Member Reviews

This fantasy romance follows a wolf shifter named Calla. She has a twin sister named Briar who was “destined” for greatest, but Calla was known as her shadow and protector. No one truly knew her identity besides a few including Grae. 🫠

I loved that this story only followed wolf shifters and humans rather than a large variety of fae. The world building was absolutely perfect compared to other books that have too much or not enough. The little twists and turns of the story kept me on my toes. The side characters of the stories were a big part of the plot/storyline, which I LOVE in books.

Tropes:
Fated Mates
Childhood friends to lovers
Slow burn
Touch her and die
One bed

Thank you netgalley for the opportunity to read this book!

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I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved this!! Finally, a fantasy with something other than Fae and Vampires!!! This has everything… actions, adventure, romance, angst, and oh the spice!!!!

The character development and world building done was spot on and the pace made this story captivating!!

I can’t wait for book 2!!

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to read this arc!!!

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Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins Voyager for the opportunity to read and review an ARC copy of A River of Golden Bones.

A River of Golden Bones was a fantasy romance following Calla the twin sister of the Briar, the last recognized heir and Gold Wolf of Olmdere. Years ago their parents were killed and the twins were raised in secret until their 20th birthday. Calla has always been trained to protect her sister and keep her identity hidden. Briar is set to marry the Prince of Damrienne, Grae, who Calla had had a crush on for years. When they are set to marry, the sorceress who killed their parents, shows up and curses Briar with a sleeping spell and takes her true love captive. Calla goes on a journey to get back her sister's true love and break the spell. Along the way Calla learns who she is when she is not in the role of twin sister and protector.

This story was an action packed romance full of fated mates, hidden identities, wolf shifters, and LGBTQ rep. The world building was interesting with a clear divide between the wolf packs who rule and the humans. Calla was a strong willed character who goes on an incredible journey of finding out who she is when she is not a hidden twin sister or protector. Calla's journey of self discovery was my one of my favorite parts of the story.

The romance between Calla and Grae was sweet and steamy. As Calla grows into herself she lets herself get swept up by Grae who has been her friemd for years. Their chemistry is fantastic and a great driver. The story had so many vibrant side characters as well including a group of human musicians who befriend them.

A River of Golden Bones was another enjoyable read by AK Mulford.

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Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for an arc.

I enjoyed this one! The world building and backstory was woven in perfectly. I loved the character growth of Calla. Great romance/fantasy. Can’t wait to read more of the series.

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Hey there, lovely readers!

I just had to give a huge shoutout to Netgalley and the fantastic A.K. Mulford for whisking me away into this enchanting world via their ARC. 📚✨

Let me just say, if you ever had a soft spot for Twilight and found yourself cheering for Taylor, hold onto your hats! This book is like your love song for TEAM WOLF that will make your heart howl with delight. 🐺❤️

Now, I'll admit, I've never really ventured into the world of wolf culture before, but oh boy, am I thrilled I took the leap! This book ticked off so many of my "must-haves" that I'm confidently giving it a twinkly 5-star rating.

Calling all fellow lovers of fated mates, brace yourselves! We're talking about a main character who's lived in the shadows, dancing through a journey of self-discovery that will leave you cheering. And wait for it... there's a dash of fate and a sprinkle of dystopian vibes that add that extra layer of thrill!

But that's not all, this book isn't just about romance – oh no. Get ready for a whirlwind of emotions as you're taken on a healing journey, a rollercoaster of suspense, heart-pounding action, and drama that had me flipping pages so fast!!! From the get-go I was *hooked*. 🎣💫

I've officially become a fan of The Golden Court since it's a Book One. If this is truly just the beginning, well, I can't even begin to imagine the whirlwind of enchantment that awaits in the future.

So, hats off to A.K. Mulford for giving us this delightful tale. My bookish heart is beyond excited for the books that may lie ahead. Keep those pages turning and keep the wolfish magic coming!

