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Witches of New Orleans and Dark Nightly Terrors The King of Bones and Ashes by J.D. Horn

This time I’m happy to share with you a review for The King of Bones and Ashes, which was offered to me for review and came as an unbelievably pleasant and unexpected surprise! Now I find myself wanting to read the other books by J.D. Horn (which I remember seeing around a couple of years ago), because this was an incredibly engaging story.

5 Reasons To Read The King of Bones and Ashes

Witches in New Orleans? Totally a thing, but alas – a thing almost of the past, because magic is slowly seeping out of the world. And unfortunately, desperate witch clans are doing anything in their power to grasp at the last straws.

Essentially, this is a family tragedy. We follow the lives of Alice, the child of those in power of the Chanticleer coven, Evangeline, a ‘half-breed’ witch, and several others in their family and circles. Poor Alice gets swept away into an asylum for magical individuals after living out a true tragedy in her childhood. Evangeline’s life also turns unexpectedly. But some years later… She’s approached by three dangerous raven witches who have something to offer… or demand.

Will we learn the true nature of the tragedy? And what of the disappeareances in the magical world of late? What of the world losing its magic? All of this is a start to a truly amazing tale about witches in New Orleans – The King of Bones and Ashes.

New Orleans!


YES YES YES YES!! I have never been to New Orleans myself, so this book was nothing short of an amazing trip. There’s jazz. There’s color. There are all the French names. There’s tribute to the events of Katrina. There’s even voodoo – and not your Hollywood scare, but the actual religion (I hope I’m using the right name!) Not to talk about all of the mythology around it! I was skeptical before reading the book, wondered if it won’t be too stereotypical, but when I started reading, I truly loved the setting with all my heart. Besides, I feel like this book wouldn’t really be anywhere if not for the New Orleans lore!

The Intrigue

This was a very slow burn intrigue, but SUCH a good one. I couldn’t work it out till the end. Generally, the book is rather slow going, there are no tumbling events, but it truly goes out with a blast (something I didn’t expect!) It keeps a very satisfying pace, and just the right amount of suspense to keep you hooked, but not too stressed. It was a very comfortable read that still kept me on my toes!

Magical Cats?

I mean, ever since the cat was introduced, I just saw it coming. I never miss an opportunity to talk about cats in my review, BUT GUYS, one of the main characters can talk to her cat. No, not in words, nothing to cliche, but I promise you THEY TALK AND UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER. This was the absolute fangirl moment for me in this book!!! Head over heels! (I would have put it down as Reason #1 as well, but didn’t for fear you wouldn’t think I’m being serious in my review. For future reference, I’m ALWAYS serious about cats!!)

(I just couldn’t leave that one alone.)

Unnameable Terror

This book truly does have a villain worthy of Stephen King’s IT! Primal, dark, coming from the depths of each of our darkest dreams. J.D. Horn dips into the depths of history of the city to create such a monster, and that’s a beautiful way of doing it. I can appreciate a villain like that!! The only reason I remembered to not be scared while reading it was that I was sitting snuggled up in a beanbag, drinking hot chocolate, and the Christmas tree was glowing right beside me reassuringly.

The Secondary Characters

Actually, it’s pretty hard to tell who is a secondary character and who is not – as you would probably call it ‘lead characters’ instead of ‘main characters’. The book follows quite a few lines, and there are at least three people whose lives you’ll see up close, and they’re all really likeable. But I loved the secondary characters even more! They are so fleshed out – all different, all unique (I’d dare to say that my favorite was a familiar called Daniel – I don’t normally have book crushes, but I’m willing to make exceptions here.) All of this gives the story even more depth.


This was such an engaging and pleasant read, but also an exercise for the mind (cause I’m still not entirely sure about the ending, it’s all twisted up!) I loved the tone – it’s a very no-nonsense tone, no silly banter, no fancy invented terms. It’s quite down to earth, despite being about clans of witches. But despite my upbeat review, keep in mind that this book is sufficiently, unexpectedly dark. It doesn’t really seem so from the tone, but when everything that happens, happens… You’ll see. So be prepared! I can truly recommend The King of Bones and Ashes, and absolutely can’t wait for the sequel!

I thank 47North and Darlene Chan PR for giving me a copy of The King of Bones and Ashes in exchange to my honest opinion. You can buy the book here at Book Depository and buying using this link supports the blog.

