All the Murmuring Bones

Reviewed By  Ian Banks       June 19, 2021


Author  AG Slatter

Distributor:      New South Books
ISBN:                 9781789094343
Publisher:         Titan Publishing Group
Release Date:   March 2021  


All families have secrets but when those secrets could and have killed, it sets the scene for a gripping mystery based firmly in gothic fiction: part fairy tale and part reality.  All the Murmuring Bones from AG Slatter is a carefully woven story of magic, myth and adventure that enchants, binding you into the world of maybe with a craftsman’s skill.

Things have not been going well for the O’Malley family for a very long time. Their history of success is tied the mystical and cruel mer who rule the seas. Over the years the family have struck a deal for the safe return of their ships by the sacrifice of one child each generation; a deal which has fallen into decline over the years.

Miren is the last of her line and the only one with the bloodlines to fulfil the specific requirements. Orphaned, she has grown up with her grandmother, who, in a desire to return the family to its previous wealth, has arranged the marriage of Miren to her ‘cousin’, a wealthy young man and one her grandmother considers will help breed a new line of O’Malley’s.

Independent and determined Miren decides this is not her pathway and as grandma turns up dead, in rather strange circumstances, she takes action, leaving the town with a band of traveling entertainers who agree to hide her and help her escape to freedom, which does not sit well with her ‘cousin’.

 From this point Miren begins to discover that everything she has ever been told about her family, is far from the truth and as the truth begins to surface, she is faced with having to accept that nothing in her world is full of light and joy, just the darkness of evil.

As a protagonist Miren is a wonderfully crafted character full of woman’s magic and strength, with the characters such as the mer created with the legends of Ireland foremost.

All the Murmuring Bones is a Gothic fairy tale, if such a thing is possible, full of good and evil that enchants in a dark manner.