Page Count 368
Publication date March 2021
Long ago Miren O’Malley’s family prospered due to a deal struck with the Mer: safety for their ships in return for a child of each generation. But for many years the family have been unable to keep their side of the bargain and have fallen into decline. Miren’s grandmother is determined to restore their glory, even at the price of Miren’s freedom.
A spellbinding tale of dark family secrets, magic and witches, and creatures of myth and the sea; of strong women and the men who seek to control them
The opening chapter of All The Murmuring Bones is magical. A brief history told of the O’Malleys rise and decline written in a flowing narrative I could almost hear aloud as I read. My mind specifically conjured up the voice that narrates the beginning of Beauty and The Beast, calming and whimsical.
The O’Malleys are a big old family and a lot of names are thrown about to start with, I struggled a little to keep up in between the heavy but pretty description Slatter uses. Fortunately they don’t appear to be important.
All The Murmuring Bones is told in first person from Miren’s perspective interwoven with short fairytales from her childhood. I say interwoven but by no means is it seamless, the stories are sort of thrown in with little relation to the plot- though they are fun sojourns. Tales of various mythical sea-creatures Miren recalls from the O’Malley library.
I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for All The Murmuring Bones, for me I’d mark it slightly above average. I really enjoyed the setting and quite liked Miren after a time but the story itself is disjointed. I felt there were threads unfinished, a sort of hesitancy in some of Slatter’s writing as if they weren’t completely sure how it all should fit together.
By the end everything was rounded off but i would have liked a little more depth to the characters, there appeared to have been no change in them from start to finish. That aside I did very much enjoy the storytelling and the world Slatter created.