The Bone House by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.
The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?
Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.
I really enjoyed this one. Rin is a solid character, strong and quick-tempered, but loyal to her family and village. But it was Ellis I really liked. He’s so different from most males in YA – disabled but not heroically so, perfectly content to let Rin be the tough one and yet he jumps in to save Carrie when she’s attacked, even though he knows he’s not as strong and it will cause him a lot of pain the next day. I have to wonder if the author also deals with chronic pain, based on how accurate this was.
As for the story, I found it to also be original and entertaining. I really loved the grounding of the story in Welsh folklore. If you have read The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, you will recognize some of the monsters and other elements of the story. And yet it’s wholly unique, which is refreshing. I listened to this one and the narrator did a great job with the Welsh accent and the way the words just rolled off her tongue was beautiful. And I absolutely love the Goat!
So 4 stars and definitely recommended. This one has some romance, but that’s not the main focus of the story.