THE BONE KNIFE
SERIES: THE THEFT OF SUNLIGHT, #0.5
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA, FANTASY, SHORT STORY
Rae knows how to look out for family. Born with a deformed foot, she feigns indifference to the pity and insults that come her way. Wary of all things beautiful, Rae instantly distrusts their latest visitor: an appallingly attractive faerie. Further, his presence imperils the secret her sister guards. But when the local townspeople show up demanding his blood, Rae must find a way to protect both her sister’s secret and their guest. Even if that means risking herself.
I’ve gushed about all three of Intisar Khanani’s previous novels (here, here and here) and The Bone Knife is no exception. It’s a short story which introduces us to the protagonist of her forthcoming series, The Theft of Sunlight, which is set in the Thorn universe.
Rae seems to be the most practical sister amongst three. They’re all different and well-rounded even though we only get a taste of them in this small story. Bean is playful and boisterous while Niya is more soft-spoken and hiding a magical talent. I think Rae is going to be a protagonist I’ll love — she’s a little cynical and jaded but determined to protect her family.
The writing is wonderful as always, perhaps a little less lyrical than in Thorn but still elegant and a pleasure to read. The plot is simple but does a good job of showcasing the characters and gives us a glimpse of what to expect from the world. There’s a really homey and rustic sort of magical feel here, Niya can bake sunlight into food or hide someone in her stitching. The fae in this universe seem interesting, and Lord Stonemane is enigmatically charming. I’m really looking forward to seeing Khanani’s take on faeries after seeing how creative she’s been with vampires in the Sunbolt series.