"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.
which is next on my TBR list ↩