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The Bone Orchard is a stunning dark sci-fantasy mystery debut by Sara A. Mueller

The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller
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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Bone Orchard is a debut gothic/horror sci-fantasy/mystery by Sara A. Mueller. The eBook version is 336 pages. It’s being released March 22nd by Tor Books.

Charm is many things: a mistress, a madam, a necromantic witch, and a psychic with a mind lock. The Emperor, who controls his psychic population with mind locks–forcing them to do his bidding–is dying. His mistress, Charm, is invited to the palace for the first time and he commands her to solve his murder. She must ensure that whomever is responsible for his death will not take control of the empire. If she completes this task, she will finally be free.

The worldbuilding in this book is amazing, and the court politics are quite interesting. I loved the idea of growing bones in an orchard and using them to create flesh-beings known as boneghosts. A certain medication described in this book reminded me a lot of something from Jupiter Ascending.

A good amount of this book is about processing various traumas inflicted on women and more specifically sex workers. This book goes to very dark places, so please check out my content warnings below.

CW: death, murder, mind control, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual assault (off page), sexual abuse of minor (off page), domestic violence (on page), suicide and suicidal ideation, gore, body horror, mental illness

Special thanks to Tor Books and NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

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