{ARC Review} A Lair of Bones by @HelenScheuerer

July 8, 2021 Reviews, Young Adult 0

{ARC Review} A Lair of Bones by @HelenScheuererA Lair of Bones (Curse of the Cyren Queen, #1) by Helen Scheuerer
Pages: 474

A deadly contest. A vaulting ambition. How far will one cyren go to win?
Mighty cyrens have ruled the ancient lair of Saddoriel for centuries. A cavernous fortress, a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels and levels, powered by magic and music…
From the moment she was born, Roh, the daughter of an infamous criminal, has been despised by her own kind. Restricted to the Lower Sector and forced to work as a common bone cleaner, she has always believed she belongs above: where lies adventure… and power.
Opportunity arises in the form of the Queen’s Tournament, a treacherous set of trials that could see the victor crowned ruler of the entire lair. Up against the most cunning, dangerous cyrens in all the realms, does Roh stand a chance?
A Lair of Bones is the first gripping book in the dark fantasy quartet, Curse of the Cyren Queen.

YA Review My Thoughts

A Lair of Bones is the first book in the young adult fantasy Curse of the Cyren Queen series by author Helen Scheuerer. This book completely blew me away! I was so captivated by the characters, the writing, the world…honestly I was captivated by everything about A Lair of Bones! This book is a fantasy lovers dream. It features the daughter of a disgraced criminal Cyren (read as Siren), who decides she wants to enter the deadly Queen’s competition for a chance at becoming Queen herself. The competition is deadly and so thrilling! I loved all of the twists and turns in this story and with the way the book ended, I am desperate for more! There will be four books in the Curse of the Cyren Queen quartet, and I can’t wait to read book two! If you are a fan of fantasy books featuring competitions, this is a must read! It comes out on July 15th and trust me, you do not want to miss it!

In A Lair of Bones we meet our main character, Roh, who is a bone cleaner in the lower sector of the underwater kingdom of Saddoriel. The ruling class live on the upper levels closer to the surface and the human world, and the lower you venture down into the depths of Saddoriel the more barren and poor the world becomes. But every 50 years a Queen’s tournament is held and if a cryen wins the tournament they get to become the new ruler of Saddoriel. It is a very bloody and ruthlessly dangerous tournament to enter but Roh is determined to try and gain a better life for herself. Because she is the daughter of a criminal Saddoriel law dictates that she must wear a golden band around her head to identify herself as the offspring of a criminal. I thought that was such a unique (and ostracizing) feature to include in the story and I was fascinated by it.

I loved learning about Saddoriel, Cryen customs and Cyren history throughout the book. Helen Scheuerer does such a fantastic job with the world building that I felt utterly transported while reading A Lair of Bones. I got the perfect amount of backstory to keep me in the loop and engaged while reading. I am such a fan of this author’s writing style, that I can’t wait for the next book. As a twist on this tournament, all of the competitors were given a human prisoner that they had to keep safe during the course of the competition. I loved Roh’s human partner, Odi.  I think he might have been my favorite! I am personally hoping for some romance to spark in the next book between Roh and Odi.

If you are a fan of fantasy books featuring deadly com[petitions, then a Lair of Bones is a book you will not want to miss. If you sign up for Helen’s email list you can get 3 prequel novellas to learn more about Roh’s mom and just what happened to make her such a famous criminal. I am super excited to read the next book because the ending of this one sets up the next big adventure our gang will have to embark on, and I am so excited to see what is going to happen. I loved A Lair of Bones so much. It is one of my favorite reads of 2021!


About Helen Scheuerer

Helen Scheuerer is the fantasy author of the bestselling series, The Oremere Chronicles, the Curse of the Cyren Queen quartet and the upcoming epic romantic fantasy, Blood & Steel. Her work has been highly praised for its strong, flawed female characters and its action-packed plots. She also publishes advice for authors with her nonfiction series, Books For Career Authors.

Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a creative writing degree and a Masters of Publishing. She has been a full-time author since 2018 and now lives amidst the mountains in New Zealand where she is constantly dreaming up new stories.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

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