimensional—especially the main character Seol, who is so strong and brave but also so fearful and damaged. She is one of the best protagonists I've read in a long time. If you love a slow burn type of historical mystery full of atmosphere and intrigue that keeps you guessing till the very end, then I would highly recommend THE SILENCE OF BONES.
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  • Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!CW: slavery, branding, religious persecution, abuse, death, and murder3.5/5Oh, how I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. Don't get me wrong, it's good. But there was just so much going on that I found it hard to keep track at times. This story follows Seol, a damo (or indentured servant) for the police. A noblewoman is murdered and down the rabbit hole it all goes.For me, there were a lot of characters and, right when I I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!CW: slavery, branding, religious persecution, abuse, death, and murder3.5/5Oh, how I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. Don't get me wrong, it's good. But there was just so much going on that I found it hard to keep track at times. This story follows Seol, a damo (or indentured servant) for the police. A noblewoman is murdered and down the rabbit hole it all goes.For me, there were a lot of characters and, right when I started getting the hang of who they were, someone new was introduced or we went down a new subplot/rabbit hole and I found myself trying to pick up the pieces yet again. There was so much going on in this book. I found it hard to keep things straight. I got really engaged in the middle of the story, then it got too twisty and I found myself confused. And I ended the book feeling confused. One day, I'd like to reread it to see if I understand more now that I've seen the whole story through, but for right now it was an average read.
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  • rachel ☾
    January 1, 1970
    ◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog Goodreads Twitter Instagram ◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram
  • Fallon DeMornay
    January 1, 1970
    June has created a work of art with this breathtaking debut. ** review to come **
  • Stephanie Ward
    January 1, 1970
    'The Silence of Bones' is an amazing young adult historical mystery that readers are going to love. I personally adore mysteries and thrillers (it's one of my favorite genres) so it was a no-brainer that I had to read this book. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect because it's a debut and because of the historical setting. I'm so incredibly glad that I gave it a shot because it definitely exceeded my hopes and was truly wonderful in almost every way.The main character, Seol, is fantastic. She 'The Silence of Bones' is an amazing young adult historical mystery that readers are going to love. I personally adore mysteries and thrillers (it's one of my favorite genres) so it was a no-brainer that I had to read this book. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect because it's a debut and because of the historical setting. I'm so incredibly glad that I gave it a shot because it definitely exceeded my hopes and was truly wonderful in almost every way.The main character, Seol, is fantastic. She has so many good qualities and traits along with flaws and issues that she was truly complex and completely realistic. I connected with her within the first pages of the book and my love for her only grew as the story unfolded. I could go on and on about all of her layers - her past, her memories, the life she's forced to live because of her class, and all of her amazing qualities. She's so strong and resilient despite having a pretty rough life and then being indentured to the police bureau as basically a slave. She's very smart and ends up figuring out the big mystery before the police actually do (which I kinda figured would happen, but still was cool). She's persistent, constantly questioning things and letting her curiosity get the better of her - even though that could get her in a lot of trouble. She's just an amazing character and by the end of the book I felt like I had known her forever and was right beside her throughout the story.The setting had me a little worried yet curious. I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction of any kind and I have absolutely no knowledge of 19th century Korean culture. I wasn't sure if this was going to be a problem for me. Interestingly enough, it not only made the story feel that much more realistic, it allowed me to learn about Korean history of that time and what life was like back then. Like I said, I have no clue about Korean history but right from the beginning paragraphs of the book, the author literally brought it to life for me. I not only could see this place in my mind, but I felt like I was actually there beside Seol. I felt what she felt, saw what she saw, heard and smelled what she did. The author transported me to this completely unfamiliar setting but made it feel alive and real around me - like I was there myself. It was truly amazing. Not many authors can bring a setting to life - especially one where I'm coming in completely blind without any knowledge - so the fact that the author managed to accomplish this and in such a detailed and vivid way was remarkable.The plot was fascinating but also your typical murder mystery. Like I mentioned, it's one of my favorite genres, so not much surprises me anymore. I loved getting wrapped up in the politics, the intrigue, and all the little details that the author left for us. I have to admit that it kept me guessing for quite awhile. The red herrings were great and there were definitely some twists and turns I didn't see coming. I don't do spoilers in my reviews, so I can't go into much more detail than that. I'll just say that it was a tightly wound mystery that started early in the story and the suspense grew as each chapter passed and new things were discovered.The final thing I have to talk about is the writing style. If you read my reviews, you know this is a huge aspect and can literally make or break a book for me. I almost always prefer the first person point of view because I believe it allows the reader to have a deeper connection with the narrator. I'm so incredibly happy