Have you read The King of Bones and Ashes yet? Have you heard about it? Or maybe you’ve read some other novels by J.D. Horn?

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

71 thoughts on “Witches of New Orleans and Dark Nightly Terrors The King of Bones and Ashes by J.D. Horn

    1. Hahaha 😀 thanks. But I think we both know that our tastes (at least in fantasy!) are opposites 😀 so who knows, maybe it’s right that you didn’t like it 😀 I can see how not everyone would like this book – it IS slow, and the plot isn’t very prominent. It’s ultimately about different things than just adventure 🙂

        1. Dory brain, hahaha 😀 well, I seem to have recommended you The Fifth Season and you hated it, and then something of Neil Gaiman, maybe The Ocean at the End of the Lane? You hated that too xD

    1. Thank you, JJ 🙂 yeah, that villain was really scary! But it’s not even that, it’s all the family tragedy and intrigue that was really the cherry on top. I think you’d enjoy this book 🙂

  1. Ooh a coven in New Orleans? That gives me AHS Coven vibes! Definitely seems worth checking out (and more so from the cat, I’d love to be able to talk to cats!).

    1. I had to google AHS coven, and I admit I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard about it 😀 you should definitely give this one a go. It was a great book! And YES to the cat thing! It was the sweetest touch to the book 🙂 I have recently reviewed the author (it actually just went live), and he said the cat was based on his deceased pet… It was adorable ;_;

      1. Well if you like witchy things I definitely recommend that season of AHS, definitely was the best! 😀 Yeah I’ll definitely be adding it to my wish list! Had a read through that earlier, great interview! I loved when he said about used to paying for therapy too haha, but so cute about his cat being given a 10th life too ^_^
        Luchia recently posted…Book Review | Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn MarshMy Profile

        1. Hmmm, but I almost don’t watch shows, so there’s that 🙂 there’s almost no time for that in my life xD

          Oh, I’m glad, I hope you enjoy it then 🙂 yeah, I thought that the thing about the pet cat was incredibly adorable too 🙂

  2. I actually starting reading J.D. Horn’s last series (I don’t think I finished it) and I loved it. I was sad to turn this book down for review, but when the publisher asked me I already had my month’s reviews filled up and I didn’t want to flake on this. I’m so glad you loved it, I will have to make time later to read it!
    Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…PERFECT LITTLE STITCHES AND OTHER STORIES by Deborah Sheldon – ReviewMy Profile

    1. I haven’t read his last series, but I’m thinking of starting now 🙂 yeah, you should maybe consider reading this in the future. It was a really great book 🙂 very pleasant writing especially.

    1. Really?? Wow! Yeah, it’s a real place xD well, I guess you are on the opposite side of the globe 🙂 it’s a pretty spectacular place to be reading about as well 🙂 yeah, this book was great, and I can truly recommend it. Very, very dark though!!

  3. Raven witches?? Sign me up for this! I’ve always had an interest in New Orleans plus the dark atmosphere of this book? *drops book to TBR*

  4. I need to read more books with witches because I love witches. Also, New Orleans is one of the places I want to visit if I ever go to USA! I know other cities are more famous and tourist destinations, but ever since forever New Orleans (and Seattle) was the place that I really really wanted to go to.

    I have yet to read IT, but if the villain is a well-crafted character, then I am always excited. PLUS WITCHES!
    Andreea recently posted…26 Before 27: Update #2My Profile

    1. I don’t know if any other place is as famous as New Orleans, really 🙂 it’s got a very specific feel and I think it’s pretty well known 🙂 I think I’d also like to visit! And yep, I can only recommend this book for sure, it’s pretty dark, but such a good read.

  5. I love how happy you were about the fact that the main character could talk to her cat! I think that would be a dream come true for a lot of cat lovers out there! And I love books set in New Orleans – I have never been there before but ONE DAY I WILL!When secondary characters are done well my heart is complete <3
    Olivia Roach recently posted…Let’s Talk About Love [Book Review & Giveaway!]My Profile

    1. Haha, yes, I will always be happy about someone who can talk to their cat in a book :DDD
      Yeah, I haven’t gone to New Orleans either, and I don’t think I will (not much of a traveler), but it’s certainly an amazing story setting 🙂

