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Frida, St Helen and St Katharine

Bone Talk

'Bone Talk' is set in the Philippines and is based on when the Americans invaded in 1899. I thought that it was well-constructed, as the events were easy to follow and the reader could always understand what was going on. The book is written in the first person, from Samkad's point of view, and therefore you get his thoughts and feelings. His knowledge increases as he learns about the world beyond his small village and his characteristics start to show more easily. When a small group of Americans come to the village, Samkad is determined to prove they cannot have everything their way. He is loyal and stands up for their village traditions even though not even the ancients have the courage to do so.
The events in the book all seemed understandable and were written within the limits of the book as it is based on historical events. All of the chapters seemed realistic and, although a few of Samkad's dreams are a bit fantastical I thought that they made sense because it was their village beliefs coming to life in his dreams.
The author was very descriptive and so gave the impression that Samkad was quite observant. Also, the author created mood successfully by letting the reader infer how the other characters were feeling. The author lets Samkad express his thoughts and feelings, but the other characters are written so that you can infer how they feel by their tone of voice and actions. This worked because at some points it might have been a bit irrelevant for the author to take the focus off Samkad, so by subtly making observations about minor characters it meant that the author was able to let the reader infer how they felt but still keep the attention on Samkad. This meant the reader was able to give an evidence-supported guess about the general mood.
I thought that Samkad communicated and acted very convincingly in his circumstances. When he is feeling proud, and wanting to have time where he is the centre of attention, he is reluctant to tell his father important news which would have caused the celebrations to be held off. It is only much later, once the party has started, when Samkad finally has the courage to swallow his pride and accept that he needs to put the village's safety before his own personal enjoyment. Those actions are things that anyone could do, though maybe not in such severe circumstances as the whole village being in danger, so Samkad is quite a convincing character.
Luki, Samkad's friend, is also convincing, as she is jealous of Samkad and the fact that he can go out and be a warrior. You infer this by the fact that she is always trying to dress like a boy and is always ready to fight Samkad if they are having a disagreement, and prove that she is just as good at fighting. However, she is not unkind, and tries to hide her disappointment but Samkad is not always very sensitive about her disappointments and keeps bringing them up which usually leads to them fighting, though they are quick to make friends again.
I thought that 'Bone Talk' was very descriptive and it had a clear plot which the author did not overcomplicate. This meant that the book had lots of room for getting the reader to know the characters, and the author included lots of detail about what Samkad could see, hear, feel, smell and taste. In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book as it was fun and interesting, though it could have had more adventurous parts. I would rate this book 8/10.

Posted on: 29th April 2019 at 08:46 am

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