Book Review: The King of Bones and Ashes by J. D. Horn

Series: Book One of Witches of New Orleans

Genres: Fiction, Supernatural

Edition: Ebook

Source: Free!

Pages: 354

Rating: 4/5 stars

(Affiliate links ahead!)

 Magic is seeping out of the world, leaving the witches who’ve relied on it for countless centuries increasingly hopeless. While some see an inevitable end of their era, others are courting madness—willing to sacrifice former allies, friends, and family to retain the power they covet. While the other witches watch their reality unravel, young Alice Marin is using magic’s waning days to delve into the mystery of numerous disappearances in the occult circles of New Orleans. Alice disappeared once, too—caged in an asylum by blood relatives. Recently freed, she fears her family may be more involved with the growing crisis than she ever dared imagine.

Yet the more she seeks the truth about her family’s troubled history, the more she realizes her already-fragile psyche may be at risk. Discovering the cause of the vanishings, though, could be the only way to escape her mother’s reach while determining the future of all witches.


  • No throwaway characters!
  • Pacing is sooo on point. I couldn’t put this book down and I ended up staying up until 3am reading it!
  • The plot was really well done. There were hints scattered throughout the story, but I didn’t even pick up on all of them. They were written in so well!
  • LGBTQ representation
  • The voodoo part was intriguing but not overdone. It wasn’t overly explained and I really dug it.


  • In the beginning, it was kind of hard to keep up with the constantly switching POVS.
  • I didn’t really relate to Alice…at all?
  • I don’t understand the whole mystery around Alice (which is a major plot point) even after I finished the book.

*Not really a dislike, but I wish Lisette’s mom was in the story more. I really liked reading about her!

Favorite Quotes

  • Alice wished she could turn into a mermaid and slip safely into this new kaleidoscope sea.
  • “You better be glad I’m not wearing my best shoes,” she groused in a deep baritone as she deposited Hugo on his feet next to Evangeline.
  • Hugo had gone through life braced. Pushing away those he loved as fast and as hard as he could, just so they could hurry up and hurt him.
  • Lisette reached up to wipe away a tear, or maybe just a raindrop. “’ Cause, baby girl, we’re Creole. We didn’t just come from Africa. We came from all the hell over.”
  • “Blood may be sticky, but it makes a poor glue. We shared a stronger bond, your mother and we.”
  • “Well, yes,” he said. “I have changed. That’s the greatest advantage to learning everything you’ve ever believed about yourself to be a lie. If you survive the learning, it means you get to make whatever you would like of yourself.”
  • Lucy, Alice realized, was a consummate liar, and that simple fact made her trust her cousin with every fiber of her being.
  • Her movements were smooth. Fluid. Predatory. It seemed as if she might take to the night sky at any moment.
  • “You’re dead, mama. And I’m menopausal. You can say ‘period.’”
  • “So much for that great America we got promised.”

All in all, I would definitely recommend The King of Bones and Ashes to any reader who enjoys magical realism, witchy stuff, or good urban myths.

Meet the Author

J. D. Horn is the author of the standalone dark fantasy Shivaree and the bestselling Witching Savannah series (The Line, The Source, The Void, and Jilo). The Witching Savannah series has been/is being translated into Russian, Polish, German, Spanish, Italian, French, and Romanian. He and his spouse, Rich, split their time between San Francisco and Palm Springs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s