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Summary

June Hur's elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody YA historical mystery tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;

Ears, but I mustn't hear;

Eyes, but I mustn't see.

It's 1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned 16-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.

Praise for The Silence of Bones:

ABA Indies Introduce selection

"At once haunting and evocative, June Hur's The Silence of Bones is a gorgeous, tightly-woven debut. Prepare to delve deep into the lush and dangerous world of Korea in the 1800's for a page-turner you won't soon forget." (Hafsah Faizal, New York Times best-selling author of We Hunt the Flame)

"This gripping drama is definitely one you're not going to want to miss." (Buzzfeed)

©2020 June Hur (P)2020 Listening Library

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  • Jordan S.
  • 26-05-20

Enjoyed it, with a caveat

I really enjoyed this book. If you're unaware of Korean history, don't worry: this book isn't confusing and has great pacing. BUT the narrator apparently cannot read male characters without sounding like she's trying to be funny. Since this is a dark murder mystery that combination is unfortunate at times. Thankfully, the story was engrossing enough that I was able to ignore it. Maybe it won't bother you. The book is still worth giving a shot.

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  • Andy
  • 16-04-21

Interesting Historical Mystery

I waffled between three and four stars and finally decided on four because it was a good book, even if I had one or two quibbles with it. The Silence of Bones has such atmosphere the author does a good job of setting the scene of 1800 Joseon (Korea). Her protagonist Seol is well written as well, her life is a hard one to read about because of her low status and indentured servitude she is considered as less then nothing by everyone around her. She is physically and emotionally abused multiple times. This is a clever murder mystery as well. I changed my mind about who committed the murder several times. My quibbles with the book was that although atmospheric it was also very very very slow plus I felt the there was a plot point at the end I didn't understand why the author chose go that way with the story but YMMV. The narrator did okay with Seol but seemed to have a hard time with the other character's voices, to the point where it took me out of the story a few times.