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The Bone Orchard    by Sara A. Mueller order for
Bone Orchard
by Sara A. Mueller
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Charm was taken by the Emperor of Boren in the Rebellion of previously independent Inshil, mindlocked and established in Orchard House. She turned it into a gentlemen's club, but her Tuesdays were reserved for the Emperor.

Charm is a witch from a line of necromancers. She has grown children from her bone orchard - Shame, Justice, Desire, Pride, and Pain. Borenguard aristocracy buy time with all of them and Charm is the madam. Now on his deathbed, the Emperor charges her to choose his successor - and find out which of his heirs murdered him. In return, he undoes the mindlock.

I wasn't sure about this unusual fantasy at first, but it quickly grew on me. All the Emperor's sons are vile, in different ways - who can Charm possibly choose? Can she attain her own revenge as well and reclaim all of her selves? The Bone Orchard is an intricate fantasy of magic, court politics and survival, but not at any cost. Don't miss it!

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