Book Review of The Bone Knife
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Title: The Bone Knife
Author: Intisar Khanani
Genre: YA Fantasy, Short Story
Rae knows how to look out for family. Born with a deformed foot, she feigns indifference to the pity and insults that come her way. Wary of all things beautiful, Rae instantly distrusts their latest visitor: an appallingly attractive faerie. Further, his presence imperils the secret her sister guards. But when the local townspeople show up demanding his blood, Rae must find a way to protect both her sister’s secret and their guest. Even if that means risking herself.
About the Author:
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Her approach to writing reflects her lifelong love for stories from different cultures. Her next project is a companion trilogy to her debut novel Thorn, with Rae as her new heroine.
Intisar’s website & author newsletter: http://www.thornthenovel.com
It doesn’t occur to me until much later, as I make my rounds assuring all the doors and windows are barred against the night, that the faerie might notice the strangeness of our absence, the careful withdrawal of the women from his presence.
I pull the shutters closed in the dining room and draw the curtains to hide them, grateful that the men have finally retired for the night. But as I turn back to the room I realize I am not alone. The faerie stands in the doorway, watching me. I start with surprise, and at his slight smile, I make an awkward curtsy.
“Genno Stonemane,” he supplies, his voice lilting, deep and sweet. I find myself pressing my back against the wall. Whatever is the miserable fellow doing down here? And why does he have to be so lovely? At least Niya is safe in our bedchamber.
“Master Stonemane,” I amend. “May I help you?”
“I have noticed something curious. I thought you might explain it to me.” He steps into the room. In the candlelight I can see that he has had a chance to wash the dust from his face and hair; the result is an exquisite and frightening beauty. His hair shines darkly, falling smoothly over his shoulders, setting off the luminescence of his skin, the midnight shadows of his eyes. I drop my gaze to the low table, grateful for its presence between us.
“I am not very good with explanations,” I say. “Perhaps my father can help you?”
“Not unless he does the sewing in the house,” Stonemane says.
“Those are lovely curtains behind you,” he remarks genially, walking towards me. I retreat to the other side of the window, my turned foot making every movement doubly awkward. He smiles as he reaches me, the space between us made up now of only two narrow panels of embroidered cotton. “Did you sew them yourself?”
“No,” I answer gladly.
“Ah, then it was your younger sister who served us dinner.”
“No, I’m afraid not.”
“Of course. Then it was the third sister, the one who has stayed hidden.” I take a quick step back—how could he know? His teeth glint in the candlelight. “She has a fine way with stitches. Just here,” he reaches out a long-fingered hand to tap a flower, “she has caught the scent of a spring day when the daffodils first turn their heads to the sun, and here,” his fingers follow a tracery of blue, “flows the warmth of a late summer breeze.”
We are caught.
What a charming introduction to our characters. My only complaint was that the story was too short, so I was glad to hear that it was an introduction to a longer trilogy of books staring the main character. I look forward to learning more about Rae and seeing how she grows and progresses.
I give this little short story 4 out of 5 clouds because it was too short to be as it.detailed as I would like, but I’m sure the trilogy will be fabulous and I can’t wait to read
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