So much more than a "murdery mystery."

Summary:

Setting: Joseon, Korea, 1800. Seol is a 16-year-old orphan who is indentured to the police bureau. She has been tasked with assisting an inspector in his investigation of the politically charged murder of a noblewoman. As she delves deeper into the dead woman's past and her secrets, Seol finds herself becoming more fond of the inspector, too. Now that there is a possibility that he may be the murderer, what will she do? To whom does she owe her loyalty? 


Teen Volunteer Reader (14):
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is an interesting historical murder mystery with many plot twists that also incorporate Korean culture and language. Readers learn about Korea and Korean culture in multiple ways. Anglicized Korean words introduce the language and offer help in pronouncing Korean words. The author also frequently uses Korean folk tales and myths, as well.  

There are lots of twists and turns, but some of them seem manufactured and repetitive. As soon as Seol determines who the murderer is, the author introduces more new evidence to change the course of the story again.

Because this is a murder mystery, I would most likely not read this book again. Since I know the ending, there is much less suspense and the story becomes less interesting. This is a book to borrow from the library.

 


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers who like the realism of historical fiction woven into a murder mystery will find The Silence of Bones an interesting, entertaining read.

Content Awareness Factors:

The story contains mentions of suicide, execution, illness, murder, sexual encounters and relationships, and alcohol use.


Type of Book:
This is a murder mystery set in 1800s Korea.
Educational Themes:

The plot is driven by the murder mystery, but as our reviewer notes, Korean culture and language. From language and folkore to religious conflict, slavery/indenture, and a caste structure, there are themes that may draw the reader to want to know more about Asia, Korea, and life in the 1800s. 

Reading Level:
unknown
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
14 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen Student Reviewer. Reviewer's Age: 14
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. It is an interesting historical murder mystery.

Title The Silence of Bones
Author June Hur
Publisher Feiwel & Friends, Imprint Macmillan Publishers © 2020
ISBN 9781250229557
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Mystery, Historical Fiction, Asia | Asian People
Reminder: Cover images, amazon.com and indiebound.org links are affiliate links. The Reading Tub can earn income via purchases made via these links. 100% of any income goes directly to our literacy mission.

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