Marcus is Ash's BFF, and importantly, he is the heir to their realm. He has been unable to raise his phantom and is running out of time. If he does not raise it soon, then he may never be able to do so and train it. He finally does so in the nick of time, but they still must race to the training realm before the doors are closed for the season. Although advised against it, Marcus takes Ash as his recorder, as well as a healer and other select members for the journey. The journey will be more perilous and fraught than they ever could have imagined.
What I loved: I was completely caught up in this world and all its magic. Ash and Marcus were both compelling characters, and others that we meet along the way (Kaylin) are equally as intriguing. The world is built so fantastically with storylines woven together to make a truly epic fantasy. Although we learn so much about this world and its magic, there are still so many questions left to be answered that I am beyond eager for the next book.
There are some intriguing themes in the book, such as those of destiny/fate, power and politics, and social class disparity. There is also some romance here and there, and I loved the addition - I am really curious to see how the relationships will develop. I am also particularly intrigued by the black robes that cast the bones to read fates, and I hope we get to learn more about this in future books. There are so very many questions I have about Kaylin, and I also can't wait to hear more. I am completely hooked on this world!
Final verdict: Compelling, captivating, and fantastic, CROWN OF BONES is an epic read that transports the reader to a world of destiny, danger, and the unexpected. Highly recommend for fans of THE GOLDEN COMPASS, BRING ME THEIR HEARTS, and/or HAVEN.