The Bones of Ruin


The Bones of Ruin
AUTHOR: Sarah Raughley
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
RELEASE DATE: September 

As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a strange sight for leering British audiences always eager for the spectacle of colonial curiosity. But Iris also has a secret that even “strange” doesn’t capture…​
She cannot die.
Haunted by her unnatural power and with no memories of her past, Iris is obsessed with discovering who she is. But that mission gets more complicated when she meets the dark and alluring Adam Temple, a member of a mysterious order called the Enlightenment Committee. Adam seems to know much more about her than he lets on, and he shares with her a terrifying revelation: the world is ending, and the Committee will decide who lives… and who doesn’t.
To help them choose a leader for the upcoming apocalypse, the Committee is holding the Tournament of Freaks, a macabre competition made up of vicious fighters with fantastical abilities. Adam wants Iris to be his champion, and in return, he promises her the one thing she wants most: the truth about who she really is.
If Iris wants to learn about her shadowy past, she has no choice but to fight. But the further she gets in the grisly tournament, the more she begins to remember—and the more she wonders if the truth is something best left forgotten.


The Bones of Ruin is such a unique and interesting book that I almost find it hard to describe it with the right words. The imagery is pretty fantastic and I did enjoy the plot.

So this story starts off with a bang. When I mean imagery, there are times the story does not hold back at all. The author talks about deaths, the brutality of the era and these intriguing characters. They all have a little darkness in their souls. Nobody is without fault and it’s amazing. I also found the story intriguing. People with different powers fighting in a tournament that has something to do with the end of the world. 

I loved Iris. She is such a strong and powerful person. You know how you sometimes get frustrated with a character because you are like, why are you trusting that person? Not Iris. She has strong instincts and even with her memory loss. She’s very good at navigating the world and believing in herself.

So I was surprised how far into the book the tournament starts but also happy about it. It gave us some time to get to know some of the other characters. Kind of look into what is happening in this world and there is a lot happening. I never felt like there was any kind of info dump or anything along those lines. Also colonialism and different aspects of racism are addressed in a way I feel you don’t often see in YA. I do wish the pacing was a little faster.

So this is a reverse harem. Sarah Raughley mentioned Fushigi Yuugi on Goodreads and I’m like yes I’m there. To be honest it was kind of funny because some of the potential romantic candidates I was kind of like. Should I be liking this person? I really liked the diversity in their personalities. I didn’t feel like I needed any kind of romantic entanglement because Iris is just so cool on her own. I was interested in her particular character, history, etc more than anything else.

I enjoyed The Bones of Ruin. I definitely think it’s a cool story and plot. Maybe we will see more of some of the other characters past in the next book. 

Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to SF/F TV to Japanese Role Playing Games, but she will swear up and down that she was inspired by ~Jane Austin~ at book signings. On top of being a YA Writer, she is currently completing a PhD in English, because the sight of blood makes her queasy (which crossed Medical School off the list).

She is represented by The Bradford Literary Agency.

So far, you can also find her on Twitter, where work ethic goes to die.

Up for grabs will be TWO (1) finished copies of The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley. This giveaway will be open to U.S. residents only and will run from August 29th to September 13th at 11:59 PM CST. Two winners will be chosen. To enter, click the link below!

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