The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

The basics

Title: The Bone Shard Daughter


Series: The Drowning Empire #1

- The Bone Shard Daughter (2020)
- The Bone Shard Emperor (2021)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

The emperor's reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire's many islands.

Lin is the emperor's daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright - and save her people.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel.

What happened in The Bone Shard Daughter?

  • Lin is the Emperor’s daughter, and is currently being tested by her father on bone shard magic. Bayan is her foster brother, who’s also taking part in the tests. He’s a bit further along than Lin at the start.
  • The Emperor collects a tithe in the form of bone shards (it’s gross) from his citizens to “protect” them. He uses these shards to power his constructs.
    -Jovis has gone to Deerhead Island to search for his wife. While he’s there, Deerhead Island sinks, which is really shitty timing. He’s able to save a young boy, and a “kitten” who he names Mephi.
  • Phalue keeps proposing to Ranami, who keeps saying no because she’s not ready. Phalue is the daughter of the governor of Nephilanu Island, and Ranami is a rebel.
  • Sand is on Maila Isle, and she collects mangoes. She starts to question why she’s on the island, because she can’t remember getting there.
  • Jovis delivers the boy to his father. Thankfully he keeps Mephi, who he quickly realises is NOT a kitten. Mephi starts to speak, which should be creepy but it’s actually super cute.
  • Philine from the Ioph Carn tries to capture Jovis but he’s super strong with some sort of power, and he’s able to escape on his boat.
  • Lin starts stealing keys from her father and getting them copied by a blacksmith. She sneaks around the manor into rooms that she shouldn’t be in to try to learn things about constructs and catch up with Bayan.
  • Lin is able to steal some simple books from the library to teach her the basics of building constructs.
  • Ranami takes Phalue to meet with the rebels, the Shardless Few, in order to convince her to overthrow her father. Phalue is a bit upset about the way her father’s citizens are living, as they are currently tied into a really bad deal with the governor and they’re stuck living in poverty.
  • Lin spots a spy construct who has been watching her. She takes it to the blacksmith to hide it.
  • Sand asks Grass and Coral how long they’ve been on the island. This seems to trigger their memories, which start to slowly come back. They remember being brought to the island by a ship with blue sails.
  • Jovis sails to another, unnamed island, and someone recognises him. He asks Jovis to save his child, and that’s how Jovis becomes a people smuggler.
  • Lin saves Bayan from being beaten by her father. Because of this Bayan starts being a bit nicer towards her. He shows her the library as a thank you.
  • A bunch of people ask Jovis to take their children. It’s overwhelming. To add to the stress, Philine also tracks him down and he’s forced to fight and run again.
  • Lin starts practising with the bone shard commands for the constructs. She’s weirdly good at it.
  • Lin joins the blacksmith’s family for dinner and it goes really well, until a spy construct shows up. Lin uses bone shard magic to stop it. The family gets a little freaked out.
  • Jovis bumps into Ramani, who asks him to join the rebels. Jovis initially declines the offer, but Ramani says she knows something about a ship with blue sails, which Jovis knows is the ship that took his wife. He agrees to help on one mission.
  • Gio, the leader of this branch of the Shardless Few, wants Jovis to use his powers to kill the governor’s personal guard. Jovis is hesitant but really he has to agree.
  • Lin’s father asks her more questions about her past, and thankfully Lin had been reading her journal so she knows how to answer them. The Emperor thinks Lin’s memories are coming back.
  • Sand tells everyone they need to get to the cove, as that’s where the ship with blue sails drops people off on the island.
  • Lin manages to mess with a couple of her father’s constructs to get them to obey her, which is good. What’s less good is she bumps into Bayan and finds his face is melting off. Her father comes to take him away.
  • Lin finds a birth record that notes that Lin died when she was three years old. Whaaaat.
  • Lin bumps into Bayan again, and he can’t remember being sick or melting. Lin insists that he was sick. Bayan also can’t remember the two of them becoming friends.
  • Gio says they need to get into the palace that night.
  • Lin plans to grab the spymaster, Ilith, but Ilith sees her coming. Ilith tells her her father knew what Lin was doing all along, and he knew about the visits to the blacksmith and his family. Lin takes the shards to the blacksmith’s family but her father’s constructs arrive and kill them all. :/
  • Lin learns that her father created Bayan (he’s been growing people…), and he plans to put his consciousness into him. He has also created Lin to be his wife. It’s all a bit weird and definitely gross.
  • Phalue is imprisoned briefly but Tythus lets her out.
  • Phalue sides with the rebels and helps them into the palace. She has her father imprisoned, and she takes over as governor.
  • Ranami now wants Jovis to go to Imperial island and kill the emperor.
  • Sand and co. manage to take the cove and the boat. It’s revealed that Sand is actually Nisong, the Emperor’s wife.
  • Lin fills Bayan in on what she has learnt. He doesn’t believe her at first but tbh the whole thing isn’t THAT wild.
  • Lin and Bayan fight the Emperor and his constucts. Lin is able to command the constructs because they’re supposed to listen to Nisong, and Lin is kind of Nisong. Bayan is killed in the struggle.
  • Lin looks around the lab and finds the people that Bayan said the Emperor was growing. Ew.
  • Jovis gets to Imperial island and finds Lin. The two talk. Lin thinks Thrana is the same kind of creature as Mephi. Lin hires Jovis as Captain of the Imperial Guard. Jovis realises her eyes look like his wife’s.

That’s what happened in The Bone Shard Daughter! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

Leave a reply