Member Reviews

This book was fantastic.
I cannot express how much I loved the main characters journey with self discovery and the internal fight that was happening throughout the book. It was such a lovely perspective that I have never seen another fantasy do. It was super validating and really added so much.
Beyond just that, the book had so many elements that made it enjoyable. I am a sucker for any fairytale retelling and this one hit the mark.
I also really enjoyed a friends-to-lovers romance, again another thing that I haven't seen often in fantasy and it was well done!
Excited to see what will come next!

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This book is lovely!! And this book is IMPORTANT! I thoroughly enjoyed AK Mulford’s latest book and their incredible main character, Calla. I passionately believe that representation matters and one of AK Mulford’s strengths is sharing stories of characters whose journeys and experiences haven’t been commonly told. Every child, every person deserves to imagine themself as a main character in a story that feels like their own. For me, reading Calla’s story was not only entertaining and supremely enjoyable, but also incredibly informative. It has shown me a different perspective from my own, one that I have found beautiful and immensely educational. Books connect people and teach us about each other and I cannot understate the importance of sharing stories like Calla and Ora’s. Understanding each other, accepting each other, loving each other - these things are all vital to humanity and books like AK Mulford’s are a huge step in making this world a more accepting place. PLUS this book is a twist on one of my all time favorite fairy tales - Sleeping Beauty!! And we have a completely swoon worthy love interest - Graemon (Grae) Claudius. I stan a self aware and loyal man who accepts and supports his partner in all that they are!! I also just love all of the character names- Grae, Calla, Briar…so good! So if you love any of the following, check out this book. Or judge it by it’s cover, because that is simply gorgeous too.

✨Journey of self discovery
✨Fated Mates
✨Gender Exploration
✨Found Family
✨Sleeping Beauty w/ a Twist
✨Wolf Shifters

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I had the privilege of diving into an advanced reader copy of "A River of Golden Bones" by A.K. Mulford, and I must say, it was a captivating literary voyage that left me on the edge of my seat throughout.

From the very beginning, Mulford's writing style grips you, pulling you into a world where mysteries and secrets lurk beneath the surface. The story's premise is nothing short of intriguing – a river of golden bones hidden deep within an uncharted wilderness. The concept alone was enough to pique my curiosity, and Mulford delivers on this premise in ways that both astounded and enthralled me.

The characters in this tale are expertly crafted, each with their own unique depth and personality. I found myself deeply invested in their fates, cheering for their triumphs, and empathizing with their struggles. Mulford takes the time to develop their backstories and motivations, making them feel like real individuals rather than mere plot devices.

One of the standout aspects of "A River of Golden Bones" is its world-building. Mulford has a remarkable talent for painting vivid landscapes with words, making it easy to immerse oneself in the rich, untamed wilderness where the story unfolds. Her attention to detail and the lush descriptions create a sensory experience that leaves you feeling as though you've embarked on this adventurous journey alongside the characters.

The pacing of the novel is generally well-executed, with a blend of suspenseful moments and quiet reflection. However, there were a few instances where the story seemed to lag, making it feel slightly longer than necessary. Nevertheless, these moments were far outweighed by the sheer excitement and tension that pervaded the majority of the narrative.

As for the plot twists and revelations, "A River of Golden Bones" delivers them with expert precision. Just when you think you've unraveled the mystery, Mulford throws a curveball that keeps you guessing until the very end. The final chapters are a whirlwind of revelations and emotional depth, leaving me both satisfied and eager for more.

In conclusion, "A River of Golden Bones" is a captivating and well-crafted novel that combines intriguing characters, breathtaking world-building, and an engrossing plot. While it may have had a few moments of pacing issues, the overall experience is one that I wholeheartedly recommend to any adventure and mystery enthusiast. A.K. Mulford's storytelling prowess shines through in this work, leaving readers with a memorable and thought-provoking journey through the pages. I eagerly await the official release to share this captivating adventure with others.

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A River of Golden Bones is a story full of adventure, self-discovery, steamy romance, fated mates and magic. Calla and Briar, the last of the Golden Wolves have been hiding from an evil sorceress all their lives. But now, Briar is set to marry the prince of another pack. No one is aware of Calla's existence, except her best friend, Prince Grae - and her sister's betrothed. When Briar and Grae's wedding is interrupted by the sorceress, Calla must step out into the spotlight to save her kingdom. Calla embarks on a journey to save her kingdom, and to discover who she is.

