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  • The Bone Ships

  • Written by: RJ Barker
  • Narrated by: Jude Owusu
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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The Bone Ships cover art

The Bone Ships

Written by: RJ Barker
Narrated by: Jude Owusu
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Publisher's Summary

A brilliantly imagined saga of honor, glory, and warfare, The Bone Ships is the epic launch of a new fantasy from David Gemmell Award-nominated RJ Barker.

Two nations at war. One prize beyond compare.

For generations, the Hundred Isles have built their ships from the bones of ancient dragons to fight an endless war.

The dragons disappeared, but the battles for supremacy persisted.

Now the first dragon in centuries has been spotted in far-off waters, and both sides see a chance to shift the balance of power in their favour. Because whoever catches it will win not only glory, but the war.

Praise for The Bone Ships:

"A vividly realized high-seas epic that pulls you deep into its world and keeps you tangled there until the very last word." (Evan Winter, author of The Rage of Dragons)

"The Bone Ships is excellent. Aside from the standout writing, it's one of the most interesting and original fantasy worlds I've seen in years." (Adrian Tchaikovsky, Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author)

The Tide Child Trilogy
The Bone Ships

For more from RJ Barker, check out:

The Wounded Kingdom
Age of Assassins
Blood of Assassins
King of Assassins

©2019 RJ Baker (P)2019 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"I absolutely loved it. A whole lot of swashbuckling awesomeness by RJ Barker. He has crafted a fascinating world and a twisty plot, both rooted in characters I came to care about. A definite winner for me." (John Gwynne, author of Malice)

"[T]he novel feels like one of Patrick O'Brian's richly detailed sagas of seamanship...a very promising beginning." (Publishers Weekly)

"The Bone Ships is a viciously exciting adventure. I loved every second of it." (Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand)

What listeners say about The Bone Ships

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A good tale though some aspects got tiresome

For the first several chapters of this book, I barely got through it, and was planning to return the book unless things picked up.
The narrator was overly dramatic and smug sounding in my opinion, and there were a lot of adjectives flying around, when really I just wanted something with a plot. . Thankfully, the narrator eventually toned it down, and the plot became more apparent,, just in the neck of time.
I ended up listening to the whole series of three books.
There are quite a few ups and downs in the quality of the story throughout, so it seems to me. But some parts were very good and it’s all worth listening to, for those parts.
I found the politics annoying and distracting The writer is striving to make a point of normalizing a host of gender politics, disability politics, racial, politics, and other current woke social issues. Which is all good, and somewhat groundbreaking I suppose. But really I’d rather listen to a good story than be beaten over the head with the wokeness of it all for three whole books. An approach which fails to normalize these issues IMO. A subtler approach would do much to make it more normalized within the story.
However, obviously tastes greatly vary, and no doubt many people will love this aspect of it.
Overall, a worthwhile listen, especially if you like nautical themes.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent nautical adventure!

I loved the strong female characters. Both men and women in the book had atypical gender roles.
The storyline was gripping and full of exciting twists and turns. Awesome fantasy world and culture development!
The narrator’s voice really drew me into the story! Magnificent performance.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A brilliant sea story!

The best nautical fantasy I’ve read in ten years! Superb world building, characters that live and breathe. I’m buying the next immediately!

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