Fans of the series, you have the green light. Readers new to the series may want to begin with the first full book and circle back to the prequel once they’ve become familiar with this world. The Bone Queen reads more like a volume 1.5 than a 0.5 and not so much as a stand-alone either.
I struggled in the beginning so this was a very slow read for me, but the characters more than made up for my lack of knowledge about the world of Pellinor. Cadvan kept me reading when I might have decided to let this one go. And that says a great deal about this author’s ability to pull a reader into the story.
Although Croggon writes beautifully, there was something about this particular writing style that didn’t flow well for me. With high fantasy, one should expect the lyrical prose and long detailed descriptions you’ll find in The Bone Queen, but the dialogue was a bit too sparse and stilted for me.
In cases like this, I almost always stop reading and move on to the next book in my enormous TBR, but I just had to finish Cadvan’s story. Once I got my bearings the pace picked up and I quite enjoyed the book and will probably continue with the rest of the series. I do think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if there was a little bit of gentle guidance encouraging new readers to begin with The Naming first, but true fans of the series will have no such issues.
A true high fantasy in the vein of LOTR, The Bone Queen is quite a unique adventure all in its own right, sure to delight fans of the series.