Cover Image: A River of Golden Bones

A River of Golden Bones

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Member Reviews

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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I was really excited about this book and it did not disappoint! I love the strong female character and the romance that only builds as they find themselves in more danger. This was so good, I lost myself in the story and found myself eagerly awaiting bedtime so I could continue reading

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I enjoyed this read. It was a surprise to me it's an homage to Sleeping Beauty with a twist - wolf shifters. It's also about Sleeping Beauty's daughters.
Normally I don't get into fairy tale retellings because it's a tired format with so many books clogging up what's good and what isn't. However, this one was so subtle about it, without it being in-your-face and practically a copy of the original story. I appreciated the change.
The cover art is gorgeous which drew me to the book first.
The wolf shifter part does have tropes but they weren't bad. The main character does obsess over the word "mates" but I can forgive it for the plot, if only a little predictable.
I appreciated the diversity of the cast, of finding who you are when you were never truly allowed or able to explore it.

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Interesting premise and solid romantasy entry, but the instalove/mates storyline felt very overdone and a bit squick. If a reader is into it, they'll probably enjoy, but felt a bit divisive to me.

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I normally don't pick-up fantasy books, but the wolves aspect and romance appealed to me. I enjoyed the overall plot of Calla trying to get her lost kingdom back from the evil sorceress.

One thing that causes me to lose interest in fantasy books is too much description of the scene. This book had detailed enough information to be able to picture the different lands, but did a great job at describing and bringing out the character's personalities.

Calla was really in the shadow of her sister her entire life since her twin was the one set to marry prince Grae, her childhood friend. Calla really becomes a stong atypical hero of the book. This book is about wolf packs, but really gives a nice nod to the value and strength of normal humans as well.

After this book, I am definitely interested in more in the series. I sense some big wolf kingdom battles in upcoming books.

Thank you to Harper Voyager and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this ARC for my honest review.

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DNF. I really liked the premise but the writing did not work for me at all. It wouldn't be fair to the book if I finished reading and gave it a low rating.

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I have really been enjoying fantasy this year and this one did not disappoint! I was immediately drawn in and couldn’t put this down.

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This is a Sleeping Beauty retelling, but following the twin daughters of Sleeping Beauty herself. I used to really like fairytale retellings, but they all seem the same after a while. This was not the case with A River of Golden Bones. It is set in a world where Wolves (shifters) rule over the humans as their protectors from monsters of the world. Over time, it has turned in to humans being ants under their feet, living in poverty, while the Wolf clans bask in their castles and riches.

I like our whole cast of characters. Calla is our strong FMC with Grae being her supportive partner and fated mate. Their relationship is sweet and supportive. While rocky at first, it really grows as the story progresses. I also love the found family throughout this book between some humans and the wolves.

The pacing was a little wonky for me at times, but not too bad. I did get a little bored in the middle, but it picked up, especially the last 20%.

All in all, it was entertaining and I look forward to reading the next in the series!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Calla is the hidden sister the one the world never knew exsist. She has been raised in hiding with her twin Briar. Born on the night her parents were killed by Sawyn. An evil sorceress who killed her parents and whole pack. Her sister the is the hidden princess and she is a shadow. A River Of Golden Bones is the story of Calla finding themselves and figuring out where they fit in the world. A fated mates, sifter romance that is a Sleeping Beauty retelling. Its found family, friends to lovers. I loved the way Calla found themselves. It was a beautiful self discovery tale. The only issue is that the end felt a bit rushed. Butnover all it was a fun story. Thank you Netgally for the copy.

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Rating; Loved It, 4.5 Stars, rounded to 4

A River of Golden Bones follows Calla, the secret twin to Briar, the heir to the conquered wolf kingdom of Oldemere. Nobody knows who Calla is, except for their childhood friend and betrothed of Briar, Grae. He is the prince of a nearby wolf kingdom and they are engaged to marry on Briar's 20th birthday, uniting the kingdoms. Calla will then lead the army of their allies to retake their kingdom from Sawyn, the evil sorceress who killed the pack of Gold wolves. However, the sorceress crashes the wedding and Briar ends up under a sleeping curse. Calla must journey to the kingdom of their birth to rescue Briar and defeat the sorceress.

This was such a wonderful story of empowerment, self-discovery, and love. It was told in first person, and while it wasn't perhaps the most beautifully written of stories, I did love the story itself. It was a lot of fun, and a fantastic adventure. There are some elements that I was rolling my eyes at a smidge when they were first introduced, but they ended up being different enough and there was enough other things going on that I actually ended up really liking them. The biggest one was fated mates. I feel like this can be heavily overdone in wolf-shifter romances especially, but I actually quite enjoyed the way it was utilized here. And this is definitely a romantasy in that the romance is focused more heavily on than the fantasy worldbuilding elements. However, even the romance isn't quite as important as the self-discovery and the character development that Calla undergoes. I really appreciated Calla's character arc, and I felt like it was very satisfying.

