Cover Image: A River of Golden Bones

A River of Golden Bones

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Member Reviews

I really struggled with this book. I went in so excited and thinking I would have it read in no time, but I had to force myself to read it.

There is very little world building. I kept having to re-read sentences to make sure I understand what the heck was going on.

The FMC was extremely one dimensional and kind of annoying. She had no personality except for punching people.

Calla and Grae had zero chemistry. It was just bleh all around.

Also, I appreciated all of the representation but it felt heavy handed and on the nose.

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I have been waiting for this book since Calla and Briar were introduced. I’m a sucker for fated mates and wolf shifters, and combined with a fairytale retelling?!? THIS WAS PERFECTION!! If AK Mulford writes it, I’m gonna read it!
This book was inclusive and managed to capture twin dynamics in a way I don’t see in many fiction books. As a twin myself, I felt very satisfied with this book in terms of that aspect.
The twist on Sleeping Beauty was brought to a whole new level with warring kingdoms, complex villains, and an amazing end with NO frustrating cliffhanger to be found!
Thank you for this amazing ARC filled with perfection!

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Thanks to Harper Voyager and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.

River of Golden Bones is a fantasy romance about werewolves that works better than I expected. It has both exciting action sequences and hot steamy bedroom action scenes and satisfies in both areas. This is probably the most explicit of erotic scenes I've read in a novel and they worked well.

Things come together for a satisfying ending that wraps up some plot threads and leaves open a few for the sequel. It is just the right sort of hot fairy tail story and simple to follow with a single point of view throughout. It is fast paced and always keeps things moving.

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3.5 stars rounded up. This is a sleeping beauty re-imagining where there are shifter wolves and sleeping beauty has a twin. I love a good fairy tale retelling so I was so excited to get this ARC. While it is an enjoyable story, it will not be among my favorite reads of the year. People who love shifter-romances, fated mates, and high stakes fantasy will enjoy this book.

I enjoyed the characters and the banter and relationships between them. The main character, Calla, makes many new friends in this series and it is fun to see her grow and begin to build her own personality and identity. I did not enjoy the plot as much because of the pacing. It felt that certain sections moved incredibly quickly while others were drawn out and slow. Because of the pacing issues, the world was not as well built out as I would have liked. For example, Calla talked about the importance of the pack throughout the book. But the section with the pack was incredibly short so it did not make sense to me why she would care about a pack that she met for only a few hours. I wish that she and her sister had lived with the pack for some time before the rest of the events in the story would have happened.

There are heavy themes of gender and identity exploration, which I found interesting.

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager, Harper Voyager for providing an eARC of this book.

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This was such a unique fantasy romance read!

About halfway through this, I had some very mixed feelings. On the one hand, I love the wolf society, the main character and their exploration of gender and identify, the found family. The last 70% of the story was especially wonderful, with a lot of unexpected twists and action as well as relationship building and some delicious spice.

The whole middle third of the book was tough for me, though. I’ve realized recently that I don’t much like the fantasy books where the bulk of the book happens “in transit” to an intimate destination. I don’t mind this when it’s a quest with maybe multiple and unknown stops, but when the characters have one area in mind and spend the whole time getting there, I begin to check out. This was definitely the case for this one. I began to get bored with the dialogue and repetitiveness, and it felt like there was a long while where Calla and Grae weren’t together when they really had no reason not to.

Regardless, I dud love the beginning and the end, even if the middle lost my interest. I will come back to this author for sure, ad I did love the character development and inclusion of diverse gender identity representation, as well as Calla’s exploration of it in real time. I think some of the things that missed for me were a personal preference, so j will give this a 3.5!

Thank you to Avon & Harper Voyager and NetGalley for this eArc!

