“A black tide of fear overwhelmed me. My spirit flew right out of my body, straight into Underguard 1. Before I knew what I was doing, I’d crashed into his dreamscape.
Not against it – into it, through it. I hurled his spirit out into the aether, leaving his body empty.”
The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon, p. 18
“Alsafi threw me to the floor. My skull cracked against hard marble. My vision flashed. I tried to move, but something pinned me down. A knee on my back. My fingers dragged on the marble floor. Then a blinding pain in my shoulder, the most agonising pain I had ever felt. Hot, too hot. The smell of roasted meat. I couldn’t help but scream.
‘We swear your undying allegiance to the Rephaim.’ Nashira never took her eyes off me. ‘We swear it with the mark of fire. XX-59 -40, you are bound for ever to the Warden of the Mesarthim. You will renounce your true name, as long as you shall live. Your life is ours.’
The fire was in my skin. I couldn’t think of anything but the pain. This was it. They’d killed Seb, and now they were killing me. A needle caught the light.”
The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon, p.107
“There was a light knock on the door. A boy came in, about my age, maybe older. He wore a grey tunic, and his eyes were bloodshot. Despite that, he was beautiful, like something out of a painting. His hair was a fine gold, cut around his chiselled face, and his lips and cheeks were pink as petals. Past the redness, his eyes were a clear, liquid blue. I though I could detect shaky traces of an aura around him.
‘Coffee, please, Michael,’ Warden said to him. ‘Do you take sugar, Paige?’
‘No, thank you,’ I said. Michael bowed and left. ‘So he’s your personal slave, is he?’
‘Michael was a gift from the blood-sovereign.’
The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon, p.251
The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon was first published in 2013.
I read this book in what felt like the blink of an eye, though it is over 450 pages long.
The world imagined by Samantha Shannon is complex, but her vision and her writing style are so vivid, direct and intense that you are immersed.
Some readers choose to get familiar with all the slang and the complex orders created for this world first. I did not. I preferred to just dive into it, referring only now and then to the glossary and to the organigrams to make sure my interpretation was correct.
I got addicted to this Dark London Underworld, not that I would like to live in it… No, no, no. It is way too dark. I got addicted to the characters, their experiences, and above all the intense pace of the book.
Whenever I had a spare moment, I would pick up the book and read as much as I could.
I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy reading about dark underworlds peopled by powerful and controlling alien creatures, rebellious human spirits with supernatural abilities, and complex characters. It is an epic tale of Alien invasion, cohabitation and politics gone wrong, struggles ending up in epic fights and scenes of rebellion, contrasting with the emergence of bonds crossing social and species boundaries through intelligence, hardship and solidarity.
Picture taken by B. on June 3rd, 2016, in Camden Town, London.