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75

On the night they were born an evil sorceress killed their parents and took over their kingdom forcing Briar and Calla to go into hiding. Twenty years later they exit their hiding, each with their own purpose. For Briar it is to marry a prince from an ally pack with hopes of forming an ally that will help take back their kingdom. Calla on the other hand was raised to be a shadow for their sister. Both a body guard and a backup plan that no one but the prince and King know about.
When the sorceress returns it is up to Calla to fight for their kingdom, their family and their friends. Journeying through wolf kingdoms, fighting monsters, finding love, and discovering who they are now that Calla is out of the shadows.
I really enjoyed this read! It has been awhile since I’ve read a story about werewolves and it was a fun aspect of this story.
This book really thrives in a couple places. One was in the found family that was formed as the story progressed. I am a sucker for found family and I really loved all of the side characters we gathered. The second place was seeing Calla’s self discovering as they went on this journey. Along with the journey to the kingdom Calla also goes on an exploration of gender identity. Some of the interactions and conversations between Calla and Ora were some of my favorite moments.
The aspects that kept my rating a bit lowered was the pace of certain parts of this book. Both the beginning and end felt like they happened too fast to the point where some of the end felt like the characters were just making bad decisions and having this just work out for them.
Overall this was a fun read and a series I will definitely continue.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for this arc in return for my honest review!

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The world needs more books like this!!!

It was empowering in the best way possible. The representation 👏🏼👏🏼

I cannot wait to read more of Callas story!

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"A River of Golden Bones" by A.K. Mulford begins with captivating worldbuilding but loses some momentum towards the end. It employs familiar tropes like fated mates, childhood friends turned lovers, and a slow-burning romance that pays off satisfyingly. Drawing inspiration from Sleeping Beauty, the tale introduces unique elements, although the story's strong suit lies in its side characters, who shine with vibrant personalities and depth, enriching the narrative.

Noteworthy is the LGBTQ+ representation, particularly the inclusion of a non-binary main character in a fantasy setting. The plot evokes nostalgia for the werewolf book era of 2008-2012, but Mulford's execution keeps the story fresh, contemporary, and engaging. "A River of Golden Bones" is a commendable journey, despite a slightly uneven ending.

Thank you to Harper Voyager US and Avon Books, Net gallery for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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What a lovely surprise. I received an ARC copy from NetGalley. I chose this book based on the cover and description. From the first chapter, I was hooked. I love how the world builds throughout the story, adding more complexity and depth. Calla is a fierce main character, and her journey of discovery and figuring out who she is and how to express that to others is so inspiring and sweet. I always love a good found family trope. They all come together for each other and to create a better world by breaking traditions that hold people and wolves back. This novel also has shifting wolves and elements of Sleeping Beauty.

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Thank you to Avon and Harper Voyager and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is a story of Calla and her sister Briar, the last 2 golden wolves left. Her sister is the chosen one, met to marry the handsome prince and they will take back their ill fated kingdom. The sorceress that left them orphans comes back on the night of her sister's wedding and Calla must step up and step out of the shadows she has always been more comfortable living in.

I liked the story enough to give it 3 stars and will probably read the next book, but elements in the story felt too easy at times. Calla and Grae would be talking about how they needed to do something for several pages and then conveniently it quite literally landed at their feet. It also felt that Calla's plot armor was WAY too thick. Without giving any spoilers, I'm looking at you Veilla's final appearance. That felt entirely too contrived and just wasn't a satisfying ending for me.

The pacing was off for the entire book, dragging in certain parts and the ending was extremely rushed. Then when they finally got to the spicy, it felt weirdly inappropriate at times. Like you're quite literally running for your lives and trying to rescue a kingdom and you have time to stop here and now?! I get wanting to have the spice, but it didn't feel right one scene.

I do love the inclusiveness in the book especially in this world and the world we currently live in. This was an easy and enjoyable read, I got through it in 2 days and 2 sittings. Like I said I will most likely be picking up the next book in the series.

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I read about 100 pages before giving up on this title, it just didn't capture my interest. It had many good things going for it though - wearwolves, a medieval setting, forbidden attraction, but there was a general lack of action.

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Arc from netgalley

3/5. This is the first book I’ve read from this author. I believe this was tagged as adult but read very YA to me. It was good, would recommend to YA readers but as an adult going into this thinking it’s adult. It’s not. Everything felt very juvenile.

