About the Book
Still, I imagined they were bowing to me.June Hur
The Silence of Bones
by June Hur
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: April 21st 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical, Historical Fiction
I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.
For women were not considered threats to the capital, as men were, when darkness fell.June Hur
1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.
As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.
But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly. June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.
For the first time since my brother had disappeared, I felt seen.June Hur
You really have no idea how excited I was when I found out about this book! I absolutely love anything set in Joseon. It’s just always so dark and beautiful, like the cover of The Silence of Bones. I mean, the more I look at it the more I see and pick up on. I do seriously love this time period though and I wish there were more books set in it. But this book was honestly so much more than I could have hoped for!
Loyalty. I may waiver, but I always fight to return to it.June Hur
This books is so much more dark and gritty than I had expected. I feel like stories set in Joseon either go the cheesy/cheery route or the dark/gritty route and I was pleasantly surprised that this one fell into the latter category. The mystery was so good and when I say this book goes dark, I mean it goes dark. But the writing remains beautiful throughout. It has those dark undertones, but still is very lyrical.
Be careful. Cross no one. Obey alwaysJune Hur
The characters were also really amazing. Seol (which always confuses me when Korean characters are named that) is always underestimated but she’s got pluck. She uses her ability to fly under the radar to her advantage, and I can appreciate that level of scrappiness. Seriously though, this book was just so amazing!
About the Author
JUNE HUR (‘Hur’ as in ‘her’) was born in South Korea and raised in Canada, except for the time when she moved back to Korea and attended high school there. Most of her work is inspired by her journey through life as an individual, a dreamer, and a Christian, with all its confusions, doubts, absurdities and magnificence. She studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto, and currently works for the public library. She lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.
Her debut novel THE SILENCE OF BONES (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, April 2020) is a murder mystery set in Joseon Dynasty Korea (early 1800s), and also a coming-of-age tale about a girl searching for home. It was recently selected by the American Booksellers Association as one of the top debuts of Winter/Spring 2020. She is represented by Amy Bishop of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC.
Fate. A shackle as solid as truth— unchangeable, unmovable. On the day of my departure, my sister had told me how long I was bound by the government to serve in the police bureau, away from home, from family. For one generation, she’d whispered.
My entire life.
That is, I would be free by the age of forty-one, as old as death itself.
A thunder of fluttering wings filled the sky in all directions, the birds overhead taken to flight. A shriek in the distance pierced the air; a terrified horse. Officer Kyŏn charged ahead, while it took me a scrambling moment to realize what was happening. I jabbed my heels into Terror’s side and followed him through the thicket, over the protruding roots, branches hitting my face.
Then we reached a glade and my heart stopped. Across the stream stood Inspector Han, his sleeve blood-soaked, his hand inching toward the sword at his side. A matter of paces away prowled a tiger, a deep growl rumbling from its white- and- black- striped chest. Powerful paws with sharp claws. The beast looked as large as Inspector Han himself.
“Do not move,” the inspector said, though not to us. Past the thick cluster of leaves was a horse struggling on the ground, shaking its head as blood continued to ooze from its wounded side. And hunkered down behind the creature was Maid Soyi.
Unable to look away from the scene, I hissed to Kyŏn, “Shoot it!”
A muscle worked in Officer Kyŏn’s jaw. Clearly he was incensed at an order from a girl, but he drew out an arrow and nocked it to his bow. As he aimed, the iron point trembled. What resolve he had, I watched falter and crumble.
“I’ll do it.” I snatched the weapon from him and rode out into the glade for a better aim. My motion caught the tiger’s attention. Good. My fear had reached its climax, and another sensation flooded in, a powerful longing that churned within me: the desire to matter.
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