The Bone Witch – Review (spoiler free)


“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.

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 9.46.12 pmTitle: The Bone Witch

Author: Rin Chupeco

Pages: 401

Release Date: March 7, 2017

Publisher: New South Books (Sourcebooks)
Link to buy book here. 

Buy: Dymocks, Booktopia, Book Depository

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! 


15 thoughts on “The Bone Witch – Review (spoiler free)

    1. Oh no! I knew you were anticipating it, such a bummer to hear you’ve DNF’d it for now! Hopefully you can pick it up again. Thanks for reading! ❤

  1. Great review, Bec! This book has been sort of on my radar since I spotted that cover (so gorgeous), and the story sounds like something I would love! I’m definitely putting it on my TBR now. 😀

  2. Ah I’ve heard a lot of recommendations for this and this is a great review that makes me really want to pick it up 😊 Intrigued by necromancy, the darker aspects, and the fact that it’s a non-Western cultural fantasy (it’s been a while since I’ve read one of those!)

    1. Yay! 😀 It’s certainly worth picking up, as you can tell I definitely enjoyed it! Just don’t expect fast-paced. The writing and world will hook you and the plot-reveal at the end will make you want more hehe!

  3. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK. When the author mentioned that a heap of the characters are LGBTQIA+ then I immediately added to the TBR. And then I bought it last week because it was less than $7 on Amazon AU (and then, like, two days later is was only $2 – story of my life).

    I’ve heard that it’s a bit slow moving but that honestly doesn’t bother me. I can enjoy a slow paced book if the writing is lovely, or I love the characters. Pacing is never my number one when it comes to enjoyment of books.

    I’m so glad that the ending of this one has you so excited for the sequel! Although I think I heard that it’s from another character’s perspective… Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as much as this one!

    Lovely review, Bec ^.^

    1. If you can pick out what type of LGBTQIA rep this has please let me know? It may have been portrayed but I probably missed it, or I would’ve mentioned it! (I’ve seen mention of it floating around too but can’t recall character/s it may apply to.)
      I totally wouldn’t mind if the sequel had a different character POV, I loved Tea but would likely connect to another character in this world too; it’s so rich and detailed, I just want to know more about everything!
      I HOPE YOU ENJOY! Thank you for commenting. 😀 ❤

      1. I’ll definitely let you know! I want to read it soon because I bought it and don’t want it to be another ebook on my Kindle that never gets read D:
        Ah, that’s good! I usually get super attached to POV characters, haha. But more often than not I end up liking new POVs, anyway.
        Thank you! And no problem, lovely ❤

      2. Yay thank you!
        I went out and bought the hardcover, heh… it’s so pretty! I hope you love it enough to get a physical copy, happy reading! ❤

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