Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Bone Magician Audio

The Bone Magician Audio

F.E. Higgins
For ages 9 to 12
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: James Daniel Wilson
Recorded Books, 2008   ISBN: 978-1440742729

Urbs Umida is a terrible city, especially if you live in the part of town that is down wind from the stinking River Foedus. Here, on the south side of the river, multitudes of mostly poor and unfortunate people live, and one such person is Pin Carpeu. Pin is all alone in the world now that his mother is dead and his father is a fugitive. Many people believe that Pin’s father, Oscar Carpue, murdered Pin’s uncle Fabian. Pin is convinced that this is not true, but until he can prove otherwise Pin has to manage on his own.

Being a determined sort of boy, Pin manages to get a job working for Mr. Gaufridus, the local undertaker. Pin helps make coffins, and he serves as a corpse watcher. Corpse watchers sit with the dead for three days just to make sure that the deceased is indeed deceased.

One night, while he is watching over the body of a young woman, Pin is drugged and witnesses a corpse raising. Before his very eyes, the Bone Magician and his young assistant, Juno, raise a dead girl so that she talk to her fiancée one last time. Pin is both fascinated and terrified by what he sees. Did the Bone Magician really bring the dead woman to life again and if so how?

Some days later, quite by chance, Pin finds himself a new place to live at Mrs. Hoadswood’s Lodging House and in the company of some kind and very interesting people. He is amazed to find that Juno and the Bone Magician are fellow boarders at the house, and Pin and Juno soon become friends. For the first time in a long time, Pin is among people who actually care about him, which is very comforting, especially when one considers that there is a serial killer on the lose. The Silver Apple Killer has been casting people into the River Foedus for some weeks and no one feels safe on the streets.

Though his life is somewhat improved after moving to the lodging house, Pin still wants to leave Urbs Umida as soon possible. He makes a bet with Juno that if he can figure out how the bone magic is done, she will let him travel with her. Unfortunately for Pin, Urbs Umida is full of strange goings on that threaten to bring Pin’s quest to an abrupt halt.

This enthralling “paraquel” to The Black Book of Secrets takes readers once again into the often dark and always interesting world that F.E. Higgins has created for her tales. Colorful characters and an enthralling plot full of surprises makes this audio title entertaining and memorable. James Daniel Wilson’s narrative perfectly captures the sense of mystery that lies at the heart of the story