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While I didn’t quite enjoy the prose as in Mulford’s previous body of work, this book was great read. I think my issue was that I was iffy about the first person narration; I never really clicked into it. That aside, I enjoyed the setting and characters a lot, and I love the cocktail shaker of both paranormal and fantasy romance tropes, and how they came together to be more than the sum of their parts. I loved the main character’s journey of questioning their gender, and how it played into their subverting the gender roles and tropes associated with the genres. This was a really strong series starter, and I hope it’s not too long before the next installment.

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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for giving me this ARC for my review!

This was such a nice breathe of fresh air while o was reading this book and having it centered with wolf shifters instead of the normal fae or witch type of character . It was so heartfelt to read about their journey of self discovery while trying to regain her kingdom that they once lost. The ending I felt was alittle predictable but it was still a fun and easy read and a great introduction to the world and series!

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Very interesting plot I can’t wait to see what happened in the future of this book. Also I love a good twins saving each other plot that never gets old for me. I will say at times it was a little confusing but I loved it and the cover art is magnificent

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Thank you Avon and Harper Voyager and A.K. Mulford for this eARC of A River of Golden Bones in exchange for an honest review.

One of my favorite things about A.K. Mulford is her ability to craft a long, interwoven series, but still have each book bound within a generally standalone story. Both her Five Crowns of Okrith Series and the start of this Golden Court series have singular main plots within each individual book, with a larger story line woven into each book in the series. Why do I love this? I am not sitting on horrible, awful cliffhangers that make me hate my life until I get the next book. I'm invested enough to want the next book in the series, but I'm not wasting away with a horrible book hangover. You're left satisfied and only slightly wanting. ;)

Another thing we all love about A.K. Mulford is her intentional inclusion of LGBTQIA+ representation. This is the second story I've read where the main character is coming into their gender fluidity, and I think Mulford takes such great care with these difficult (and unfortunately controversial) topics.

This has some of our favorite tropes: fated mates, found family, SHIFTERS. I think this is a great coming of age story that any romantasy lover will enjoy. Super cute, fun read. Calla & Grae forever.

Also, this cover?! Are you serious? So good.

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+ Wolf Shifters
+ Fated Mates
+ LGBTQIA+ Representation
+ Sleeping Beauty Vibes
+ Found Family

If AK Mulford writes it, I am reading it. I don't care if she publishes her grocery list. A River of Golden Bones was a step away from the world of Okrith that I love and into new territory.

First, let me say that the just acceptance and understanding of genderfluid characters and being true to one's self is so beautifully done. AK Mulford takes such consideration and care into each of her characters that really shows across the pages.

Calla's journey of self discovery is easy to get lost in. From always living in their sister's shadow as the hidden heir, we see them struggle to come to terms with their true self and what it means in regards to gender and sexual orientation. This journey is not done flippantly, and instead really captures the feelings and stages of the journey.

The side characters really added to the story and felt like fully fleshed out characters that were easy to love. The found family aspect of the story as Calla adventures to save not just the kingdom that the twins lost but also their sister, Briar, from a sleeping curse is sweet and there were so many characters I loved that it was hard to pick a favorite.

If you ever felt like you did not know who you were or where you belonged in the world, this is for you. To finding a family and friends and your own self, anyone can find a piece of themselves in A River of Golden Bones.

Thank you so much to Harper Voyage US and Avon for the ARC! I absolutely love being on AK Milford’s hype team and have not stopped talking about this book since.

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A.K. has done it again with this start to her/their sophomore series! I was completely taken by this story from beginning to end, and I can’t wait for the rest of the series!

A River of Golden Bones is a fairytale spin off/retelling where the two children of a Sleeping Beauty-type character have found themselves as outcasts hiding from the evil sorceress who destroyed their family. The eldest, Briar, is meant to wed the prince of a neighboring kingdom who befriended the two as children, while Calla has trained her entire life to be a guard. However, things take a drastic turn on Briar’s wedding day when Calla discovers the inlaw kingdom is not all it's cracked up to be, and more than one surprise and betrayal are unveiled, including that of someone close to her/them. Calla is then forced to strike out alone in search of a way to regain and protect the kingdom. Along the way, Calla finds the space to discover herself/themself, meets with a wonderful found family who takes her/them in, and finds love in an unexpected place.

