sand of boneI purchased this book as part of the recent Indie Fantasy Story Bundle (now complete). Having been disappointed with the first two books I tried from the bundle, I was starting to think I’d wasted my money with this one. Then I started [easyazon-link asin=”B00MRCCG9M” locale=”us”]Sand of Bone[/easyazon-link] and knew that this book alone was worth the price of admission.

I mean, just start with that cover. And feel free to judge this one by the cover. The inside is just as impressive.

For those who still believe that indie books are rife with typos and bad writing, let me assure you this one is not. Yes, there are a handful of typos, just enough to knock half an eReader off my rating, but they didn’t detract from the story at all.

MacGregor’s writing is excellent. While, typical of a fantasy book, there are lots of characters will unfamiliar names, it’s easy to keep track of everyone. There is magic in the world, but it complements the story and doesn’t overshadow it. Also, she allows us to learn about it through the story and doesn’t bore us with pages upon pages of explanations in the beginning. By the way, the two books in the bundle I quit suffered from all those maladies.

The plot is simple. The main character, Syrina, is part of a ruling class supposedly descended from the gods. A nice twist is that she can only be killed by others of her family. (Sort of like Highlander, but without the formal sword duels.) She and her brother are supposed to become consorts and bring the ancient magics back to the world. The only problem? Brother is a psychopath. So she abandons her family and pledges herself to become a “Blade,” or one of the sworn warriors of the world. As you can imagine, brother doesn’t approve and tries to bring her back.

If you like military fantasy with lots of Basic Training elements, you’ll enjoy this book. However, I’m not a specific fan of military fantasy, and I still enjoyed it. If you loved Dune, you’ll probably want to read Sand of Bone. If you wanted to like Dune but couldn’t get past Herbert’s writing style, give this one a try. The writing is much more accessible.

Yes, it’s obviously part of a series, but it doesn’t end in a cliff hanger, which is good because the next book isn’t yet available. I hope MacGregor is hard at work on it because I want to know what happens next.

She does have other books published, another of which, [easyazon-link asin=”B00A3KYRQU” locale=”us”]Sword and Chant[/easyazon-link] is apparently set in the same world. Her books are available in Scribd, and you can guess what I’ll be reading soon.



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