on January 5, 2021
Series: Amassia #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
Raise. Your. Phantom.
For fans of epic fantasies and sweeping adventures, this ensemble cast will immerse you in a world of unique magic, breathtaking action and unforgettable characters.
In a world on the brink of the next Great Dying, no amount of training can prepare us for what is to come …
A young heir will raise the most powerful phantom in all of Baiseen.
A dangerous High Savant will do anything to control the nine realms.
A mysterious and deadly Mar race will steal children into the sea.
And a handsome guide with far too many secrets will make me fall in love.
My name is Ash. A lowly scribe meant to observe and record. And yet I think I’m destined to surprise us all.
Crown of Bones is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, called Amassia by author A.K. Wilder. I loved this book so so much. I don’t even think I can adequately convey how deeply I loved Crown of Bones. We are so early in 2021 that to simply say it is the best book I have read all year does not hold much weight. But believe me when I say, I know it will be one of the best books I read all year. Because it is one of the best fantasy worlds and stories that I have ever read. (And I have read thousands of books) A.K. Wilder blew me away with the world she created, with the magic system she crafted and with the characters she developed. I loved it all and I am desperate for more!
In Crown of Bones, we meet our main character Ash. Ash is a scribe, meant to account for the magical journey that her friend Marcus is undertaking. She accompanies him on his journey to the island of Aku. In Crown of Bones, people are divided into Savants and non-savants. Savants are the lucky individuals who can raise a phantom of their own. A phantom being the physicals manifestation of their magical abilities. All phantom and their abilities are different. Their wielders progress through a series of ranks denoted by different colored robes, and in order for them to progress past a certain robe rank, they must journey to the island of Aku and compete and advance through a series of classes and trials. Ash is non-savant, meaning she can’t raise a phantom of her own. Ash, Marcus and the gang’s journey to Aku to compete is only one part of the story, and I loved watching the world and the plot unfold right before my eyes.
Crown of Bones has a large world, filled with all kinds of secrets, kingdoms, prophecies and an intricate magic system. It is the type of book that is revealed to the readers throughout the story, but the magic of A.K. Wilder’s writing is in the way she reveals details. I never found myself confused, lost or frustrated at my lack of information. I was so captivated by the journey that I was happy to learn little bits as the characters progressed. It all felt very natural and wonderfully paced to me. The readers are let in on a secret that the characters themselves are kept in the dark about, very early on in the story (like chapter one early!). I loved this because it felt unique and it made me really excited to see how that information was going to reveal itself to the characters. And boy oh boy what a reveal it was!
I fell in love with the characters just as much as I fell in love with the idea of phantoms and with the world. Ash is so plucky and determined. I loved her moral compass, and her spirit. Marcus is a great character as well. I love his friendship with Ash and I am interested to see what, if anything, will happen between them but most of all I am interested to see Marcus’ storyline because watching him try to meld with his phantom was super interesting and I am sure there is much more to come from him. But the character that stole my heart was Kaylin. I just love him so much! His is so fantastic.
In case you couldn’t tell, I am a huge fangirl for this book. I loved the world building and most of all I was so enraptured with A.K. Wilder’s writing and storytelling ability. She plucked me right off my cough and plunged me into the heart of Amassia. Crown of Bones capitated me completely- mind, heart and soul. I am head over heels in love with this book. I am desperate for book 2. I need to know more about the phantoms, more about the prophecy and more about the many secrets lurking in these kingdoms. I am here for all of it! If you are a fan of fantasy, Crown of Bones is a must read book! Not only do I think this will be one of my favorite books of 2021- I think this is one of my favorite books of all time! Crown of Bones is simply fantastic!