Review No.108 – Doll Bones

Doll Bones – Holly Black

Doubleday, 2013

Zach has been friends with Poppy and Alice for almost as long as he can remember. Together they follow the adventures of William the Blade and the thief Lady Jayne with their action figures and dolls in an imaginary kingdom ruled over by the Queen – an ancient porcelain doll locked away behind glass in Poppy’s house. Then Zach is forced to stop playing. He can’t even bring himself to see the girls any more. But ending the game isn’t as simple as he thought. Poppy has a new story about the Queen and as the lines between imagination and reality become alarmingly blurred, there’s only one thing to do: go on a quest to a cemetery and bury a bone china ghost.

Doll Bones is aimed at a younger audience than Black’s Curse Workers trilogy and the Modern Faerie Tales, with its three main characters all around the age of twelve, but it’s tinged with a very creepy note of horror that’s supported superbly by Eliza Wheeler’s cover and illustrations. Quests, ghosts, telling stories and defying everybody’s expectations of what growing up ought to look like – what’s not to love?

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