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I struggled with this one. It was such a slow start and it took until about 75 pages in to get to interesting parts. By then I wanted to grind my teeth because it felt like this was a character that just whined about things. The internal conflict came across as whining rather than turmoil.
I didn’t get attached to the characters until probably 60% of the book and by the end I wasn’t feeling wow-ed. I’m a bit dismayed because this was such an anticipated book, but it felt like a bit of a let down. I enjoyed it but I’m not sure if I would read something from this universe if there was another.

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Okay at first i was not vibing with the book because it was reading very wattpad like and I just couldn’t find myself getting into the book. But I pushed through and I am so glad!! i have not read a werewolf fantasy book before this book and all I can say is yes! This exactly what my reading genre needed to spice it up a bit. I think it was around 40ish% of the way through that I started to get invested. I will say that the store like was pretty predictable for me but I enjoyed reading through to the end of the book. I also really loved that this book did not end off on a cliffhanger but instead planted the seeds for the second book( fingers crossed) which I am already sooo excited for.🤩

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I have yet to read a book by A.K. Mulford that I don’t like. A River of Golden Bones did not disappoint! Shifters, fated mates, sleeping beauty retelling, and spice. What’s not to love? Calla is a main character that was easy to connect with. The cast of lovable side characters added the perfect found family vibes without detracting from the main coupling. The romance aspect was great, and I loved seeing how the relationship developed. If you’re looking for a gripping adventure and steamy romance then this is the romantasy for you!

Thank you so much to Avon and Harper Voyager for providing this eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Mulford has grown as an author between this and her first series. More layered characters and more detailed story.

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DNF 16% of the way in. I have never met a more annoying, naïve but somehow thinks they're hard MC. not to mention she's constantly complaining about "Girly" women and shocked that other people might actually ENJOY being that way. cool we get it - you're not like other girls!

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Oh my gosh! This blew my freaking mind, I loved everything about this book, it was so captivating and the characters were amazing

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Such a great story! I love AK Mulford and her books. This story is loosely based on Sleeping Beauty but with wolf shifters. The characters are so well written and easy to relate to. AK Mulford’s world development is unparalleled. She draws you in and leaves you craving more. Highly recommend this book.

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3.5 Stars Rounded Up

A RIVER OF GOLDEN BONES was such a heartwarming read. I don' know why Fantasy surprises me anymore, I should just KNOW that these gems are hidden out there in the world, full of heart and hope. But alas, I will keep being pleasantly surprised.

This story follows Calla and Grae as they face life-altering decisions on a journey of self-discovery-- and destruction-- and Calla's journey especially sat close to home for me. (As I'm sure it has/or will hopefully for many others). Growing up in her twins shadow hidden not only literally but in name and birthright as well, Calla must choose not only who she is BUT WHO SHE WANTS TO BE. By making these decisions… She brings a better world, where not only she wears the skins she is meant to, but allows others to wear theirs, to stop the divide from Humans and Were, and to KICK ASS while doing it.

If you came to this story for the romantasy, you will not leave disappointed. While this IS CALLA'S STORY, could we really survive without a hot, wholly accepting, man-bun, warrior bod love interest in tow? Well, probably, but I'm glad I didn't have to.

My critique here is for the worldbuilding, some minor details fell flat throughout in particular, a scene in the beginning where food is mentioned and can't be eaten/won't sustain Calla's werewolf even in her human body… but then is never brought up again and she enjoys several meals cooked by humans for the remainder of the book. It's the little things, and there aren't many, the story is absolutely wonderful as you'd expect by A.K. Mulford so read it, if werewolves, romance, and court politics are your jam.

Thank you to NetGalley & the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I love werewolf books and the plot was definitely something I was interested in. The ARC had a lot of mistakes in it that were distracting. Hopefully they are fixed for the real thing.

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4.75 stars
Thank you to Harper Voyager for the opportunity to read this eARC, My opinions are my own.

