Title: A Lair of Bones
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Publisher Info / Release: Alchemy | July 15, 2021
Rating: 5/5 *’s
A deadly contest. A vaulting ambition. How far will one cyren go to win?
Mighty cyrens have ruled the ancient lair of Saddoriel for centuries. A cavernous fortress, a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels and levels, powered by magic and music…
From the moment she was born, Roh, the daughter of an infamous criminal, has been despised by her own kind. Restricted to the Lower Sector and forced to work as a common bone cleaner, she has always believed she belongs above: where lies adventure… and power.
Opportunity arises in the form of the Queen’s Tournament, a treacherous set of trials that could see the victor crowned ruler of the entire lair. Up against the most cunning, dangerous cyrens in all the realms, does Roh stand a chance?
A Lair of Bones is the first gripping book in the dark fantasy quartet, Curse of the Cyren Queen.
Thank you to Helen for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
**photo to be updated**
A Lair of Bones is the first book in a new series by one of my favorite authors, Helen Scheuerer. I absolutely loved The Oremere Chronicles and the world building in them but Helen has really outdone herself in this new setting. The Lair of Saddoriel is a dark but beautiful world where there is a hierarchy in place and from there, we get to go to the lower level and meet Roh, a bone cleaner who is the daughter of a criminal and stands apart from other Cyrens by wearing a gold circlet around her head.
I really enjoy the complexity of Roh’s personality when she enters the competition. She is frowned upon by the higher cyrens of Saddoriel but she often times wonders how different jobs work in the higher sectors. Her curiosity is something that I can relate to while reading through the chapters. Helen gives just enough information without it feeling overbearing while learning about the different characters and the trials.
Another aspect that I commend Helen on is that this isn’t like any other fantasy tournament book. Because the Queen is also competing, it gives the story a nice edge that sets it apart along with using Siren lore but twisting it into a new perspective.
If you need a change of pace for fantasy reading, I highly recommend this book due to it being a bit darker in nature. In addition to A Lair of Bones, if you sign up for Helen’s newsletters, you can also get the prequel stories that help set up the environment for this book and the dark past that helped Saddoriel get to where it is now.
-Amazon: link coming soon!