The Bone Ships Wake



Hello Everybody, nice to see you again. 

Well, on September 28th RJ Barker releases the end of the Tide Child Trilogy with his new book The Bone Ship's Wake and I was lucky enough to get to read this early (thank you netgalley and orbit!) and just to give some spoilers, what an ending. 

The sea dragons are returning, and Joron Twiner's dreams of freedom lie shattered. His Shipwife is gone and all he has left is revenge.

Leading the black fleet from the deck of Tide Child Joron takes every opportunity to strike at his enemies, but he knows his time is limited. His fleet is shrinking and the Keyshan's Rot is running through his body. He runs from a prophecy that says he and the avian sorcerer, the Windseer, will end the entire world.

But the sea dragons have begun to return, and if you can have one miracle, who is to say that there cannot be another?

 Publisher: Orbit

 Expected Pub Date: 28th September 2021


The Bone Ships Wake triumphantly closes the Tide Child Trilogy in this the final volume, and I must say that RJ Barker has done it again and written one of my favourite books of the year. 

There is a strange juxtaposition with the endings of trilogies in that whilst you want to see how the story finishes, you never want it to end. And it very much stands with this trilogy. From the moment I read the first page of The Bone ships and the strange maritime world that RJ Barker described, I was utterly entranced by this highly original and brutal world filled with strange water dragons, the Gullaime and the harsh, unforgiving peoples of The Hundred Isles and their forever war with the Gaunt Islanders.
Throughout the books, RJ Barker has captained the good ship Tide Child and the characters that inhabit this evocative world though a tumultuous storm and led us finally, to this culmination of his epic series. 
With ‘The Bone Ships Wake’, we join with Joron Twiner a year after the events of The Call of The Bone Ships, and goodness me, how his character and stature have grown. Instead of being the frightened boy that we met in the first book, he is now the scourge of The Hundred Islands, The Black Pirate. A figure to be feared as he swathes his way through the Hundred Isles fleet, cutting down those that stand in his way in his search for his beloved Shipwife, Lucky Meas.
It is not long into the book that we realise that things have moved on. Not only have the crew become something new, but so has Joron Twiner. He is merciless in his search and he takes no prisoners. Whilst at times he questions the decisions that he makes, he is far from the quaking deck keeper that he once was but has become the Ship wife of the Tide Child in all but name. 
However, there is some familiarity about the story, particularly with the characters. The Gulllaime is as present as ever, although much more subdued throughout the first part of the book. Cwell remains as Joron’s shadow and we see that a relationship of sorts has developed between the two. Mevan’s has become a trusted member of the crew, as has Farys and Solemn Muffaz.
For me, I think that RJ Barker has written a truly magnificent book with ‘The Bone Ships Wake’ and he closes the series perfectly. Everything that you want in the book is there, form heart warming characters and relationships to blood pumping battles.
Stylistically, the book is set into three distinctive acts that at times felt like three separate novellas that were interconnected into a wider story. In the first act, we have the desperation that Joron feels as he searches for signs of Lucky Meas. Throughout this first part of the book, there is a taut game of cat and mouse as Twiner is pursued by the Hundred Isles fleet in their bid to capture The Black Pirate and his crew. The second part deals directly with the scars and pain of the events of The Call of the Bone Ships, with Lucky Meas coming to terms with the ‘new’ Tide Child and her own part to play in the changes that she has wrought, and with the third act, RJ Barker delivers the actual culmination of the story.
However, be prepared though. There are some highly emotive scenes in The Bone Ships Wake, and I would advise having a box of tissues, or a more eco-friendly handkerchief that you can regularly wring out as you make your way through the book. 
Normally, I would mention world building, characters etc, but if you have got this far in the series you know how brilliant these are, and nothing has changed. So, get yourselves aboard the good ship Tide Child and enjoy the end.
“Ey, D’Keeper!”



  1. There's no need for me to write my review now: yours is fantastic!


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