Title: The Bone Witch
Series: The Bone Witch, #1
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…
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.
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Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.
She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency. She is also fond of speaking in the third person, and may as well finish this short bio in this manner. While she does not always get to check her Goodreads page, she does answer questions posed to her here as promptly as she is able to.
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So much love for this book! I swear I’ll scream my heart out for this trilogy (even if I’m just about to read the second book, lol). Here’s the super short version of my review:
A refreshing, unique and breathtaking take on fantasy. A powerful (literally and figuratively) protagonist with necromancy powers that would surely leave you hanging and yearning for more. And don’t forget the awesome and detailed world-building!
I’m actually really excited to start The Heart Forger but I can’t until I write a review about how awesome The Bone Witch was.
The gif on the left was my exact reaction after reading the first sentences of The Bone Witch‘s synopsis. Wait, raising someone from the dead? Tea sounds pretty bad-ass! And believe me, she is!
Okay, I love Tea (the drink, not so much). And I’m so excited to read more of her adventures. Her innocence and curiosity in the first chapters were greatly executed. She doesn’t have her own heartsglass yet but she was already able to produce the power to resurrect her dead brother? Whoa, right? Definitely sounds like she’s a very powerful one. *winks* The book started out with her as someone who’s curious about everything and ended with her being a certified asha. Talk about character development! She’s a little childish at first but seeing her grow into a lady would be one of the proudest moments in your reading life. Oh, and don’t forget that she’s also a reader so plus points!!
There are a lot of mentioned characters here. Some play super minor parts than others (only mentioned or spoken about) but you should always pay attention to them. Trust me on this one. They don’t just complement the whole story well, each of them plays an important role you shouldn’t miss to understand everything better. I suck at remembering names and this time, I really tried hard.
Every character has its own purpose. I’m happy to state that I haven’t found any unnecessary character while reading. I loved most of them. Each of them was wonderfully crafted with their own personalities so yaayy!
“Duty means doing something not because you like it but because you’re supposed to. You chose to be an asha. That means doing everything that comes with it.”
Setting + World-building
There’s a map included in the paperback I own and it is marvelous. I’m in awe when I discovered how amazing Rin Chupeco did in building the Asha world.
There are 8 kingdoms and a lot of places were mentioned which made me crazy at first. I was lost within the first few chapters. I was like, “Wait, where were they? Kneave? Where’s Kion?” Fortunately, as the book progressed, everything became clearer. But thinking of all the names of the places? That’s creativity.
If I’m not mistaken (I hope I’m not but if I am, correct me please!) the asha-ka’s are on Ankyo which seems like the place for Ashas. I actually picture the asha-kas as a temple. For example, I picture the House Valerian with a Japanese temple interior and their huas as yukatas. Or was it really meant to be pictured like that? Haha, it’s up to someone’s imagination but it’s wonderful how everyone has a different interpretation in their minds.
The idea of the heartsglass really interests me. Sometimes the colors depends on the magic you use, and sometimes it depends on your mood or how you feel. You give it to someone you love but they can betray you for having control of it. I want to learn more about the heartsglass. There are also runes which they conjure to release magic. I hope the next books would further explain them.
There are also different kinds of magic. There are elementals or those focused on arts. The Bone Witch focused on Necromancy which is a really fascinating subject and is misunderstood by most people.
The author really did a great job in building an outstanding world with diverse elements! The best asset of this book is its world-building! Truly a refreshing take on Fantasy!
“You can’t make better of the dead, sweet child, though I reckon death could make the better of us.”
Plot, Pacing and Writing Style
Aside from the magnificent world-building, my favorite part of the book was breaking traditions. Breaking the norms. Likh likes to dance. He wants to be an asha but tradition says that only women can be asha and men should be deathseeker. Likh knows he can’t survive the training though. Tea then joins Likh in fighting for equal rights. This book screams for it and I love it!
“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?”
The story was told in 2 timeframes, the present and the future. Or was it the present and the past? Either way, most of the book was told when Tea was making her way to be an asha. There are excerpts, maybe 1-2 pages after every chapter that features an older and more experience Tea as an asha. It was a little confusing to read especially at first. It starts to connect at the last chapters but just when you understand what was really happening, you finish the book. I think it was continued in the next books though. Sometimes, it helped me move forward and continue reading because I want to know what happens next.
The pace was a little slow too at the first few chapters but when I reached the second half, I wasn’t able to stop reading. I devoured the words and left wanting for more.
Rin Chupeco also has her own way of writing style. It was like reading a fairy tale sometimes and I enjoyed it. I still think that reading it took more of my time than usual or I did I just turn to a slow reader? But I swear it would make someone’s imagination work full time! Rin gave us vivid and detailed descriptions but it’s amazing how we all picture it differently in our minds.
Wrapping it up,
The Bone Witch easily made it to my favorites list. It’s a book that you’d surely get lost in its pages. I’m already excited to get on to the next book! I recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a great Fantasy read. This truly is a masterpiece and I can’t applaud Rin Chupeco enough for doing a really great job. Overall, I rate The Bone Witch, 4.5 out of 5 stars!
“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.”
Also check out:
The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch, #2)
In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she’s after revenge…
No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life…and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.
But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can’t kill someone who can never die…
War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.
View on Goodreads | Review soon
The Shadow Glass (The Bone Witch, #3)
In the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance
Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart.
Tea’s black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience…
- Have you read this book before? Or are you planning to? Tell me what you think of it!
- Does books featuring Necromancy interest you as well?
- What’s your favorite fantasy book?
- What do you think of the aesthetic I made? Do you like it?