“Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.”
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
Title: The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: New South Books (Sourcebooks)
Link to buy book here.
Okay so first of all, this cover is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING and I can’t get enough of it. ❤ It definitely sets the mystical and mysterious tone of the book!
I read a Goodreads synopsis for this before I received it that said The Bone Witch was reminiscent of two books I already love, which are The Name of the Wind and Memoirs of a Geisha. At first I was a bit skeptical but this comparison made so much sense with the themes and the way the narrative jumped backwards and forth in time.
I really loved Tea, our main character. She’s a troublemaker, she’s stubborn, but also a hard worker. She starts off as a 12-year-old but is 15 by the end of the book; her 17-year-old self narrates in between chapters, as if recounting her tale to the Bard that accompanies her. She starts off small, innocent, but develops into a clever, stubborn, caring girl. Her 15-year-old self is nowhere near as dark as our 17-year-old narrator, though!
This raised so many questions!! When she’s 17, where’s her brother, Fox? What’s happened to the asha? And Prince Kalen? And Kion, her home? These questions kept me reading. I really enjoyed the way The Bone Witch was narrated, even if at first I wondered why chapters were written in italics! The time jumps really made my imagination stretch which encouraged me to read on.
The magic was excellent, too. It was never explained in one paragraph, but was scattered throughout, so you learned the culture, prejudices, and beliefs as the story unfolded. I loved the concept of bone witches, or dark asha, the rune magic, and the heartsglass that every citizen wears. And the spells of beauty woven into clothes and hair… it was such a spectacle to imagine!
Aside from Tea I really liked her brother Fox, even if I did suspect him a little earlier on. I definitely want to read more about him, especially since he’s dead. Zombie bro. Tell me more. The characters really thrust Tea into who she became; she depended upon and grew from her environment, combat lessons, and classes as a novice turned asha.
I expected this book to be way more fast-paced. It was just a slow burning read for me until I reached the final third.
THAT LAST BIT OF DIALOGUE. THAT FINAL BIT. That made me bump my rating up from enjoying to must know what HAPPENS. Honestly, it had me. Before that, I was coasting along, enjoying the world, then BAM. I need the sequel please.
I feel like I demand the sequel at the end of every book in a series that I review, but THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT ANY LESS TRUE!
Overall, you’ll love this book if you love fantasy. It’s a little bit grittier than the YA fantasy I’ve read recently. I feel like there was a lot more background and detail in this – especially culturally – which I thoroughly enjoyed! I really loved the variation on main characters; Tea isn’t Western, there are so many upheld traditions, and the clothes, just so gorgeous to imagine!
If you’re after a fantasy that’ll punch your heart in the final pages and pull you into its world of runes, magic, combat and slow-burning story, this is definitely a book for you. ❤
4 / 5 stars
Thank you immensely to New South Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!