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ARC Review: The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder
The Bone Spindle
Book Info

Released: January 11th 2022
Genre: Young Adult
Series: The Bone Spindle #1
Pages: 416

The Bone Spindle promised a story where a gender-bent sleeping beauty tale meets Indiana Jones, and I’m happy to say that the author delivered all that and more.”

~ Under the Covers

The blurb for Leslie Vedder’s The Bone Spindle promised a story where a gender-bent sleeping beauty tale meets Indiana Jones, and I’m happy to say that the author delivered all that and more. If you love fairytale retellings (especially gender-bent queer ones), then I think you should give this story a chance. The book does start out a little slow, but it’s well worth it once the real action begins.

As soon as I saw the interaction between Fi and Shane, I thought to myself, “Ooh, this is going to be exciting”. The addition of Red and Briar brought that to another level. Fi to me was a cross between Princess Belle and Lara Croft. A total book worm, but also someone who has a knack for solving riddles and clues that end up leading to rare discoveries. I loved how Ms. Vedder handled the emotional trauma that Fi is dealing with because of her previous relationship. Said ex is a total jerk and I wish he was the one under a curse (without any fail-safes embedded to break it). On the outside, Shane is a badass who definitely knows how to wield her ax. Privately, she’s fiercely loyal to those she cares about and can show her vulnerable side. Between Fi and Shane, this book checks the box for a “found family” story if you are a fan of that particular trope. Briar was the most interesting character to me. While he is certainly not a damsel in distress, he does have an almost whimsical nature and is an eternal optimist similar to the original Princess Aurora. I’m eager to see where the author takes his character in future books.

The magic and worldbuilding of The Bone Spindle were so much fun! The author definitely pays tribute to the original story of Sleeping Beauty. I think I actually prefer Ms. Vedder’s version of the tale (compared to the Disney one) where the magical beings are witches instead of fairies. I feel it gave them more depth and importance. In the Disney version, the fairies came across as ditzy airheads to me. I loved learning more about Briar’s history with the Great Witches. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the moments where Briar sees the results of their sacrifice for him were particularly emotional (especially that of the Rose Witch). Read the book and find out why!

The other major plus for me with the book was how the different sexual orientations were treated as normal. The sky is blue. The Spindle Witch cursed a kingdom. Girls can love girls, and boys can love boys. All of these are run-of-the-mill, accepted facts. While this is becoming more common in the contemporary genre, I haven’t seen it as much in fantasy books. I hope more authors will take similar approaches in the future.

Overall, The Bone Spindle is a strong selection for fans of the young adult fantasy genre. It’s engaging, action-packed, and full of sarcasm and snark. Amazing characters mixed with fantastic worldbuilding and a compelling storyline – what more could you ask for? I’m curious to see what’s next in the series, as the author laid a lot of the groundwork in this book for subsequent installments.

Trigger Warnings: Blood, Confinement, Emotional Abuse, Fire, Gaslighting, Mental Illness (PTSD), Misogyny, Sexism, Toxic Relationship (Past/Historical)


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