What I liked: I'm a sucker for a fated mates story, and this delivers. The worldbuilding is relatively simple, but rich. The best part of this story though is the them of discovering who you are - your role in life, gender, sexuality, etc. I really enjoyed the side characters and the role they play in Calla's life. I also like that there wasn't a huge cliffhanger - it settled in a good plot point.

What I didn't like: Honestly, I can't really think of much. I think at times the pacing was a little off, but not distractingly so.

And the cover - can we talk about how gorgeous the cover is!? This is definitely one you don't want to miss!

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AK Mulford has done it again!! Fantastic shifter fated mates romance. Love love love everything about this book!!! Calla is such an amazing main character!! I the whole story line is one that had me hooked from the first chapter.

Calla is the secret twin and the last of their wolf line. Spending time in the shadows not knowing who they really are. Wanting to do what’s best for the kingdom and determined to get it back from the sorceress that took both the kingdom and family away. The journey is one of love, disparities, found family, self discovery, and individuality. Highly highly recommended!!!

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I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.
I love the relationships, the friendships, the anticipation, and the storyline. I'm glad this is book 1 of a series. The author made me feel like I was actually in the story with the characters.

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The romance and fantasy lover in me was elated with this book! The world building and unique characters kept me captivated and entertained. There is a lot going on but it is manageable in the manner in which Mulford writes this exquisite tale. I hope there is more to come in the future but for now, I whole-heartedly recommend this one!

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I’m brand new to the fantasy genre. Historically, I’ve stuck with horror and thrillers. Ever since I read Fourth Wing, I’ve been craving more like it-or better.

I’m thrilled to say that I enjoyed this novel immensely! A sleeping beauty retelling with more grit-and Wolves.

Calla and Briar are twins. They were raised by a fairy that promised their mother to keep them safe as her last dying wish. Calla and Briar’s parents were royalty. Before they died, they betrothed Briar to the prince of another kingdom to keep their bloodline alive.

The dark side of this story is that their mother was murdered on the night of their birth by an evil sorceress, determined to steal the throne. The sorceress has no idea that Calla exists. The fairy protected the secret existence of Calla and her sister, Princess Briar, from being put to death by the same hand. But now that Briar is of age to marry, Briar must walk towards the sound of wedding bells. Towards the hands of evil. On the night of the wedding, Briar is attacked by the evil sorceress and the same curse her mother wrought leaves her in a deep, everlasting sleep.

Calla steps out of the shadows determined to avenge her sister, the death of her parents, and to take over the throne to the kingdom she was meant to lead.

This novel is so entertaining, interesting, and unique! I would gladly recommend this to others searching for the same type of read I was. The world of shifting wolves and magic was thoroughly addicting.

A great thank you goes out to A.K. Mulford, Avon and Harper Voyager, and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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If you're a romantasy fan, this is a book you should definitely read, it was so soft and so swoony 😭 plus there's an amazing political intrigue plot set at the forefront of a Sleeping Beauty retelling! Also! Gender fluid rep, which was done so well! And found family! And a fated mates + childhood bffs to lovers main romance!

I can't wait for book 2, I need more of this world 🥲

-- ty to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy!

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4.5 stars
Wow! I’ve never read a fantasy that included wolves and I found that refreshing from the normal fae and dragon fantasies I’ve read. Cue in evil sorceress with a sleeping curse, monsters, and unlikely company.

"A River of Golden Bones" is a wonderful adventurous telling of a wolf shifter who undergoes self-discovery while fighting for her fallen kingdom. The writing is beautiful, and the world-building is very easy to follow. I did not find the pacing of the writing to be slow, but perfect.

If you’re into the found family and fated mates troupe, this is definitely for you! Slow-burning spice involved.

I would recommend this book and plan on purchasing it and its sequel. I thoroughly loved this book.

Thank you NetGalley, Author, and Publisher for the ARC!

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Fantastic book! I couldn't put this book down after about chapter 3!! Great great job A.K!!

Thank you NetGalley, Avon and Harper Voyager for the opportunity to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I originally wanted to pick this up because the cover was so pretty. I knew nothing about the book but I knew I wanted to read it. It didn't disappoint. I loved the story, the world building and meeting the different characters. I felt completely immersed in the story and couldn't stop reading it.

