I’m excited to be reviewing The Blood of Bones by N.T. McQueen!
Title: The Blood of Bones
Author: N.T. McQueen
Publisher: Adelaide Books, New York/Lisbon
Publisher Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Format: Trade Paperback/Ebook
The boy’s name is Tesfahun. Nestled in the vastness of Ethiopia, he lives among an ancient tribe untouched by modern civilization. His people live an isolated life where revenge killings are required and ruled by superstitions where mingi or cursed babies are thrown into the river for the sake of the tribe.
As friends are forced to avenge the tribe and children disappear in the night, Tesfahun begins to question his people and his beliefs, growing further from his grief stricken mother and hardened father. After his initiation into manhood, Tesfahun discovers a terrible secret about his family and himself.
This revelation forces him to flee his people into the harsh territory of his enemies who reside across the river. Near starvation and death, he is rescued by an old recluse and the two form a strange bond, hiding from their people and their demons. Needing food, they march to the river to hunt but soon discover they are the ones being hunted. But not by beasts. Fearing for his life and the demons he tried to flee, Tesfahun crashes headlong into his blood-soaked fears and must come to terms with the violence inherent in his bones in order to find salvation.
The Blood of Bones is a mythic, coming-of-age tale that speaks to the struggles of humanity across cultural boundaries. Themes of belief vs. violence, community vs. the individual, and, above all, the quest for peace are imbued in the narrative. Based on actual, current practices among tribes in the Omo Valley, The Blood of Bones is a testament to the resilience of hope in even the most hostile circumstances.
The Blood of Bones by N.T. McQueen is a beautifully written coming of age story with interesting cultural themes and the struggle of humanity. I’m impressed with the research that went into this novel and how absolutely captivating it is. How could I give this less than five stars? It deserves more!
The Blood of Bones is written with intense emotion and deep respect. I’m impressed with how atmospheric and intense the story was. The pace flowed well and this is going to be a book I remember for a long time.
Tesfahun is a fantastic character. His journey takes him through many different names and lifestyles. His character growth is a pleasure to read. I really enjoyed his journey!
The Blood of Bones is a highlight of my 2022 reading list and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it. Highly recommended!
Thank you to author N.T. McQueen for the review copy. All opinions are my own and unbiased.
N.T. McQueen is a writer and professor in Kona, Hawai’i. His books include the forthcoming novel The Blood of Bones (Adelaide Books, November 2021) and Between Lions and Lambs (City Hill, 2010). He earned his MA in Fiction from CSU-Sacramento and his writing has been featured in issues of the North American Review, Fiction Southeast, Entropy, The Grief Diaries, Camas: Nature of the West, Stereo Stories, and others. He has done humanitarian work in Cambodia, Haiti and Mexico and teaches writing at several colleges and universities.
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