I felt like there were also some important things set up here looking at class structure, power dynamics, and disparity of wealth. It didn't get delved into super deeply, but I appreciated that essentially once Calla leaves the very rigid and traditional wolf society that dominates this world, there was a questioning of that tradition and rigidity. It was an opening up to think for oneself and ask questions that had not been permitted in the past. Both about society and about yourself.

I think that the societal commentary will come more into play in the following books, but overall this was a very satisfying story in itself. I am very glad I read it. I'm not sure how much I will be itching to pick up the next book, but I definitely am not ruling it out. The found family in this was wonderful and I definitely cried at the end.

I definitely think that there are things that I could critique, but overall it gave me what I was looking for: a satisfying romance, a found family, and a fast-paced fun adventure.

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Voyager for an eARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

3.5/5 stars

This was pretty good! It had me hooked in the beginning....but somewhere along the way, it just felt a little more flat. I can't quite place it, but it wasn't everything I wanted it to be. Though, I'll admit - the last 10% or so did take it from a 3 to a 3.5 - I honestly think the issue was just length and pacing, meaning it didn't need to be as long as it was. And I'm all for fantasy romance and have no issues with some spice.....but there were times where it felt like it was unnecessary, and the constant "I want you, let's do this now"....inevitable interruption...."Let's try again!".....interruption....became a bit monotonous.

But, overall, I did love some of the characters - Ora, Sadie, and Calla (mostly). Grae felt a bit generic but I did love his support of Calla as she discovered herself. The writing was good and the story was an interesting and engaging twist on Sleeping Beauty. I think it was just longer than it needed to be and the amount of spice was a bit much once it got going, but that could be a preference thing.

I think fantasy romance lovers will really enjoy this one, and I will likely continue the series to see what happens next.

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I adore AK Mulford's writing. They create beautiful fantasy worlds that I easily get lost in. I also listened to the audiobook version of this with Vico Ortiz narrating and it was perfect. Their voice added more depth to the story being told.

Some keywords for ya:
- Werewolf shifters
- Fated mates
- Battles
- Forbidden love

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This is a gorgeous queer romantasy novel. It's the first of Mulford's new series and I thoroughly enjoyed this read. This was an original spin on sleeping beauty and I adored the direction it took. There was so much queer representation in this book and the characters were just so beautiful. From our MC, Calla, who is bi and genderfluid, her twin, Briar who is a lesbian, Ora who is non-binary, and Maez who is sapphic - this wonderful cast of characters makes this story all the more enchanting.
This wonderful slow burn romantasy novel is a wonderful adventure. I'm vibrating for Briar's book and cannot WAIT for that to be released.

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This was a really solid first book for a new series. I prefer each book in a series to have its own story within the overall arc, and this definitely does. And I haven't been seeing a lot of wolf stories right now, so this felt fresh and different from the current trends.

The main character Calla goes through a really intense but satisfying journey of self discovery. Not only regarding their gender identity but their identity within their pack and as a wolf as well.

Sometimes I'm a bit wary of stories with wolves because I've commonly seen the alpha dynamic get very toxic and yet also be romanticized. However, that is not the case in this story. The leader of the silver wolves definitely had this toxic alpha mentality but it is portrayed negatively.

The idea of mates sometimes gives me the ick, but I think it's done really well in this story. I've seen mates be very insta-love and that's just not my jam. But I love that Calla always put her sister first; she didn't just accept that now she had a mate and that was her new priority.

Basically, this novel had some really fantastic elements and took all the things I was worried about and turned them on their head. So if you like epic quests, found family, nonbinary MCs, fated mates, and/or wolf packs, then I highly recommend this book! It was refreshing and exciting and I can't wait for book 2!

Thanks to A.K. Mulford, Harper Voyager, and NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

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A River in Golden Bones was a fabulous debut novel. I am excited to continue this series. While I’m always unsure of fated mates I love the way this book did it and I love how there is a very strong female main character. If you are looking for a little fairy tale, a little romance, a little action, and a little found family this book is for you! I didn’t know what to expect from it but I really enjoyed the story line and all the characters. There is alot to learn from the book as well as it shows readers you cant judge people based on what they were born as or born into. Also always love a book where the female main character doesn’t need the male to save the day she does that all on her own. Great job will highly recommend to others. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an arc of this book for my honest review!

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DNFed at 77%. This was one of my most anticipated reads, so I wanted so badly to love it, but I was so bored.

I’m sure that this book is great for certain audiences, but I am not it. Turns out that fated mates and shifters may not be my thing. They spend so much time on the road and explaining everything when there could have been so much more action. The relationship between the MCs is so touch and go but not for any clear reason.

I will say that I absolutely loved the representation in this book. Calla’s journey of self-discovery is reminiscent of my own…trying to figure out how to feel comfortable in her own skin after being raised with a gendered pack mentality.

I definitely think that this will be a hit for those that enjoy the shifter and fated mates tropes.

Thank you to netgalley and Harper Voyager for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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It’s kinda like the author took a ton of tropes and shoved them all into a single story.

We get a love triangle, childhood friends, fated mates, not like other girls, only one bed, etc etc.

If you really love tropes you’ll like this romantasy but it just wasn’t for me.

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