In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price. 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.
NECROMANCY. Need I say more?
“Then perhaps we should carve a world one day where the strength lies in who you are, rather than in what they expect you to be.”
My full book review of The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco.
STORY ★★★☆☆ — First of all can I just say that the cover and the blurb for this book… just, wow. A book about NECROMANCY! I love it! The “heroine” of the story is Tea (not the drink, pronounced Tee-ah). We have a world full of witches with different types of powers and then we have Tea who doesn’t know what her powers actually are until she accidentally raises her brother from the dead. Oops! There are different types of Asha (witches) in the world specialising in various types of magic. There is the usual air, water, fire and earth and then there is the dark Asha or the “Bone witches” who have their own specific duties in the world and are so important but are also looked upon with suspicion and sometimes disgust by others in the world due to their ability to tamper with life and death.
CHARACTERS ★★★☆☆ — Rin does a fantastic job of describing and building Tea’s character as well as that of her brother Fox and her mentor lady Mykala. Every character wears something called a hearts glass and it took me a while to understand that this is basically a necklace that is worn which shows a different colour based on how you are feeling. A hearts glass will generally stay the same colour but will vary and flicker based on changing emotions and can also be given away (this is not at all recommended though as if someone has your hearts glass then they will be able to control you.) so I thought that was quite interesting and unique. In the world, you will also learn about Daeva. These are basically demons who rise from the dead once every few years and have to be dealt with and put back down by a dark Asha which is why they are so important in the world. That said, although the descriptions were really wonderful I still didn’t find myself falling in love with or really even invested in any of the characters which I don’t think is a good thing.
WORLD ★★☆☆☆ — I found the world to be really interesting but also at times very confusing. There are many kingdoms and talk of leaders of said kingdoms and with so much description here there and everywhere I found myself getting quite lost. I really liked the idea of the Daeva and the way that Bone witches interact with them.
I also think the Asha and the apprenticeship they have to complete before becoming fully-fledged Asha is quite cool but I did feel that there was way too much time spent on the apprenticeship itself and it all felt very dull and repetitive.
The last thing I don’t quite understand is why the Asha are made to entertain and dance and sing when they have these badass magical powers. It seems to be that there are far better uses of their time so that was a bit rubbish for me personally but maybe I completely missed the point, I don’t know.
ENDING ★★★★☆ — The ending was actually pretty good. It leaves you wondering really as the book has just felt like one long description and not that much story. The story feels like it is actually starting here and so it encouraged me to pick up the second book right away.
OVERALL ★★★☆☆ — The writing style is really beautiful, the author is very good at describing the world in such a way that you can see it in your mind. It’s a bit dull though, I have to be honest. I kept reading and waiting for something amazing or shocking to happen but it all just felt a bit slow. I think that all the action must happen in the next two books and this book may just be about introducing the world and the characters because there is quite a lot to cover! Overall though I felt like there was something missing in this book but I’m not sure exactly what. I feel like it could have been great but it just didn’t have that spark. I will read the rest of the series and I will update this review if my suspicions are correct that the remaining books are where the action is!