Review: The Bone Ships (The Tide Child #1) by RJ Barker

MY ⭐️ RATING: 4.25/5

Format: Kindle Whispersync


A saga of honor, glory, and warfare, The Bone Ships is the launch of a new fantasy from R.J. Barker. Two nations at war. A prize beyond compare. For generations, the Hundred Isles have built their ships from the bones of ancient dragons to fight an endless war. The dragons disappeared, but the battles for supremacy persisted. Now the first dragon in centuries has been spotted in far-off waters, and both sides see a chance to shift the balance of power in their favour. Because whoever catches it will win not only glory, but the war.


I did a listen only of the audiobook narrated by Jude Owusu, who does a fantastic job, back in 2020. What I’ve come to realize is that audio only’s don’t do well for my memory and since I only left a star rating without a review, I felt like this deserved a re-read and a review so that I can continue the series and remember what happened.

I really am happy I decided to do this again with Whispersync this time. Barker does a fantastic job of building an intricate swashbuckling adventure, filled with sea battles, and creative creatures like arakeesians, also known as a sea dragon. The beginning is a bit slow as we are introduced to the world of Corfynhulme and the characters that he has created, the story does pick up some but for the most part it’s a bit of a slow to medium pace. I did like that I didn’t really have to know much about sea talk to understand things, especially since Barker made sure to address a few things within the story itself.

“No sane woman or man wishes for war, and those that do never would if they thought it would leave paint on their doorsteps.”

The world-building is great, Barker does a really great job of transporting the reader into the world as if we were part of the crew as well. As much as I loved the world-building, the characters were what I really loved the most. The main character that we follow, Joron Twiner, takes huge leaps from where he starts to where this book finishes. Along with Joron is a crew of some fantastic diverse characters whose flaws are put center stage. Shipwife (Captain), Lucky Meas was one of those characters I couldn’t get enough of and I enjoyed from the moment of her arrival. There also some pretty interesting creatures like the Gullaime, that added so much more to the story that I needed to make sure I gave it some praise.

This was a great way to start this story and I look forward to seeing what else there is to discover in this world, more arakeesians, and more Joron, ey!


  1. Obviously, you’re going to be reading the rest of the trilogy. Anything from your first read, that you remember, that made you want to continue on with the series despite not reviewing it that first time?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest, I didn’t remember a single thing about it. I didn’t leave a review, because at that time I didn’t do reviews at all.
      I just knew that I wanted to read the rest of it so I had to give it a re-read

      Liked by 1 person

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