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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


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★★★★✬ 4.5 stars

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?

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Rosie Amber
3 years ago

I like a bit of witchcraft, so I shall add it to my TBR list.

Daniela Ark
3 years ago

oh wow ok. I was already typing my “sorry but his book wasn’t for me” feedback to NetGalley when my ADHD brain decided I needed to stop and see what you were up to LOL I guess that was not a ADHD moment but a heavenly sign that I need to give it another try? 🙂 Great review

Daniela Ark
3 years ago

oh you have a good memory and I have Dory Brain because I can’t remember why you say we have opposite taste in fantasy! 🙂

Daniela Ark
3 years ago

oh my god! To have your memory! May the stars bless your brain XOXO

JJ @ This Dark Material

A villain worthy of Stephen King’s IT? Whelp, I’m sold. Great review as always Evelina 🙂

3 years ago

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!).

3 years ago

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 ^_^

Lisa @TenaciousReader
3 years ago

I haven’t heard of this befure but it sounds like something I might like, dark with an ending you’re still not 100% sure about and have to think on

Yvo @ It's All About Books

I totally agree having cats in the story is a huge selling point. I love it when my favorite animals make their appearance… Sounds like a good read as well. Great review!

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

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!

Laura Thomas
3 years ago

What a great post. I kept snickering. And witches in N’leans and magical kitties. Me wants this one. As always, I’m leaving with a grin on my face:)

Sim @ Flipping Thru the Pages

I haven’t heard about this book before but seems like I would enjoy it. And New Orleans? I didn’t know that it’s a real place until you mentioned it I knew New Orleans from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals
Great review!

DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

I love those unnameable types of terror. It that type of suspense that kills me! Bird Box was so good at it!

3 years ago

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*

Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict

I’m a NOLA junkie. I love the lore surrounding the city and the books written with that background always intrigue me. I’m thinking I would love a good creepy NOLA story!

3 years ago

This sounds great!! I love witchy books. I have one named Witches of New York with me. At first I thought this was a review of that book.

3 years ago

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!

3 years ago

Damnnn!!! I wouldn’t mind a visit to New Orleans 😉 And you also compared it to IT.. sounds so GOOODDD!! Sounds like slow suspense & torture but enjoyable * _ * I WANT IT RN!!!

Olivia Roach
3 years ago

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

Anna Pittman
3 years ago

I just finished The Witches of New York (and thoroughly loved it!) and would love another witch-y story! The Witches of New York was a lot lighter than King of Bones sounds, but you have still convinced me to put King of Bones on my TBR 🙂

Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

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.

3 years ago

okay you got me at magical cats!!!

Sophie @ Blame Chocolate

Wow, this sounds like an amazing read indeed! I loved all your reasons and felt they resonated so much with my own (especially magical cats – I mean, come on!)
Wonderful review as always, Evelina 🙂

3 years ago

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… Read more »

3 years ago

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! 🙂

Lashaan Balasingam
3 years ago

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”.

Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

Wow! Not only does it sound great, you make it sound great! You had me at the heroine talking with her cat. But it’s the villain that sounds totally freaky that really makes me want to read this one. I like those kinds of settings too. Great review.

Cait @ Paper Fury
3 years ago

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!


[…] stuff that is currently going on. Have you forgotten me yet? I hope not. I can truly recommend The King of Bones and Ashes though! Dark and witchy. There’s more about it to come next week! And I will thank Shruti @ […]

Jackie B.
3 years ago

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… Read more »

3 years ago

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


[…] – but I’ll surely be reading more of his books soon! I have recently reviewed J.D. Horn’s The King of Bones and Ashes which I truly enjoyed, so I’m eager to ask a few questions! So let’s […]

Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

New Orleans is such a great setting for magical stuff! And a slow but steady book can still be good if it’s done well and keeps you on your toes! And magical cats, now that sounds unique lol. Great review, glad you liked the book!

Jenna @ Falling Letters

Witches in New Orleans? *-* I’m sold! 😛 I don’t think I’ve actually read many, if any, books set in New Orleans. It sounds like it might have some similarities to The Witches of New York. Is this book set in contemporary times?

3 years ago

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!

3 years ago

Have to check out that interview! I’m so shy that I don’t think I could ever interview an author! I’ve looked at some of his other books and they all sound really interesting … now I just have to make time to read them!