Series Name:
House of Dead, # 1

Review By Veronica

Get ready to go on an adventure that you soon won’t forget.

Favourite Quote:

Some ghosts, once unleashed, took time to acclimate to the living world.

This ghost did not.

After a breathless, still moment, it set upon its nearest living target—Wren—with rapid, malicious intent, streaking forward in a terrifying blur.

Wren did the only thing she could do: She cried out and fell backward.

The spirit swooped toward her, over her, missing her body by inches as it ripped past. The momentum took it careening toward her swords, cutting Wren off from her best weapons.

She scrambled to her knees, jostling more bones.

No, not just bones.


There were others there, in the mud.

With a sinking feeling, Wren realized that of course this girant hole hadn’t been dug to bury a single body. It had been dug to bury many.

She had stumbled into a mass grave.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Ready your blade. Defeat the undead.

In the Dominions, the dead linger, violent and unpredictable, unless a bonesmith severs the ghost from its earthly remains. For bonesmith Wren, becoming a valkyr—a ghost-fighting warrior—is a chance to solidify her place in the noble House of Bone and impress her frequently absent father. But when sabotage causes Wren to fail her qualifying trial, she is banished to the Border Wall, the last line of defense against a wasteland called the Breach where the vicious dead roam unchecked.

Determined to reclaim her family’s respect, Wren gets her chance when a House of Gold prince is kidnapped and taken beyond the Wall. To prove she has what it takes to be a valkyr, Wren vows to cross the Breach and rescue the prince. But to do so, she’s forced into an uneasy alliance with one of the kidnappers—a fierce ironsmith called Julian from the exiled House of Iron, the very people who caused the Breach in the first place…and the House of Bone’s sworn enemy.

As they travel, Wren and Julian spend as much time fighting each other as they do the undead, but when they discover there’s more behind the kidnapping than either of them knew, they’ll need to work together to combat the real danger: a dark alliance that is brewing between the living and the undead.

Nicki has done it again! She has created another YA fantasy masterpiece that I could not put down. The Bonesmith is captivating, action-packed, and full of complex and interesting characters. Nicki knows how to hook her readers in and keep them on the edge of their seats until the very last page. Reading this book became all-consuming; I needed to know what would happen next. The story has it all: a quest, kidnapping, battles, betrayal, romance, and an ending that will leave you wanting to get your hands on the next book. 

The world that Nicki has created is rich with history and lush in detail. I devoured the dark and gritty world of the Dominions and just wanted to know and explore this world with Wren and Julian. I can’t get over how unique and addictive the world of the Dominions are. I loved how dark necromancer magic was woven into this world and its history. Using necromancy as the source of magic and conflict gave this story a fresh feel to it. I found all the magic aspects of this book so enjoyable. 

Wren is a delight! She is sassy, bold, and impulsive. Characteristics I love in a heroine because you know you are in for an entertaining time. I loved watching her interact with the world around her. There is just something about her character that just draws you to her. Julian gives off those fantastic broody hero vibes. You know he is hiding something, and I loved trying to guess what it was. The banter between Wren and Julian was fun and witty, and watching Wren break down every barrier Julian put up was delightful. Those readers who are fans of fantasy with a bit of romance in it will be delighted to know that there are some real enemies-to-lovers vibes between Wren and Julian. And for those who aren’t fans of romance, you will be happy to hear that the romance aspects in this story are minimal. A win, win for everyone.  

The Bonesmith is an action-packed fantasy novel that will capture your attention and will not let it go. 

Thank you, Simon and Schuster Canada, for the arc in exchange for an honest review.