Paige Mahoney is an outcast in a world where her innate clairvoyance is regarded with fear and revulsion by the “normal” majority. She lives in a future London, one of several cities under the control of a political power called Scion. Scion’s sole governmental aim seems to be the capture and incarceration of people like Paige. She, however, is street-smart and brave, and manages not only to avoid the authorities, but to live a rather successful life as a career criminal in the clairvoyant underworld of London. That is, until one day when she is attacked and captured and taken to Oxford, a city set aside and written out of history. It now functions as concentration camp for clairvoyants such as Paige.
It is in Oxford that Paige finds an evil far greater than the threat that Scion poses to a goodly proportion of the human nation. She is given into the care of the mysterious Arcturus Mesarthim. In Paige’s words: “He was the single most beautiful and terrible thing I’d ever laid eyes on.” He is her prisoner and her trainer and, worse still, blood consort to the immoral creature that runs the show in Oxford, and, for all intents and purposes, the world at large. And Paige is faced with the question: does she acknowledge her attraction to Mesarthim and throw her lot in with him and the creatures he represents, or does she stay true to the carnies, the clairvoyants who live in squalor, on the edge of starvation, in the dread prison that Oxford has become?
The Bone Season is a deliciously dark page turner of a novel, with a satisfyingly noir edge to it. It will possibly appeal to fans of the Twilight series or The Hunger Games. It will definitely appeal to those who have discovered and enjoyed Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments or Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches – a novel for young and old alike.
Paige is a believable hero, captivating in her courage and her ability to love. I was rooting for her from the word go. Samantha Shannon, all of 22, and the creator of this inventive world and its engrossing characters, has me hooked. I can’t wait for book 2.
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Review by Linda McCullough, manager of Exclusive Books Westville