The Bone Knife by

"We've a visitor," Niya says as I enter from the kitchen yard.
–Intisar Khanani - The Bone Knife - c.2012

You can get this one free if you’d like to try it. See Khanani’s site for links

The Bone Knife is a short story, and to me it felt much more like a character study, or character background rather than a fully developed story. It is the tale of Rae, born with a club foot she has always been aware of her disability. The eldest of the family she is all about the practicalities and looking out for her younger two sisters. The middle one, Niya has a secret that the family need to keep. She can weave memories or atmospheres into whatever she makes, her bread may evoke a summer’s day, or her sewing the subtle light of an evening. But that is only a hint of what she can do. But when a faerie comes to buy some of the family’s horses his presence may threaten the family’s secret.

I picked this up straight after reading Sunbolt by the same author, and this feels like it could be in the same world, although I’m not one hundred per cent positive on that. It doesn’t share characters or anything, but the way that magic is referred to and the fact that Niya has to keep her gift secret from The Council of Mages makes me think that. Whether it is or it isn’t, it is well worth a read. Plus it is free, so you really have no excuses for not giving it a go.

From the author’s site I understand that this is a hint to a new series she is writing, which is a companion to her book Thorn1 so there will be more about Rae soon enough.

As I said, this felt like a set-up to a character rather than a story, so there isn’t a huge amount of plot or action, but there is enough there to get an idea of what Rae and her family are like, and the dynamics that are there. Rae clearly has issues with being the “cripple”, but her family aren’t the ones to blame for that, they all seem very supporting. A strange thing in many books :)

I can’t give it 10 stars, because it needs that story element to it, but I still really enjoyed it and am looking forward to more by the author. Thanks to Aarti and her Diverse Universe blog tour for alerting me to Khanani.

Other reviews : Inside the mind of a Bibliophile ; Fantasy Review Barn


  1. which is next on my TBR list 

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for looking up The Bone Knife! You found me out; I think I started this story as a character study, and then in revision tried to build up the plot enough to work for my readers. Looks like I fell a little short. I'm glad that you still enjoyed it to some extent. It's always good to get feedback on what works and what doesn't. :)
    Intisar Khanani´s last blog post ..Cover Reveal and Giveaway – Fanged Outcast by Elisabeth Wheatley

    • Fence says:

      Oh I definitely enjoyed it, and as it is a short story I don't mind the lack of plot as much as in a longer novel. I enjoyed spending time with Rae and her family