  6. Witches in New Orleans is all I needed to hear. I actually read some of the Witching Savannah series by JD Horn but ended up dropping it as a character I strongly disliked was featured too prominently for my liking. I reckon this could be the book to revisit his work. I went to NOLA a few years back and I am always going to be a sucker for a book set there. And a magical cat? I am so down for this. This is going on my TBR.
    Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity recently posted…Blood for Blood // It Definitely Met My Expectations (Although I Have Grumbles)My Profile

    1. I know right, it just instantly captures your imagination 🙂 I haven’t read Witching Savannah, but I think I will. I have heard one person say though that the writing in this one was better than those ones 🙂 matured and whatnot. I can’t compare though, because I haven’t read those ones yet. And YES, the magical cat was way awesome 😀

  7. Hmmm I might need to look into this one. I had read the first book in one of Horn’s other series, The Line, and I was really into it up until the very end, and I’ve been on the fence about finishing the series since. That one was about a family of witches in Savannah and he did a phenomenal job making the setting come to life. I like witches, and because of my long-time love of Anne Rice’s books I fell in love with New Orleans. Hopefully I can get into this series a little more than I did The Line.
    Jamie recently posted…Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque LandMy Profile

    1. I really wanted to read those (cause they looked so cool xD) when they were fresh out, but I wasn’t a blogger back then and couldn’t get a hold of ARCs, and couldn’t afford to buy. So maybe one day I’ll still read them 🙂 hmm, I wonder if I’d feel the same way about that other series as you did though. Oh well, guess I won’t find out till I read it 🙂 but I really did enjoy The King of Bones and Ashes 🙂

  8. I’ve had a J.D. Horn book on my kindle forever and have been meaning to give the author a try. Super intrigued by anything with 1) witches and 2) that takes place in New Orleans – it really is a cool place 🙂 This book has me super intrigued – thanks for the sharing your thoughts! 🙂
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  9. Rare are books with witches that I have read but man does this sound awesome. Of course there’s a magical speaking cat! Inevitable! 😀

    By the way, is it just me of that first picture/gif doesn’t work? I see a text picture saying:

    “Discover Pixabay Free Images No Hotlinking”.
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    1. Thanks Aleen 🙂 yes, the setting is something incredible, and it’s not as simple as just the one villain… it’s much more complicated than that! I can truly recommend this one 🙂

  10. I so so love the title of this one!! It’s so dark and epic AHHH. And also the fact that the book is dark and scary also really gets me. (Shhh I’m fine. ) I don’t read nearly enough books that have sufficiently scary villains. AND TALKING CATS IS SUCH A YES. I loved that in Nevernight!

    1. The talking cat was the best 🙂 but yes! It’s really dark. I wonder what you’d think about this one 🙂 admittedly, it was less about magic than just family dynamics, in the background of a magical society.

  11. Great review, Evelina! I love these top 5 review posts; they really let your personality shine through the post! XD The magical cats bit, though… that’s hilarious. Do you have a cat in your life you wish you could talk to? 😉

    I am with you about New Orleans as an amazing setting. I love how easy it is to forget the era of the novel. There is something about New Orleans which just feels a bit lost in time– particularly when you are exploring the darker edges of the city. That said, the darkness of this novel might be what keeps me away. O_o Oops.

    Is this novel YA? I cannot tell from your review… Or part of a series? For some reason my brain is sending off signals for both of these.
    Jackie B. recently posted…#AnneReadAlong2017 : Rilla of InglesideMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Jackie 🙂 by the way, do my replies still not appear on your reader app? Because I had Jetpack test it for me and it worked for them. Said you should check your app, and if the reply notifications are enabled on your phone.

      Well, I have a cat in my life I don’t just wish to talk to, but one I actually talk to 😀 so that’s why I appreciated that so much in the book!

      Not a fan of darkness? 🙂

      Nope, this novel isn’t YA, I wouldn’t say. It’s a part of a series though 🙂

  12. This one is definitely going to my TBR! I mean, a dark witchcraft story? Count me in! Plus, loving the characters makes the entire book a great read so that’s another reason I’ll be looking forward to this. Great review, Evelina, and of course, you just never go wrong with the GIFs XD

    1. It IS a wonderful setting! I absolutely agree 🙂 you’d think it would be a cliched setting because it gets used so much – but somehow, nope! I often ponder about that 😀 maybe it’s cause authors manage to get some new angle out every time 😀
      Thank you, Kristen 🙂

  13. This was such a good book! I could not put it down! I’m also really excited to read more by this author, and I’m even more excited by the fact that this novel is going to have a sequel!
    Loved your review!

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