If you love found families, friends-to-lovers, enemies-to-lovers, and “there’s only one bed” tropes, and you love stories of self-discovery, warriors, shifters, and wandering minstrels set in a high fantasy realm, this is a story not to be missed!

Calla is such a strong and cunning character. She/They is self-reliant, self-sufficient, and utterly determined to face her/their own fate head on. I loved the mentor she/they finds among the found family members and how Calla comes into the person she/they wants to be, the person she/they was all along.

The love interest initially gives off Gail/Dain vibes (for those Hunger Games/ Fourth Wing readers), but what A.K. does so well here is to give him opportunities to redeem himself that are completely heartwarming (and steamy!).

If you have a chance to read this book, please take it!

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for the eBook ARC!

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Apparently this author is another TikTok sensation, though that's not how I came across this book. I found it while browsing titles on NetGalley to read while breastfeeding and/or trying to get my son to sleep. Honestly, NetGalley has been a huge lifesaver for this bookworm momma, but that's not the point here. The reason I picked up this book was because, a) the cover looked super cool, and b) the synopsis read like it was going to be a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty. Spoiler alert: it's not. And I'm almost upset about that. Don't get me wrong, the story was actually pretty good and I plowed through it in just a few days. I appreciated the complexity of the themes and the action and adventure of it all, but as much as I wanted to love it, I was sorely disappointed in the writing as a whole.

For a book that's listed as an adult fantasy the writing is rudimentary and, frankly, childish. It reads like a YA fantasy, or even a middle grade book. That's not a bad thing if you're writing specifically for that audience, but this book is definitely not for kids. There seemed, to me, a huge inconsistency between the first and second halves of the book. This is very much the kind of book I would have picked up in the 8th or 9th grade, and would have mortified my mother to know I was reading. The first half of the novel seems totally fine, but then all of a sudden there are multiple sex scenes seemingly out of nowhere, and rife adult language. Now, as a parent, I'd probably still let my kid read this if he wanted to, with the understanding that this is fiction, and he could come to me with any questions, but that's just the kind of parent I am choosing to be. I know many parents who would absolutely not want their teenager reading something like this. And that's fine too. This is just a content warning. Though, theoretically, one wouldn't find this book in a section at a bookstore or library where their teenager was browsing. Anyway, my point is, it's a really low reading level with really grown up content.

Speaking of the content, I will say I am grateful for the exploration of gender identity as depicted in this book. This is why I'm a bit disappointed in the book in general, because I absolutely love the idea that more writers are exploring LGBTQIA+ themes and identities. I wanted to love this book, because the story had great potential, but the characters are pretty one note and tropey. The best part of this book was Ora, and they're not even the main character. They're the most thought out and well developed part of the story, and their place in the narrative is pivotal. Calla, the actual main character is built on the insecurities of a teenager. I suppose one could argue that they're only 20, so of course they're coming to a point where they're just figuring out their place in the world, but again, that's why this book reads like a YA fantasy novel and not the epic it seems to be aiming for.

Another thing that irks me about a fantasy book is when an author comes up with new mythological beasts or creatures and doesn't provide some sort of glossary about them, or, at the very least, weave some of the lore into the beginning of the story. This author just dropped several different creatures (I can think of three off the top of my head) into the beginning of the book, made reference to them throughout, but didn't explain what any of them were until the last few chapters when the characters actually encountered them. Now, this isn't the first book Mulford has ever written, so I don't know if maybe these monsters exist in some of her other works, and are more fleshed out in lore there, but I came into this book blind, as many readers might. It just seems prudent to offer some sort of description well ahead of time if you're going to make quips about them, so that readers might be able to imagine or understand the relevance of an expression or fear, or what have you, better. I don't want to be distracted by wondering what an animal is when I'm trying to enjoy a good book.

It's a shame, really. I probably won't go on to read the rest of the series as it comes out. Not because it's bad, but because it's not mentally challenging. Honestly, it reads like fanfiction, and that's okay. Even fanfiction has its place in the literary world. It simply won't be high on my priority list.

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I wasn’t personally feeling interested so strapped after chapter 1, but it’s very easy to read and follow. I could see it doing well in the New Adult Romantasy space.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for the ARC.

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