The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Will Be Published March 7th 2017
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: NetGalley for review
I recieved this book for free from Sourcebooks Fire through netgalley, for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
What’s it about?
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!
My Reactions While Reading The Bone Witch
What did I think about it?
Pros: Using the word necromancy in your book description is a sure-fire way to get me to pick up a book. I’m all about anything having to do with ghosts, the dead, and bringing them back to life just makes it better. The story is told from two povs. The main pov is Tea (pronouced Tey-uh) talking through how she discovered she could raise the dead and her subsequent journey through her training. It’s very light and easy to read. But there are places when the chapters are all about character development and not much action occurs. At the end of the chapter the story switches pov to a bard in the present interviewing an exiled Tea, who is up to something. This last bit of each chapter is a little darker in tone but still delightful to read. This part was what encourages you to keep your eyes glued for the next chapter of Tea’s story. Overall I really enjoyed reading this story. I read the last 60% in one sitting. I’ll give pros and cons for a closer look.
This book talks about a few important social issues and I thought that was pretty cool.The people in this world wear their hearts around their necks and it changes colors depending on mood. You can give your heart away and then the other person can control you or kill you. It really goes into why you should be careful with you heart instead of giving it to everyone you have an infatuation with.
In one scene the envoy from Drycht gives Tea a hard time for her outfit because women are supposed to be modest. He says he is so liberal but that doesn’t mean woman can do whatever they want. Showing your ankles is akin to being a harlot. So some feminist commentary. This wasn’t anything new to me. I’m all about anyone wearing what they want without being shamed, and the book paints him in a negative light. But I guess I’ve come to accept that attitude from certain generations(in certain communities obviously) because its how they were raised. Its better just to let it roll off your shoulders, smile, and bite your tongue. Which is what Tea does.
In contrast to envoy from Drycht there is an elderly Councilar of Istera named Ludvig that stands by Tea in her time of need and fights for progressive movement. Tea listens to his advice and history lessons like a thirsty dear panting by a stream.
Finally there is a boy who is transgender and wants nothing more than to be an asha. She has always loved dolls and dresses and will be sent to the magical army if he isn’t accepted to be an asha. Likh can dance like nobody’s business but the ancestors council is hesitant to take her in because she is biologically a he. I LOVED the conversation around this situation. It was so similar to the conversation we hear today in America and I just wanted to hug Likh and then stand by Tea and bring the council down.
Cons : There were a few places where the sentence structure was confusing. And normally I don’t criticize stuff like this, but it happened often enough that it created confusion and I had to reread the sentence five times to know what was happening. There was also a bit of character info dumping in the beginning and I would have questions that sometimes weren’t explicitly answered.
4.25/5 stars! There were a few issues in this story but the issues the author embraced talking about and the ending made up for it in my mind. I am rarely surprised by an ending and the end of this one made me go, “Wait! WHAT! How did I not see that?!?!” I did enjoy reading this and look forward to reading the next book. Chupeco hasn’t stated whether this is a trilogy or series, but it’s labeled book 1 online and left us with a small clinfhanger. I was pretty excited with the direction the story was taking. I guess I have to wait and see.
Who would I recommend this book for:
Anyone who loves a good character based story and can deal with low key action scenes.There ARE action scenes but there are many more scenes that are just about daily life and interactions with the community.
Anyone who likes witch stories about the witch’s upbringing. Almost like a witch coming of age tale.
Anyone who likes a story where the romance isn’t the main part. This book puts the romance in the back burner. Like it’s happening but its nothing to get yourself too worked up over.
Now for some of my favorite quotes 😀
“In a court of men, it is likely. But males are not the only people who can rule a realm. If women are encouraged to fight and draw runes and strive to be a man’s equal in those regard, then why can’t a man be encouraged to sing and dance and entertain as we do?”
“Being a noble didn’t exempt you from being fool born…Breeding isn’t what you were born as, breeding is what you grow to be.”
“Its never too late to start early.” (Like my life motto. haha)
“Sometimes I think I need to remember who I was to have an idea of who I should be.”
“Everyone is a puzzle, Tea, made of interlocking tiles you must piece together to form a picture of souls. But to successfully build them, you must have an idea of their strengths as well as their weaknesses. We all have them, even me.”
I hope you guys check this book out when the time comes! Let me know in the comments if you like witch books and/or if this sounds interesting. Have a blessed day!