Book Review: The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller

As a civil war threatens to tear her adopted country apart, a necromancer named Charm is charged with solving the Emperor's murder in Sara A. Mueller's The Bone Orchard.

Charm presides over Orchard House, the foremost gentlemen’s club in Boren, where those with money and inclination can find an excellent meal and amiable company, whether it be at the card tables with other members of the nobility or in the rooms on the second floor with one of Mistress Charm’s boneghosts. Charm is the mistress of the Emperor, who took her as a captive from her homeland of Inshil many decades ago and set her up in this stately home now turned into a bustling enterprise.

But Charm was not always in the hospitality business. Back in Inshil, she was considered one of the greatest necromancers of her age, capable of growing entire human beings from the bones she carefully tended from her orchard. In order to imbue these boneghosts, as she calls them, with an animating force, she must splinter off parts of her own personality, resulting in her staff consisting of women named Pain, Pride, Justice, Shamem and Desire, each embodiments of the relevant part of her psyche. Some parts are now more independent than others, but almost all of them have reconciled themselves to living in Boren, even if a small, secret part of Charm constantly longs for home.

So when Charm is summoned one evening to the Emperor’s bedside, she’s shocked to discover that he’s dying, and that he suspects one of his four sons of poisoning him. He promises her freedom if she can find out who did it and avenge his death. Charm agrees, even as she reels at this massive change to the terms of her existence:

The lack of her emperor at the center of Boren was a gaping hole in her orderly life, jailer though he had been. She wanted him to talk to, and she hated it. He had been her captor, but also her steadiest company for so long. And now he’d put freedom just tantalizingly out of reach. So close she could scrabble at the edges of it. And he had known she would. Until her fingers bled.

The trouble is, all four of the Emperor’s sons are horrible people who could each have easily ordered his assassination, if not actively taken part in it themselves. Charm must use her formidable talents as well as her unique position in the demi-monde to figure out not only who killed the Emperor but why, even as civil war threatens to tear apart the country that she—or at least a strong part of her—has reluctantly begun to think of as her own.

This was a fascinating, complex tale of court intrigue and Baroque machinations in a Gothic dark fantasy setting of vivisectionists and necromancers, plying their morally ambiguous trades. The politics are sweeping and believable, and the magical science intriguing, suiting the plot elegantly. It is not, however, for the faint of heart. When, for example, Shame is attacked by a raging patron with a cheese knife, Charm places her in a resurrection tank to heal, but is horrified to discover a complication some days later:

Mold was creeping beneath the skin on Shame’s face, veining the porcelain fairness with deadly midnight blue. The edges of her wound had bloomed open under the pressure of the growing mass. Whips of the cheese mold floated free like grotesque tentacles in the empathy fluid. The contamination had spread across the bridge of Shame’s nose, the color beneath her skin mimicking bruises. It had crept down into the major blood vessels in her neck, and from there it had transformed her breast into a grossly swollen, lumpy tumor.

I always love when a book blends science with magic like this, gruesome as the results may be. However, my absolute favorite part of this promising debut novel was the clever construction of the many-layered mysteries. From the secret of who killed the Emperor to the stunning revelation of why, I was thoroughly impressed with the way the mysteries, even the seemingly smaller ones, were carefully obscured and revealed throughout the course of this tale. The characters can be somewhat difficult to like—in large part due to Sara A. Mueller’s understandable need to give them each the weight they deserve, warts and all—but the resolution is emotionally satisfying, making for the perfect kind of gateway book for people looking to branch out into reading new genres, whether from mystery to dark fantasy or vice versa.

Learn More Or Order A Copy


  1. scribble io

    This is a great book and well worth reading. The book information you shared is great.

  2. coursework Writing Help UK

    I like to read all those books related to literature or history because I want to increase my general knowledge so that I may improve myself as the best and expert marketer. I appreciate the writer s efforts who have entirely written this book in a short time, and now he will publish it.

  3. Dissertation writing service UK

    I always enjoy it when a book like this combines science and magic, as horrible as the outcomes may be. However, the smart building of the many-layered puzzles was my absolute favourite part of this intriguing debut work.

  4. best academic writing services

    Information you shared in book is great.

  5. do my homework assignment

    The next time you feel hopeless and doomed in completing your assignment, then you should proceed to engage do my homework assignment, cheap service providers, online.

  6. indian dresses in australia

    I have read your blog post and that is really informative as well. My friend recommended your blog and trust me through reading such amazing updates we able to bags for girls change our perception as well. Keep writing such amazing stuff always

  7. Daryl Wings Jacket

    Such an informative post. The article is really helpful. Thanks for sharing the knowledge and experience.

  8. Yellowstone John Dutton Quilted Jacket

    Amazing post it is very impressive and inspiring article thanks dude for sharing with us

  9. Johnny Lawrence Jacket

    Very fascinating story, it is difficult to find interesting and relevant content among blogs now.

  10. Write My Dissertation Cheap

    What I am supposed to do if I want someone to write my dissertation cheaply? are there any discount facilities available that would help in reducing the final amount if I pay the entire amount in one go would I get the full pay discount?

  11. puff puff pass

    An excellent book, an excellent author’s technique – to combine narration in the present tense and in “how it all began.” Medical details, as in all the books of the writer, are described with careful study – it becomes terribly interesting how they healed in the 19th century – to rejoice in modern medicine. The plot is definitely good – the romance of the past, family secrets, murders – addictive. Especially if, in principle, novels and detective stories with a pleasant bias into the past are attracted.

  12. fnf

    What you share is what I seek. provided me with a great deal of knowledge. hope that you will make more efforts to have more excellent articles!

