Title: The Bone Witch
By: Rin Chupeco
Series: The Bone Witch #1
Published: March 7th, 2017
By: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Magic
Buy it: Book Depository
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.
| Goodreads |
“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.”
OMG, guys! I should have read this book a while ago, but I’m happy to finally have done it. This year it’s blessing me with incredible surprises regarding readings and this book is one of them, although I love witches stories and it’s usually something I enjoy, I didn’t expect this story to have such an impact on me, especially since I’ve already read the author in the past and I haven’t enjoyed it so much. It ends up being an incredible book and although it can move slow at times, I think it’s such a solid beginning of a story that promises a lot.
This story follows Tea, a young woman who, as a child, resurrects her brother by accident during her funeral and although being a witch is something that runs in her family’s blood, her power is different, it corresponds to a Bone Witch, that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea gets her guide, an old Bone witch who takes her and her brother to another land to begin her training. Once there, Tea will put all her energy into becoming an Asha and controlling the elements, but dark and evil forces approach and soon Tea must make a powerful decision.
What I like the most is the way it’s told. It starts from the perspective of a young man who goes in search of a more mature Tea so that he can hear her stories, and then from the voice of Tea, we begin this journey since she’s just a girl. In this way, we have chapters from the present and others in the past, where the growth of Tea develops. This way of telling the story seemed unique to me and it keeps you hooked wanting to know what will happen, I also adore the voices of the characters in both timelines, but especially in the present because we see a more mature and grown Tea that has gone through a lot and there is a certain darkness in her voice that caught me, I also believe that these chapters although they’re short, manage to capture the essence of the story and give us a super poetic and mysterious moment. LOVED IT!
I loved the writing style, it’s very beautiful and it carries the plot very well. I’m glad to have given this author another chance, I’d read The Girl From The Well for her and although I enjoyed certain aspects, I hadn’t been completely convinced by it, this proves that giving the authors a second chance is super important!
I love how she has handled many situations that are on the book but above all, we see a lot of female power in a world clearly dominated by men, I really felt that revolutionary energy and I liked it a lot. I also believe that secondarily, Tea’s arrival at House Valerian, which is where she’ll grow up and learn to be a witch, comes to change many old ideas about what witches should do, or what role they must play within society.
In this book, everyone has a heart around their necks and the color of it represents what kind of magic they handle, but also change color according to the feelings and intensifications of the person, this can be seen only by Dark Ashas, ie Bone witches & some others who handle this kind of skill. I think this detail is so smart and cool.
One of the weakest points of the book is the world-building, the characters don’t move around much from the same place, but we can see a little more of the world in the journey that Tea undertakes in the beginning and I understand why many people give up and DNFed the book at that point because it’s kind of dense and doesn’t really have a marked connection with the rest of the story, but once you pass that mark and Tea begins her training and the years go by, I think it gets much more dynamic and interesting. Returning to the world, I would like to know more in-depth about and have a clearer development of it in the following books. Even so, this wasn’t a big problem for me, but I wanted to mention it because I understand that it can be a rare thing for those who read it. On the other hand, I also understand why the author has decided to keep it short and simple since it’s a book more focused on the characters as such and has MANY dialogues. I really love dialogues, but I notice that they’re quite long and focus on explaining past events and many important issues of the plot.
It has a VERY complex magic system that I think I haven’t been able to fully understand myself, but I enjoyed it a lot and found it very interesting. I love that there are many types of Asha and that they all stand out in a certain skill and in addition to taking fighting and magic classes as such, they also take protocol classes, dance, and singing which surprised me, but at the same time, I think is fun. I understand that there are many Ashas who dedicate their lives to work and/or entertain rich families who can pay for an Asha to be under their services, so it’s important, I guess, they know how to behave. The work of a Dark Asha, though, is much more complex so Tea must face constant dangers.
The Bone witches or Dark Ashas must be in charge of these beings or monsters called Daeva that threaten the earth. The power and the unique magic of Bone witches is the only one that can beat these monsters to death since they’re created from it. It’s a super interesting concept and I like how there’s also a group that manages dark magic for evil causes that are called The Faceless that follows The False King. I don’t know much about this yet, but I feel it will be something we’ll see more in the following books.
I liked the characters especially Tea, her brother Fox & Lady Mykaela, are my favs! Tea is a great main character, especially since she’s trust a lot on her ideals and doesn’t let herself be influenced by her surroundings, I also respect her growth a lot and in the end, I feel that she’s in a much more vengeful and badass posture, due to something that happened but we don’t know what that is yet, I think that’s so unique, she’s basically an amazing anti-hero. Also at the beginning, she has a very sweet innocence and I don’t think she has been arrogant even though her position is super important for the world. Fox is an amazing older brother, I’ll always love and respect this kind of relationship between brothers, they’re my weakness so I adore their interactions and the love so pure and honest that they’re shown, after that ending, I’m nervous about this aspect. I loved Lady Mykalea! Another of my great weaknesses and something that I enjoy with all my heart is having this type of master/sage character who teaches, loves and takes care of her apprentice … IT’S EVERYTHING for me. It shows that she’s a very responsible, strong and honest woman, I appreciate her sacrifice so much, and she does her job despite the danger that represents, even when the community treats her like an outcast and fears her.
Then we have other important characters for the plot like Farhi & Kena who are servants in the Valerian and also create a bond with Tea. Mistress Parmina who’s the “mother” witch and who owns and takes care of The Valerian, she’s super tough with Tea throughout the book and never makes things very easy for her, I think her great ambition is money and in some part, this is why she exploits her girls so much, I’m not sure about the character, I know her intentions but I’m not 100% sure yet. And Althy & Polaire who are Ashas, friends of Mykaela and I simply love them, they’re such rich characters and bring a more wild and fun side to the plot. There are SO SO many characters in this book it’s crazy, so I’ll not talk about ALL of them because it would take me years, but I hope you decide to read it because there’s so much to explore and learn.
There’s some romance, but it’s not a center point, I think it’s probably something more important in the next book, even so, there’s something very important happening around a romance but it’s not a point that develops much but it’s more like the start of it & then I can’t fail to highlight the wonderful and surprising plot twists, I LOVED THAT!! when I finished reading it, with that cliffhanger at the ending … I was in shock, I swear, it made me feel SO MANY things. You know when you finish reading and you can’t stop thinking about what happened and you die inside because you don’t have the second book to start it immediately? Well, that’s exactly what happened. The author did an incredible job with that ending, leaving you with high expectations for the next book.
To summarize, I LOVE the book, is a perfect fantasy pack where magic is a central point and is developed in a unique and very entertaining way, the characters are very real and are very well developed as well as the plot which is very informative due to being the first book. The writing style deserves a thousand stars, it’s beautiful, poetic and shocking, you’ll surely love it & it has many action and shocking scenes, that will surely leave you with many feelings.
I hope you decide to give it a chance because I just can’t believe I haven’t read it before, so now I want EVERYONE to read it. I don’t think I’ve done it justice with this review because it’s really incredible and has SO MUCH to talk about, it has too many concepts, ideas and points to highlight, so go prepared for a complex fantasy with many things to develop and a heartbreaking and shocking ending.