that the author decided to write this book in the first person from Seol's perspective. As soon as I saw that it was written in the first person, I took a huge sigh of relief and then really dove into the story. And I truly believe that this POV allowed me to connect with Seol on a very personal level and allowed me to lose myself in the setting, the story, the mystery, and so much more. I loved getting to know Seol so well. We get to see her innermost thoughts and emotions - her hopes and dreams, her fears and regrets, memories, her feelings, and everything else in between. This really sealed the deal for me along with the amazing writing. This book has it all - a fantastic heroine that you generally connect with, the other characters are well rounded, the setting is brought to life in front of your eyes even though it's set in 19th century Korea, and the plot is a great blend of historical fiction and mystery. I very highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, and readers interested in learning more about Korean history and culture.Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    I'm glad I decided to pick this one up. It was kind of a different read for me considering this is a historical Korean story set during the Joseon Dynasty- it had a great murder mystery plot with political and religious intrigue- along with tales of classicism, family, and the budding desire to be more than the role fate assigned. The h, Seol, had a wealth of curiosity and inner strength that made her journey from a novice police damo to a budding investigator in her own right a great read.
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    In 19th century Joseon (Korea), a 16-year-old girl is indentured to the police in the capital. Her job is to interact with female victims in the stead of the male police force. She also performs menial tasks and even lives at police headquarters. I found Seol's work to be fascinating. Even though she cannot read or write, her mind is sharp and she has questions about the crimes that she is helping investigate. Inspector Han allows her more latitude than others on the department. She is drawn to In 19th century Joseon (Korea), a 16-year-old girl is indentured to the police in the capital. Her job is to interact with female victims in the stead of the male police force. She also performs menial tasks and even lives at police headquarters. I found Seol's work to be fascinating. Even though she cannot read or write, her mind is sharp and she has questions about the crimes that she is helping investigate. Inspector Han allows her more latitude than others on the department. She is drawn to him, but begins to wonder about his connection to a string of murders. Does the inspector have a reason to seek vengeance against Catholics? How can Seon keep her promise to find out what happened to the older brother who left her behind ten years ago? This atmospheric mystery will haunt you and transport you to Seol's world. A world where a girl who runs away is branded; where a cross pendant can be a death sentence. I will be watching for the next book from this debut author.Thank you to Feiwel & Friends and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Ruthsic
    January 1, 1970
    Warnings: violence and physical abuse, murder and gore, misogyny, mention and description of animal abuse, mention and description of suicide, mention of infanticideRep: OwnVoices historical Korean settingTaking cues from the historical context of the Joseon era, Hur writes a mystery that encloses the rich landscape of that time into a story about a girl looking for her lost brother. Seol has been indentured to serve as a damo in the police bureau of Hanyang, where she comes across her first Warnings: violence and physical abuse, murder and gore, misogyny, mention and description of animal abuse, mention and description of suicide, mention of infanticideRep: OwnVoices historical Korean settingTaking cues from the historical context of the Joseon era, Hur writes a mystery that encloses the rich landscape of that time into a story about a girl looking for her lost brother. Seol has been indentured to serve as a damo in the police bureau of Hanyang, where she comes across her first murder case while serving under the decorated Inspector Han. She has always had a curious nature, and the increasing complexity of the case compels her to investigate on her own, as does the fact that she feels loyalty and affection for the Inspector who saw something in her, and whose name she wants to clear. The story begins from the murder of a highborn young woman, and goes onto to include the political landscape, the religious clashes and the challenges of a young woman in this era. The murder mystery takes a lot of interesting turns and twists throughout the book, and by the second half it becomes about much more than that. With a sort of unreliable narrator like Seol - unreliable in that she doesn't really remember much of her family history or the reason her brother ran away - the focus of the investigation keeps shifting. What starts as curiosity becomes a cause, and later a race for the truth. The atmosphere that the author builds into the novel is the highlight - you are truly transported there, with how Hur describes the life, the meaning of their expressions (while also not overdoing it), the particular circumstances in which this story functions, the limitations imposed upon Seol, everything. Seol's characterization, though, sometimes feels a bit distant from the reader, because we don't exactly always know what she is or is not aware of, and so sometimes the revelations feel convenient. Her relationship with Han, and the power struggles there were an interesting arc of the storyline, because she starts from a point of admiration and mid-way she starts getting disillusioned about him, and then she starts digging into his motivations and everything, which sets them at opposing ends. On the historical events depicted - I feel the author did a fantastic job incorporating those elements, and the political issues in this story. I won't say much about the ending, but the culprit was definitely a surprise for me, as was the motive. On the whole, a wonderfully written mystery set in a historical time period that is unique for YA. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Feiwel & Friends, via Edelweiss.
