Book Review: Call of the Bone Ships by RJ Barker

Call of the Bone Ships // by RJ Barker

Book 2 of The Tide Child – Review for Book 1, The Bone Ships, here.

Pub Day: November 24, 2020

Publisher: Orbit


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.

My Thoughts:

I was lucky enough to receive this title right along with the first one so as soon as I finished The Bone Ships, which was one of my favorite reads of the year, I dove into Call of the Bone Ships. There is just something magical and exciting about not having to wait for the next book at all. It feels so much more immersive.

A big difference between book 1 and book 2 at the very start is that you now know a lot more about this previously unknown world and therefore won’t experience the same level of confusion as before. Our previous knowledge allows us to dive right into the next events of this grand adventure without needing as much guidance. But that does not mean the world-building has ended. That is not the case at all. Barker continues to impress with the details in his descriptions of his world. While we may understand the big picture now that allows us to travel through his lands and follow the adventures of his cast, he shows that there is so much left to learn about the flora, fauna, traditions, and society. As I’ve said before, this is one of my favorite parts of starting a new series and I was excited to see that he continued this very well in this second book.

For the most part, the narration still continued from one point of view. I don’t mind multiple POVs if they are done well but overall I like for books to continue in the same vein as the first book does. Barker does include some chapters told by other characters and while it was a little jarring for me sometimes, they did add a lot of detail to the story in ways we wouldn’t have been able to receive otherwise. It was fun to see how differently those other characters think and perceive the world and their place in it. For the majority of the book though, we stay with Joron and continue to learn more about the world and being a fleet member with him. He has experienced a lot of growth and we get to see that in this book in the way he carries out his job as d’keeper. But that does not mean he is over his self-doubt yet, which to me just makes him even more likable. Lucky Meas is still, well, Lucky Meas. For the most part, she is still the ever-confident shipwife we got to know before but we do get to see her more up close and personal this time since Joron has gotten to know her more by now. A little glimpse under the armor so to speak. I continue to adore her as a character with her strength and confidence and moral compass.

Sadly I do have to wait a little while for the next book in this series now instead of jumping right in like before. I really just want to devour the entire series in one go but that is what we get for being on the team of early reviewers. I cannot wait to see where Barker takes us next. He leaves me with my heart aching and yearning for more. Thankfully he does have another series so I will take a look at those books while I wait!

Affiliate Link:

If you think you’ll enjoy this awesome book, I would appreciate if you consider purchasing it here. Book 1 is available here.

I am super excited to be a part of as an affiliate. With every book sale that is done through my shop link here, at no extra cost to you, I receive a percentage which will be used to continue to bring you book-related content (probably going straight back into Bookshop). What is really awesome though is that a percentage will also go to support independent book stores across the country, which has already helped support (and even save!) many book stores during the COVID struggles.

About the Author:

RJ Barker lives in Leeds with his wife, son and a collection of questionable taxidermy, odd art, scary music and more books than they have room for. He grew up reading whatever he could get his hands on, and has always been ‘that one with the book in his pocket’. Having played in a rock band before deciding he was a rubbish musician, RJ returned to his first love, fiction, to find he is rather better at that. As well as his debut epic fantasy novel, AGE OF ASSASSINS, RJ has written short stories and historical scripts which have been performed across the country. He has the sort of flowing locks any cavalier would be proud of.

Find out more on his website or follow him on Twitter. He interacts with readers a lot, which is always fun!

About the Publisher:

Orbit is a leading publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy, with imprints in the UK, US and Australia. They publish across the spectrum of Science Fiction and Fantasy – from action-packed urban fantasy to widescreen space opera; from sweeping epic adventures to near-future thrillers. Launched in 2007, Orbit US is the Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint at Hachette Book Group USA.

Follow them on Twitter to stay up to date on their book happenings! They often have giveaways going on so make sure you don’t miss out on those!

They are gorgeous! I love having them on my shelf!

Thank you so much to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review!

7 thoughts on “Book Review: Call of the Bone Ships by RJ Barker

Add yours

      1. The Robin Hobb fandom is split on whether or not you have to read the books in order, but I skipped right from the Farseer Trilogy to the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy with no trouble. Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) is probably the best place to start, but any first of the trilogy/quartet books would work. I love the ones that feature FitzChivalry and The Fool/Beloved together.

        Liked by 1 person

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