Call of the Bone Ships (Tide Child #2) • 2020 • High Fantasy novel by RJ Barker


Synopsis: This second volume of the Tild Child Trilogy is set a good while after the first book. Shipwife (Captain) Lucky Meas and her First Officer Joron run petty jobs for their home country on board of the bone ship Tild Child. They hit on a ship full of dying people, and a mystery starts which they want to end: who is in charge of this cruel deed, and what would they want to achieve? They are sure that it has to do with the sea dragons, and suspect someone from their Home town behind it. Their search leads them across the map through storms, fights, torture and injuries. 

Review: If you don‘t like huge cliffhangers, then wait until the final book will be published before diving into this one. It is well separated from the first book which can be read as a standalone. And surely connected to the last book where the blatantly bad ending of this book will hopefully be resolved in a meaningful way. I won‘t discuss the details, but you surely don’t want to wait a year for it.

While I liked this book overall, with its colorful characters and a wonderful, dangerous world, the second book emphasizes deficits from the first book and adds a few. 

First of all, the setting isn’t much extended – we see storms, yet another island, sea battles, and even a mutiny. But neither the map brings fresh locations, nor is the magic system enhanced. Even the characters are mostly the same. In summary, the given scenery is just the same, and the given relations between characters meander their way forward in expected ways.

Plot resolutions are often resolved by deus ex machina, and the evolving mystery didn’t draw my attention.

The authors tendency to repetitions and staccato sentences kept on bothering me. Why does everything need its very own different term – like deckchild‘s sickness instead of scurvy? A good measure of replaced terms transport the concept of a foreign world well enough, but here it‘s taken to extremes and I constantly have to check where landwards and seawards is and who’s more important: deckkeeper or deckholder? Glancing over those terms doesn’t help, because the next one waits in the next sentence. And that’s the state after having read both books back to back. I can’t imagine how one feels after a year. 

I recommend waiting another year and read the rest of the trilogy in one go. I just hope that there’s more awe in the last volume. This is a weak three stars.

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14 Responses to Call of the Bone Ships (Tide Child #2) • 2020 • High Fantasy novel by RJ Barker

  1. What’s the first volume of this trilogy? Is it YA?


  2. Pingback: Call of the Bone Ships (Tide Child #2) • 2020 • High Fantasy novel by RJ Barker | Reißwolf | Fantasy Gift Resources: Books, Art, Music, News

  3. bormgans says:

    Mmmm, I’ll pass…


  4. It feels like I’ve been hearing nothing great things about this one, so your more moderate review is actually very helpful for me to see areas where it might be weaker. I’m grateful for the warning of the cliffhanger!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ola G says:

    Heh, looks like for a change I had more good will (or patience) toward this book than you did, Andreas! 😉 I agree with your assessment of the flaws, but still enjoyed it more than you did (to be fair, though, I’m not a fan of Liveship Traders trilogy – the only Hobby books I don’t like! 😂)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andreas says:

      Woot? I loved Liveship!
      Happy that you liked this book regardless of the flaws. It’s all relative! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ola G says:

        Oh, I absolutely love Fitz and Fool series – all three trilogies are among my favorites! It’s just that Liveship trilogy doesn’t live up to that IMO 😅

        Yeah, this time it seems I was in a more benevolent mood 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

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