Charm is a witch, and she is alone. The last of a line of conquered necromantic workers, now confined within the yard of regrown bone trees at Orchard House, and the secrets of their marrow.
Charm is a prisoner, and a survivor. Charm tends the trees and their clattering fruit for the sake of her children, painstakingly grown and regrown with its fruit: Shame, Justice, Desire, Pride, and Pain.
Charm is a whore, and a madam. The wealthy and powerful of Borenguard come to her house to buy time with the girls who aren’t real.
Except on Tuesdays, which is when the Emperor himself lays claim to his mistress, Charm herself.
But now—Charm is also the only person who can keep an empire together, as the Emperor summons her to his deathbed, and charges her with choosing which of his awful, faithless sons will carry on the empire—by discovering which one is responsible for his own murder.
If she does this last thing, she will finally have what has been denied her since the fall of Inshil—her freedom. But she will also be betraying the ghosts past and present that live on within her heart.
Charm must choose. Her dead Emperor’s will or the whispers of her own ghosts. Justice for the empire or her own revenge.
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG THIS BOOK….
Um let me start by saying that when I bought this book, I bought it for the cover. I also went into this book completely blind to the point that I thought this was a completely different book.
I thought it was about a female murderer…. Ummmmm this book was definitely not that.
IT WAS SO MUCH BETTER!!!
Not only was it a murder mystery staring a madam as the sleuth and main character… it was so much more than that…
The main character, Charm, is a madam in charge of running the Orchard House. She is also the sole mistress of the emperor. (I mean we got that information from the summary of the book, but still that small detail is so cool in itself!) The orchard house is definitely a brothel, if you haven’t gathered that already, but it is not your typical brothel…. The women of the brothel are not what you would consider real… I won’t give too much away, but the names of them kinda clue you in to who they really are.
Charm may pretend to have accepted her lot in life, when the emperor gives her the opportunity to escape, she takes it with both hands. This leads her and the book’s plot to go in a very mysterious and convoluted direction that inspires intrigue, surprise, shock, hilarity, and amazement in the reader. We also get to see Charm’s heartbreaking and shocking past, the story of her fellow women and how the Orchard House came to be.
This story is the most unique one I have ever read and the writing is AMAZING. Although there were so many details about the magic and the book world, it was all very necessary, even if it took me much longer to read than any book I’ve read in a long time. It was very much worth it! The sly comments and the shady dealings of all the characters were so much fun to follow and very unpredictable.
I usually am able to predict something from a book, but this book I was completely surprised by everything! I mean there were so many plot points that I thought would go in a completely different direction and then the author did something that said, “just kidding.” It was so much fun to read a book like this.
I highlighted so many amazing quotes from this book. I can’t wait to read it again.
My Book Rating
5/5 Book World
The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller
Genre: Gothic Fantasy
Published on March 22, 2022 by Tor Books
Copy Read: ebook