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A powerful tale of the importance of embracing your true self and fighting for what is right, regardless of how you were raised.

Calla and Briar Marriel have lived in hiding their whole lives. The last surviving members of the Golden Wolf pack, the two sisters have grown up knowing only two things. One: that Briar, the Crimson Princess, was destined to wed Grae, the heir of the Silver Wolf Pack and claim her place as Queen of Olmdere. And two: Calla would protect her sister to the ends of the earth and use her sword in whatever manner was necessary to secure their Kingdom once more.

And yet something is missing. Calla has always viewed herself through the shadow of her twin, never feeling like she belonged. As the day of Briar's arranged marriage to the prince of the Silver Wolf pack quickly approaches, the two twins leave the only home they have ever known and step forward into the unknown, ready to fulfill the roles assigned to them at birth.

But when King Nero shows his true colors and the sorceress who stole their kingdom and murdered their parents returns and curses Briar to a never ending sleep, Calla will find everything she has ever known in question. As she sets out for Olmdere, determined to save her twin at any cost, she will launch herself on a journey of discovery and maybe, just maybe, she will finally find where she belongs.

Wow. What an absolutely beautiful and moving novel. From the outset of this story, I was immediately hooked. The characters are compelling, the world is rich and detailed, and the overarching plot has every single element I want in a fantasy novel. From thrilling combat scenes, to heart wrenching moments of joy and pain, sadness and anger, I never once felt bored while reading.

Ms. Mulford handles their worldbuilding in a such a way that the reader never feels overwhelmed. The vital information is doled out carefully and gradually and really builds as the story progresses, easily leaving the reader entranced and hooked. Ms. Mulford really knows just what to say and how to say it in order to make the reader care about every little detail.

Calla's journey towards self discovery is a journey that is all too familiar to too many people. The feeling of not knowing who you are and where you belong. The feeling of stuffing yourself into the mold you are expected to fit and knowing that if you are finally able to achieve such a feat that you won't be whole any longer. This journey was handled with such grace and care. When Calla finally found where she belonged, I wanted to so badly to tell her yes, welcome home!

The supporting characters were also so well executed. Ora especially was one of my favorites and if you give this novel a try, I think you'll quickly see why. The lessons that Calla is able to learn through their lenses, both good and bad, are so vital and important to this story. Honestly, I'd love to learn more about each and every one of them and hope that they all make a reappearance as this series continues.

You won't regret picking this book up. It is absolutely five stars, a ten out of ten. I cannot wait until I can get my hands on the rest of this series.

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A River of Golden Bones by A.K. Mulford is the first book in the Golden Court series. Calla and Briar, twins, have been in hiding since birth to stay safe from the evil sorceress who killed their family and demolished their kingdom. A long awaited plan is about to come into fruition with Briar betrothed to Prince Grae to unite their kingdoms and reclaim the throne. Everything goes awry when Calla learns who her fated mate is and this leads to the evil sorceress coming back into the picture and putting Briar to sleep. Readers follow Calla’s journey as she fights to save her sister and reclaim her kingdom, while also learning more about her own identity. She meets a musical troupe along the way and learns that found family can be just as strong as blood family.

This is the first book I’ve by this author, however I have had some of their other books on my TBR for a while. I really enjoyed the fast-paced world building and storyline. It does have a little bit of a sleeping beauty element to it, but it’s so much more than that. It has fated mates and also has a great LGBTQ+ representation! It was a bit of an emotional roller coaster throughout but in the best way. Overall a really fun start to this trilogy and I can’t wait to read the others!

Thank you to NetGalley (@netgalley), the publisher (@harpervoyagerus) and the author (@akmulford) for granting me a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. This book is expected to come out in December 2023.

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This book is promising!! I liked it so much that I finished reading it in less than a day!! I honestly think this can be read as a standalone but I want the sequel ASAP!

What this book contains:
- fated mates
- wolf shifters
- childhood friends to lovers
- self-discovery/gender exploration
- found family
- royal politics
- hint of sleeping beauty
- strong FMC
- romantasy w/ spice 🌶️🌶️🌶️

Pacing & writing style:
- it started fast but slowed down in the middle and picked up again towards the end.
- first pov

What I liked:
- the world building is easy to follow
- majority of the characters are lovable
- Calla & Grae’s relationship is adorable
- Calla’s journey to self-discovery is inspiring

What I wasn’t fond of:
- some of the spicy scenes are written as fillers that seem out of place. I like reading spice but too much random spice just appears weird to me.
- Briar’s rescue… i found it too easy since she just magically appeared in front of them.