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  • Margaret Willson
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5well, that was refreshing. now i want more ya his-fic books set in korea. (or just, any other non-western country?) i'm in general not a his-fic fan, but this is the type of his-fic i like :3 what it does well...- well executed mystery, i was so stumped most of the time! (altho i will say, by the end i did guess who did it, but it was very much a guess and the reveal was still very exciting)- vivid setting that is unashamedly korean, but also directed towards american audiences so it's easy 4.5/5well, that was refreshing. now i want more ya his-fic books set in korea. (or just, any other non-western country?) i'm in general not a his-fic fan, but this is the type of his-fic i like :3 what it does well...- well executed mystery, i was so stumped most of the time! (altho i will say, by the end i did guess who did it, but it was very much a guess and the reveal was still very exciting)- vivid setting that is unashamedly korean, but also directed towards american audiences so it's easy to understand the cultural differences- compelling characters (i especially loved Seol, Inspector Han, and Yeun (idk spelling, i listened on audio, that's my best guess at his name :'D)- it's a christian author incorporating and acknowledging religion without forcing conversions/gospel message on her readers, which i'll always approve of (obviously the historical context makes it necessary to include it! but she could have made it preachy and she didn't, so for that i'm grateful) - it's not dripping in forced his-fic info-dumps, but i still feel like i learned /so much/ about the time reading it <3.- i feel like there's a very distinct tone/atmosphere to it and i love that in a book- i mean, i can stomach a lot of content very easily, but it's always nice to have a book which is just... pretty much clean? just a bit violent? which doesn't bother me at all? so definitely a point in favor there <3.- tHAT cOVER tHO 😍i only have a few complaints and they're very minor? mainly that...- the ending seemed to drag for awhile? which i didn't mind too much, but it felt like there was /so much wrap up/ and i'm not used to that in murder mysteries - i felt like i could actually use more description! maybe it's just that i'm really interested in but also ignorant of the korean culture and such, but often times i didn't feel like i had as strong a sense of everything around the characters as much and struggled to visualize it a bit- sometimes the characters got a bit confusing, but that's probably an issue mainly from listening via audio xpso yeah, i really loved this! i was highly anticipating it's release and it didn't let me down :3it's a solid debut novel and i'll definitely be checking out more from this author in the future <3.
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  • Paige Green
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.Book: Silence of the BonesAuthor: June HurBook Series: StandaloneDiversity: Korean characters!Rating: 5/5Publication Date: April 21, 2020Publisher: Feiwel & FriendsPages: 336Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, gore, death, slight romance)Synopsis: I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;Ears, but I mustn't hear;Eyes, but I mustn't see.1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.Book: Silence of the BonesAuthor: June HurBook Series: StandaloneDiversity: Korean characters!Rating: 5/5Publication Date: April 21, 2020Publisher: Feiwel & FriendsPages: 336Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, gore, death, slight romance)Synopsis: I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;Ears, but I mustn't hear;Eyes, but I mustn't see.1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.As they delve deeper into the dead woman's secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.June Hur's elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée AhdiehReview: Oh my God this book was so good! I loved the historical aspect of it and the mystery blended so well together with it! The characters were very well developed, the plot was intriguing from start to finish, and the pacing was very well done!My only issue is that the mix between English and Korean made it a bit hard of a read until you got the gist of what was being said.Verdict: A well done and suspenseful novel!
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