Reader's Den is Hibernating

Reader's Den is currently in hibernation. Since I now only write book reviews for publications and other review websites, I will no longer be updating this site. However, there are 45+ reviews here and some great guest posts/interviews, so I'll keep this site alive for as long as I can just to keep the content online. Thanks for visiting! If you want to know what I'm currently up to, you can find me at my personal blog or at Editorial Assistance.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Bone Sword by Walter Rhein

Miscony is a dark world.

With murder-crazy dictators like Father Ivory and the Earl controlling the Nightshades, a scary force of soldiers, Miscony really can't be any other way. It's a world where a loving family gets punished simply because one of the children have a 'demonic ability' to heal and refused to just watch their father die, a world that does not seek compromise unless by force.

Malik is, in a sense, Miscony personified. Right from the start, he's terribly ill, a loner with dark secrets, and, in spite of his best efforts, unable to participate in a barroom brawl that sets off a series of life changing events for himself and those in Miscony. Like Malik, Miscony is in need of healing and separation from its dark secrets and neverending violence. One could say it is fate, or Lightbringer finally coming forth, that pairs those children from above with Malik.

A wagon trip that should've been their death becomes their vehicle of escape. As Malik and the children run from the corrupted leaders, they gather a force of wronged citizens more than willing to fight for what they've lost. On the other side, Malik's ruthless former Captain takes charge, and the battle to begin a new age becomes even more personal. The question is not only, "Can the people of Miscony be freed?" but also, "Can Malik face and defeat his inner demons, the very same inner demons that plague Miscony as a whole?"

By page 44, the two upcoming paragraphs with qoutation marks are exactly how I felt about 'The Bone Sword':

"Four thoughts have consistently and honestly popped up in my mind. 1.) This is violent, and I like violent, so yay! 2.) Such beautiful description and pacing! I'm enjoying this. 3.) Hm. Maybe my opinion has been tainted by reading some reviews of his book before this, but he DOES have quite a few adverbs, and the evil characters do seem to just be evil without being multifaceted, save for Malik who isn't really evil so much as...well, I can't think of the word right now. 4.) I've noticed some sentences that seem like run-ons and qoutation marks in the wrong direction, but this hardly matters to the story.

"I don't think Walter wrote this with the intention for us to analyze his characters and settings and symbolism. So far, I think 'The Bone Sword' is closest to storytelling in its purest form, and that's also a good thing. Sometimes, I just like to be told a good, fun, action-packed story and not the analysis."

I'd been enjoying the story, with its brevity and wonderful fighting scenes and clear-cut dialogue, from the get-go. However, I began to emotionally identify on page 81. I even bookmarked the page! The words, "He started running. He hadn't stopped for nearly ten years," really rang in my heart. Sure, Walter could have literally meant that Malik had never stopped running, but I saw that as meaning, 'Malik, still lost and confused, didn't know HOW to stop running from himself and his demons.' After that, I looked at Malik differently. He became more than some loner protagonist and moved into the realm of real.

Walter is a master at pacing. His short sentences, the way he shows time passing when characters are sneaking about, the way he shows the methodology behind fighting when Malik is in all leads to an entertaining tale. While I wish I could've seen more of the big battle at the end, and I was a bit confused about some things concerning Malik's former Captain (this may have been a result of me reading too fast in that silly way I always do when a book gets fun and intense and action-packed), I still smiled at the end before I closed the book.

If you want pure storytelling, lots of action, and brevity, please give 'The Bone Sword' a read!



Michelle Davidson Argyle

Great review! I really enjoyed The Bone Sword, as well. I think it struck some chords in me about the time it struck chords for you. I think that's the point where I started to see more layers. How Walter peeled them back really satisfied me as a reader.


I was surprised at how this review literally just wrote itself. Some reviews I sit for days and mull over. Others just pour out on the spot, and I think that only happens with books where alot of thoughts built up throughout. Usually, I never read too many reviews of a book, or any reviews at all, before I review a book because I find that always effects my thinking when I go in. I made the mistake of reading other reviews beforehand. I think it's namely because his writing style is very nimble and symplistic, but alot of reviewers gave me the idea that there wasn't much, well, plot or symbolism or deepness at all. I found that wasn't the case for me.

Michelle Davidson Argyle

I find that most negative reviews of books usually come about because the reader didn't WANT to like the book, subconsciously for some reason, or they didn't read it closely enough or put enough effort into it. Many times they're only looking at surface material.

I honestly rarely read a published book I hate. If I dislike it, it's usually something very personal and has nothing to do with the writing. Most published books have something splendid to offer if the reader is willing to see it.


This is true. I think there is only one published book, or two, that I genuinely hated. One was this fantasy book I can't remember, but I found it appalling that the writer wrote it to attack his publishing house, and it was full of immature writing and puns and everything and just...bleh! And he was 30-40 something. I was about 13 then. Of course, I never really took on to Twilight either, but that's not a topic for here or there. lol.

Emmaline Hoffmeister

I 100% agree with your splendid review. I believe you grasped the exact concept that Walter wanted to portray and hoped that his readers discovered.

I love Malik as a character. Rough, rugged and grizzly.

Thank you again for your thoughtful and well written review.

E. H. - Rhemalda Publishing


I love when, as a reviewer, I'm able to really grasp what the writer was trying to get across! It makes me feel like I accomplished both sides of being a reviewer: 1.) Honestly pointing readers towards or even away from books based on my opinion; 2.) Grasping the writer's actual intention. So many reviewers disrespectfully show that they didn't put enough care into the book. I'm passionately against that.

Douglas Brown

The Bone Sword= Fun. That's the right word from me. Fun. Nice review, btw.


Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. I definitely had fun with the book, definitely towards the end when I read through the battles and stuff.


Aaaah. My sister has got to stop getting on my laptop and logging herself in! The reply up above from SexyJessica actually comes from me. >.<

Cas Peace

I thought it was a terrific review, Tiffany, well thought out and well expressed. You certainly got to the heart of Walter's book. I can't wait to see what you think of King's Envoy!


lol. I might as well be Rhemalda's official reviewer, though it certainly wouldn't be a bad thing in my opinion. I love you all, but I'm too critical a reader to let a love bias stop me from telling my true interpretation of a book when I'm reviewing or editing, so that wouldn't be a problem either.

Walter Rhein

I hope you have time to continue to read all these books since you're doing such a great job. However, I'm thinking the task of writing books is going to continue to take up more and more of your time :)

Walter Rhein

I hope you continue to have time to keep reading all these books and writing all these great reviews. However I think the task of writing books is going to be occupying all of your time in short order :)


(Tammie was me. I'm on my mom's computer and forgot to log her out). Anyhow, that is true. Both website stuff and writing take a lot of time, definitely since I have new time consuming things in store for both, but it's a bit easier for me to balance it all out right now...only because I can finish entire chapters during school and work on website stuff entirely at home. College will change everything.