  13. Seabedee

    Thanks for your review of this book. I have already managed to read it and I can tell you with confidence that this is one of my favorite books. The author seems to have really lived at that time and understands how life was arranged then. After a book like this, I still want to stay in this atmosphere. Thank you for doing this for us.

  14. antique vintage brooches

    I read that book, it’s really good, also I recommend to my friends too.

  15. kung fu tv series 2022

    I still want to read The Bone Orchard, I am like a book worm, and movies lover just once which are base on amazing story, last time I watch kung fu tv series 2022, and really enjoy it.

  16. woodoku

    I finished reading the book, and not only do I think it’s an enjoyable read, but I also suggest it to my friends.

  17. Write My Dissertation UK

    The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller is a well published books it contains great knowledge and information. on the other hand I have to tell you all about my company that operates in United Kingdom. It have many expert and professional writers that have up to 5+ years of writing experience.

  18. joe lie123


  19. WWE Chris Jericho Jacket

    Thanks for sharing this art work.

  20. Sons Of Anarchy Vest

    Puffer jackets are prevalent in New York, however they are worn more for warmth and practicality than for fashion. However, if you’re interested, you may click the link to learn more about this winter’s 2022

  21. mail login army

    Open a fresh web browser (Microsoft Edge or Chrome; Firefox only if configured with ActivClient) and go to Army 365 Webmail. Enter your email. Select SIGN IN WITH CAC/PIV. Select the AUTHENTICATION certificate when prompted.

  22. tine clerk

    I appreciate what you have shared with us. Honestly speaking, I do not have much interest in The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller, but I have a friend who is crazy about The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller. Therefore, I think I should share it with him, but first I need to find the best leather jacket service UK on an urgent basis. I promise I will share it with him soon.

  23. army email login

    You can request one from your unit’s Human Resources department or purchase one separately from a vendor. Most military units will provide you with a CAC reader. The CAC reader can be purchased at a local electronics store or online. Using your CAC reader will allow you to access your email in a secure and private manner.

  24. fnf test

    Since this game is free, if you enjoyed it, please consider showing your support for the developers on their social media pages by subscribing, following, loving, etc.

  25. among us arena

    How To Create The Best Car Setup in F1 Manager 22 – Complete Setup Guide formula one is bad yo guys f1 manager 22 is here and…

  26. Beth dutton yellowstone jacket

    Great article I really want to thanks you for sharing this with us. Thanks alot once again.

  27. alms army dlc 1

    ALMS because to its modular design ( DANTES). The ALMS was created to be utilized by the army at all levels, not just during training. It has been put into service on numerous platforms and in diverse locales. The technology is currently being developed so that it can be used by other military groups worldwide.

  28. blooket hack

    Here is the blooket join code you can use to progress through the game if you enjoy playing this game. If you are like many others, you enjoy playing blooket, and if that’s the case, this post is for you.

  29. medpros pha

    While most of your day will be spent exploring, our cruises also offer plenty of time to relax in our historic private villas and boutique luxury hotels. Our blend of elegance and authenticity creates a wellness travel experience that is equal parts indulgence and cultural immersion.

  30. ees login

    Problem 5. If you have encountered any CAC enabled websites that have been working, recently stop working, please try adjusting your DNS. Some people are receiving an error message similar to this: “The DNS server might be having problems. Error Code: INET_E_RESOURCE_NOT_FOUND”

  31. blooket

    Welcome to the world of Blooket! Learning is awesome, and that’s why we built a tool to give it the excitement it deserves.

  32. Argentina vs Mexico Live Stream

    Wow, this is fantastic. As a supplier of online services like Argentina vs Mexico Live Stream with VPN, I make an effort to read every one of your posts and stay in touch with you. I read a lot of blogs as a result to educate myself.

  33. Christmas Sale Jackets

    Excellent facts in a nice essay. My friend, I believe you should pay attention to this article. Verify it Thank you for revealing

  34. Linette West

    Hi Doreen Sheridan, I would like to add more value here in this book. Sara A. Mueller is one of my fav authors and the book “The Bone Orchard” is really a worth reading book

  35. Best rhinoplasty surgeon in UAE

    Thanks for your review of this book. I have already managed to read it and I can tell you with confidence that this is one of my favorite books.


    A novel about a young girl who lives in the wilds of Nova Scotia and works as a butcher. It’s an interesting story of survival, love, friendship and good versus evil. The Bone Orchard is a cozy mystery/thriller with lots of action, murder and intrigue. The Bone Orchard by Sara A is a historical fiction novel set in the Civil War in Blackburn, Alabama. The story centers around two families, the Barrows and the Dawsons, who struggle to survive after a family feud erupts over land ownership.

  37. Seo Group Buy

    Online marketing is not a cup of cake for anyone; most service providers will brag about the quality of their services, but not everyone could stand up to the mark. The best thing about our services is that we provide them with a guarantee and we claim our expertise on the basis of real milestones that we have achieved by generating quality leads for our customers.

  38. Brown Leather Jacket Mens

    The classic brown leather jacket is easy to wear and goes with any other clothes you have on. Not to say that this style of jacket is dull or unoriginal, because it’s not. Just keep in mind that they shouldn’t be the focus of your outfit. Instead, they should be an amazing addition.

  39. I found this blog to be very well organized and clear information. I am happy to visit your article. Looking forward to more of this post. Thanks for sharing.

  40. Peter Edet

    Amazing stuff you have here, thanks for sharing I must say, do keep it up, you may also like to look up for coe zing diploma-certificate admission form portal

  41. accidente de camión de troncos

    Contact the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. for legal help on fight a truck accident. Our lawyers will be glad to help you anytime by putting forth the truck accident laws.

Comments are closed.