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Sara A. Mueller

Author of The Bone Orchard

2+ Works 437 Members 8 Reviews

Works by Sara A. Mueller

The Bone Orchard (2022) 436 copies, 8 reviews

Associated Works

The Unicorn Anthology (2017) — Contributor — 47 copies, 4 reviews


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It's set in a world where psychics, empaths, and other humans with strange abilities live. The entire premise of the story is really weird, and I had problems understanding what was taking place a great deal of the time. It’s a strange world where if there you have an emotion or a feeling that is too strong, you can push it out of your mind and send it to live in an artificial body next to you. Charm is the owner of the Orchard House, a place for gentlemen to eat, drink, play cards, and generally just have a good time. The woman that serves the men of Borengaurd with her other selves who represent a part of her that she doesn’t want to feel. After almost fifty years of being ageless and living in Orchard House, the Emperor who took her from her homeland and who she came to love, dies. With the Mindlock implanted in her head, he orders her to find his killer and to kill any of his sons that take the throne, but still needs to put a person that will take care of the realm; if she does all this, she will be free to leave. Some books catch the reader’s attention through the covers, others with the summary of the story. What caught my attention with this one was the idea of characters being able to harvest from a "bone tree". Not only is there the character of Charm but we also find that Pain, Pride, Desire, Justice, and Shame are also their own personas. At this point I was more than lost. I gave it 2 stars, because I simply didn't understand it enough to make a fair judgement of weather it was badly written or a bad story....but I don't believe I have ever encountered anything quite like it.… (more)
Carol420 | 7 other reviews | Feb 1, 2024 |
It took me a while to finish this book because of work and school and just life in general. But this book is amazing. I loved it all the way through. It’s dark and violent yet light and hopeful. It’s messy like life is.
ChaoticGoblin | 7 other reviews | Jan 23, 2024 |
There is something about March.. Again this year I read what will probably be my Best Book of the Year in March.

The Bone Orchard is exceptional for many reasons. It is a debut novel. It's complex structure holds up all the way through. At 418 pages it is complete. No doorstopper this.

I am thrilled to have been able to read this book as part of the Baltimore SF Society Compton Crook Award competition.
Dokfintong | 7 other reviews | Apr 4, 2023 |
Poetically profound in more ways than one.

The way the author weaves the emotion throughout the story, linking the characters to each other, and playing the five degrees of separation throughout the mystery is awe inspiring. As the pieces clicked into place towards the last half of the book, I couldn't put it down because I needed the answers. The ending is well worth the torment of the chaotic story.

Were her necromantic creations to her benefit or to her downfall? Was she doing herself a favorite by splitting her soul? This story explores the emotional depths of Charm, as she plots to solve the murder of her captor, while trying to stay sane as pieces of her past snap back into her mind.

There were so many moving parts to this book. Necromancy, heck yes. Deep dive into politics, 100% yes. Sentences dripping with double meaning, um, yes please. Women struggles in various aspects of society, it's here! This book twists when it should turn, and brings new complexities to the table when I was still reeling over the last nuggets dropped. It was a fantastic adventure.

If you loved [b:Gideon the Ninth|42036538|Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1)|Tamsyn Muir||60943229] or [b:The Lies of Locke Lamora|29588376|The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)|Scott Lynch||2116675] you're going to love the complexities of this story. It has many threads moving throughout a kingdom reeling from the murder of their emperor. I imagine rereading it will be just as much of a ride.

TW: Rape, Abuse, Trauma, child death.
… (more)
SabethaDanes | 7 other reviews | Jan 30, 2023 |


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