When I added The Bone Season to my wishlist, it was mostly due to the fact that I had already loved The Priory of The Orange Tree by the same author. I was quite skeptical but also deeply excited at the same time. Indeed, The Bone Season having been published almost five years before The Priory of The Orange Tree, I was afraid not to retrieve the magnificent author’s way with words.
Read my article on The Priory of The Orange Tree now
But then, my dearest friend offered it to me for my birthday and the front cover was so beautiful that I could not resist but dive right into it. At first, I felt destabilized but reassured at the same time. Destabilized because Shannon’s writing felt really different, as well as the worldbuilding she introduced in her first chapter. And reassured because I retrieved a map and a complete glossary that guided me and helped me understand that complex but interesting universe that the author imagined.
The Bone Season has a lot of qualities but its greatest is no other that its characters – Paige Mahoney being the protagonist. We’ll follow her point of view in a novel written at the first person singular, which gives – in my opinion – more depth and subjectivity to a novel.
It’s 2059 when the story begins and we are straight away dived in a world where clairvoyants – a group of humans who have specific abilities to connect with the aether – are targeted by Scion. Paige Mahoney, the Pale Dreamer and Mollisher to Jaxon Hall, who is mimelord of Seven Dials, will find herself assigned to a warden after having been attacked, drugged and kidnapped to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years. All throuhout the story, we will follow a strong-minded, independent and compelling heroine, who will have to try everything in her power to regain her freedom.
Overall, The Bone Season is the perfect introduction to Shannon’s writing. Even though The Priory of The Orange Tree was an amazing fantasy novel, The Bone Season seemed easier to read and understand. Besides, Shannon’s way with words was spectacular in Priory and reading TBS helps realise that if skill comes with training, Samantha Shannon has a real talent for writing.
What about The Pale Dreamer ?
The Pale Dreamer is a sequel novella to The Bone Season. It still follows Paige Mahoney’s point of view and focuses more on the mission which helped her become The Pale Dreamer. The intrigue was simpler but captivating and the way Samantha Shannon decided to write about the Anne Naylor mystery made me think of it as a polar.
In the end of this prequel, I felt like it was not very necessary to read it since it did not gave primordial elements to understand The Bone Season better, but I totally enjoyed the novella for it always is a pleasure to read Shannon’s words.