Ratings:
4.5/5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher (HarperCollins), and the author for the eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Not sure if it was but this seemed like a sleeping beauty retelling. Either way I did enjoy this story. I enjoyed this romantic fantasy and the fact that it wasn’t about fae which tons of stories seem to be lately.

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A HUGE thank you to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for allowing me to read this ARC in return for an honest review.

Official rating: 4.5, rounding up to a 5

Look, I read a lot of wolf books. Fantasy books with wolves and wolf packs are a high ranking top 5 in my favorite reads, and this book was no exception. The inclusion, the identity searching, found family trope...I'm obsessed.

Calla is a young woman who has lived in seclusion with her twin sister her whole life, squirreled away by their guardian since birth who was tasked with protecting the twins by their mother's dying wish. They are the last remaining heirs to the city of Olmdere, a city known for the Golden COurt, who has since been demolished with the twins parents deaths. Little does the world know, but the twins are still alive when the world thinks them dead. Even more secret, the world only knew of Calla's twin sister, Briar's birth, and never Calla, so Calla has lived her whole life knowing she was not the reigning heir and would always live to protect Briar as she was married off into another royal family.

This book weaves a tale of learning to find ones true self outside of the shadow of family, outside of the realm of expectations the world has, and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

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A.K. Mulford is the ruler of character representation. I love how they write people you want to love. I always feel a connection to the people and never feel like anyone is written to check a box.

Thank you to Netgalley, A.K. Mulford and Harper Collins for the chance to review this book. I give my opinion freely and honestly.

Enchanted by this cover and A.K.'s previous series, I couldn't resist reaching for this ARC when I heard it was available. There's something special about how their stories come to life on the page and the rich, diverse cast that always comes with that. That being said I have some mixed emotions with this book. I think this will be a fun and engaging series but the pacing here felt off for me. This could be my own fault but the pacing was both fast and slow. Through some of the mid section and towards the end I wasn't as engaged. But the beginning and end really hooked me. I loved the shifter aspects and the development of the main character. Also loved Grae straight out of the gate. I do wish we had more banter from them in the beginning but I also understand it didn't really fit in this trope. I still love him. (Is it weird that I want more shifter *action"...like....that's a thing right...?)

Overall, I'll follow the series and encourage anyone who made it this far to continue as well. I have faith that book two is going to bring so much more to this series and I cannot wait.

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This felt like a mishmash of things I've seen so often that it was difficult to remain engaged. The writing felt quite contemporary too, so this was just not for me.

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A big thank you to NetGalley and AK Mulford for this eArc!

I first need to say that I am a huge fan of AK Mulford’s work and this book is no exception. A River of Golden Bones has the world building, self discovery, found family, romance, and magic that I have come to know, love, and expect from their work. This story is a sleeping beauty retelling where twin wolf shifter sisters need to balance their duty to their pack with their duty to themselves. I am usually not a huge fan of wolf shifter books, but Mulford wove in plenty of pack drama and expectations making it easy to relate to the wolves.

To me, the biggest difference between this book and her other series (The Five Courts of Okrith) is that this storyline does not take place in a predominantly queer normative world despite there being queer characters. This made Calla’s internal journey of self discovery so much more moving because there was not this level of complete outward acceptance on all sides of the community. The politics of the continent that Mulford created is wholly unique, and I have never experienced anything that compares to it. There is an undercurrent of a deeper allegory that carries through the entire book which makes each interaction between the humans, wolves, and between humans and wolves so captivating to read.

I truly did love the book, with my only criticism being that the pacing of the first half of the book feels off. I feel that much of the conflict (of which there is many) that occurred were referenced instead of fully experienced making the actions and emotions of Calla come off as somewhat unjustified. However, this fully resolved itself in the latter half of the book as every detail of each conflict and the aftermath is explored to the fullest degree.

Overall, I will certainly recommend this book, as it only gets better the more you read and there are so many layers to explore within it. Calla and Grae’s romance is breathtaking and Calla’s self discovery is done in such a clever manner!

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