This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Series: The Bone Witch #1
Genres: Fantasy, young adult
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: ARC, E-book
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound
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.
Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!
What was it that drew me to this story? A story revolving around necromancy is not something you run into that often and hello on that gorgeous cover! Upon reading it I find that there is a significant Asian (think geisha) influence throughout the writing and the story itself is about love, loss and revenge.
This story is told from two points of view and it transitions from past to present. In the present the story is told from the point of view of the Bard. The past portion is told from the view of Tea, the bone witch. The time transitions were smoothly done and add real interest to the story. There is also a great connection between the two main characters as they both were wronged and forced to face injustice.
There are many unique elements to this story an example is the heartsglass. This item is worn like a necklace and your feelings can be read or rather your essence is known. Everyone wears one so it is an accepted norm. they can also be given to others which represents a deep commitment likened to marriage. Another example are creatures known as daeva that are very large demonic beasts that can be controlled by bone witches but not completely. Oh did I mention that they are undead and do not stay dead if “killed?” Yep, that adds a nice twist to things.
I liked that the main female character, Tea, is exceptional and yet flawed. There is much time spent getting to know this character through her training, learning the ways of the Asha (combat, music, singing, dancing, art of conversations and magic) and from the past/present transitions. Her relationship with her brother, Fox, is endearing and I wish there had been more written around that. Instead there is a lot if explanatory dialogue between supporting characters and Tea. If you enjoy long drawn out explanations, then this will appeal to you. For me I am more of “to the point” conversations. Also, with all the buildup in training it boiled down to lots of talk and very little show.
For me the biggest drawbacks were the beginning and the love triangle. The start of the story is a bit confusing and takes a bit to get into. Throughout the story there is tremendous world building but it is overly descriptive. For me it slowed down the story and led to disengagement. The love triangle was not full on angst and drama but I do detest love triangles so that’s that. The romance itself also just felt all wrong given the age of the main character although the speech of the characters does seem far older than the age they are written to represent.
The hope is that this novel is essentially the building block for the next book in the series and that is where we are going to see the action come into play. This was a fascinating read and does bring to the table a whole new world to captivate your imagination. I will leave this review with a quote that I find to be the ultimate focus of the series and may encourage your interest.
“This is my new family. This is my new identity. I will be the bone witch the kingdom fears, and I will make them pay.”
*Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire & NetGalley for this eARC of The Bone Witch*