I purchased the physical book, because the US cover is absolutely gorgeous, but the story matches the cover. The story is gorgeous, filled with queer characters, hidden royalty, curses, fated mates, a powerful witch, music, wolf shifters. There’s plenty of steamy moments that fit the story pacing, but this really is about a rescue mission and voyage of discovery and I am really looking forward to what happens next,

Highly recommend for those who like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White retellings with twists.

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4.5⭐️ - one of the best Fantasy books I have read lately

This book deserves more hype, I loved it so much! It was such a nice surprise and just the break I needed - I missed a story with strong stabby heroines, lots of action, adventures, fated mates and found family vibes. It has Throne of Glass vibes and if you love action packed Romantasy with strong characters, plot and a deep find yourself plot, you may want to order asap.

In essence, we have a shifters fated mates romantasy. A stabby heroine, a delicious alpha hero with "we were always meant to be" and "who did this to you" growly vibes and wolf packs politics and quests. But this story is so much more than that. It's about findind and accepting yourself, demolishing stereotypes, taking charge if your life no matter the cost, finding strength and courage to go fight for your life and for what you believe in, no matter the cost - even if it means your heart breaking in the process. It's adventure, strong heroine taking the reins of her life and going on a journey battling not only scary creatures and bruttal environments, but also her own guilt, beliefs and struggles. It's that "it's always been you" moment, it's that love that lives so deep in her heart, she doesn't realize it until she is face to face with her mate again. Finding her tribe, growing, accepting help and love from the others, fighting back to back towards the end.

If I couldn’t be a queen, then I’d be a warrior.

.. the room faded away as I held his dark gaze. I wished I could bottle up that awed expression and take it with me always.

“You’re my mate, Calla. You and I were always meant to be.”

“You are brave, and smart, and vicious,” he said, “and so breathtakingly beautiful that it hurts not to touch you.”

“I am a monster lurking in the shadows,” I purred. “Worse than any ostekke or ebarven. And if you ever think about laying a hand on someone again, I will be there. Tell your friends to think twice . . . if they survive.”

Grae slicked a wet hand over his hair. “Who we are to each other is infinite. Our bond will only ever grow and strengthen. It will always be you and me. Always.”

“And you are like every sound in a room going quiet until I can only hear your song.”

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This was absolutely fantastic!!

I was instantly drawn to A River of Golden Bones by the amazing cover design - but I stayed for the riveting story! My heart was racing, I went on an emotional rollercoaster, paced around my house & literally loved every single page! I’m so excited to see what A.K. Mulford has in store for us next!!

Thank you Harper Voyager for the advanced copy!

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Took me a bit to get invested. I tend to enjoy A. K. Mulford's worldbuilding, but not so much the pacing and that was true of this book. Not sure I'm a fan of wolf-shifters either, so this might be a me problem. I liked the hints at the sleeping beauty storyline and the relationship between the twin sisters but wasn't interested in the romance.

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Thank you Harper Voyager for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for my honest thoughts!

A RIVER OF GOLDEN BONES was my first wolf-shifter romance and I really enjoyed it! I loved how A. K. Mulford explored themes of belonging and self-discovery, and queer identity through the lense of a twisted Sleepy Beauty retelling. I loved Calla as a main character and I am excited to see how her relationship with Grae develops in future books. Hopefully, we get Grae's POV woven in there!

My biggest complaint about this book was the pacing. There were long lulls between action scenes and those in-between scenes didn't keep me engaged as much as I wanted. That's just personal preference though.

I enjoyed this enough to continue on with the next books! 3.5/5 stars

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A stand alone wolf fantasy novel that reminds me of a mix of sleeping beauty and snow white. My first true queer novel as well! The story is action packed and never gets boring, the pacing is spectacular. I really enjoyed Calla's journey not only in discovering what she wanted 8n terms of revenge but also her identity. Ora was my fave side character, they were delightfully original and a great mentor. Grae is a total cinnamon roll. My only complaint is Sawyn's little evil speech at the end felt a but overdone and simplistic, perhaps driving it home too hard. Will definitely check out author's other books!

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