Today I’m reviewing a book that took a month long for me to finish. I could’ve posted this next month but didn’t want to because half of June is already scheduled with reviews and other posts that I want to write.
Hope you have a good day and enjoy your current read.
About the Book
Title: The Bone Witch • By: Rin Chupeco
Published on: 1 Feb 2018 • By: Sourcebooks
Pace: Slow • Pages: 421 • Age: 13 and up
Series: The Bone Wicth #1 • Genre: YA Fantasy
Song: Your Bones by Of Monsters and Men
A story of scorned witches, sinister curses, and resurrection, The Bone Witch is the start of a dark fantasy trilogy, perfect for fans of Serpent & Dove and The Cruel Prince.
Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, 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.
Rep: Filipino (MC & SCs)
• Tea of the Embers and the Dark Asha
12 year old Tea, never wanted to see her brother cold and lifeless. She couldn’t digest her brother’s death. The grief ate her so much so that she never questioned the runes that materialized in her mind and she gave them free rein, which brought back her brother to her. Until then, Tea never knew that she was a Dark Asha (bone witch), unlike her sisters who were Asha— those could wield elemental magic.
Dark asha were not easily welcomed by people. They were feared and respected too. Lady Mykaela, another powerful dark asha, took Tea as her apprentice and took her to asha-ka in Ankyon. There she was trained and taught by the sisters and Mistress Parmina, who ran the House Valerian, and learned everything she could to become a dark asha.
Learning to be a dark asha at 13 was tough. Tea mostly ran errands and did chores in the beginning. Only after an incident did they start her initiation process.
Tea sounded juvenile and reckless at times. Her only connection to her past was her undead brother, Fox, who was her familiar. He’d trail her everywhere and have an eye on her and prevent her from any danger. I liked their bond in the book.
Tea worshioped Lady Mykaela. She was encouraging and a supportive teacher anyone could’ve asked for. Tea learned a great deal from her and she also made sure that Tea never did anything rash and foolish but it didn’t stop her anyway.
There were two types of magic in this book– Elemental and Bone magic. Many could wield elemental magic. But there was a spectrum of elements in play here- forest, flower, water, fire, ice, etc. The dark asha could resurrect the dead but not fellow asha. It was the only disadvantage they had. Asha had strict rules to live by. They were disciplined and were made to sing, dance, learn runes and read heartsglass.
A heartsglass was made using people’s memories. It was a mix of happy, sad, angry and other memories that people would sell to the heartforger. A hearstglass show red or blue depending on one’s emotions. It was such a simple concept but a very useful object in the book.
At age 13, both boys and girls woul have their heartsglass. It’d reflect a person’s emotion and was also used to track whether they have magic in them.
Asha and a few could read heartsglass, that’s how they could read people and help them, or use it for their benefit.
Wearing one’s heart for everyone to see sounded so vulnerable to me. You’re baring yourself in front of strangers who can see right through you, which was risky but also an interesting approach.
• Runes of the Dark
Only the dark asha could draw the Dark, runes that controlled and destroy daeva. They were the demons who crumpled to dust when their bezoar was removed from their body. Bezoar was the mark of every daeva; basically their life source. Dark asha could summon them with the help of bezoar by using of runes of the Dark. One had to careful when it came to Dark.
There was one chapter where Tea used the runes to fight a huge daeva. The anticipationgor those scenes fell flat tjust draw the the runes that came to her mind and woosh! Everything would’ve gone back to normal. It all felt rushed and fast, despite the slow pace of the book, which left me terribly confused still the end.
• Darashi Oyun
Darashi Ouyn was my favorite part of the book. It was the most popular dance in Ankyo. There was one performance that took my breath away. It was a story about how daeva, dark asha, the False Prince, and many other myths that was vital to asha’s history told in a dance. This was the most animated chapter of the book. The only other exciting thing in the book besides this was Tea’s visit to the oracle.
• What in the daeva’s teeth was that?
I should’ve mentioned it earlier but totally forgot. This book is written in a back-and-forth narrative, where 17 year old Tea tells her story to Bard. Bard was from Drychta.
The flashback took us to the time when she resurrected her brother till her last battle with the daeva.
For some reason, she was exiled to somewhere far. Her story was told from his POV when he visits her there and the past was from her POV. I loved the switch between the present before the start of each chapter because it served as a prelude to what to expect next. It also showed how she was now different than the past.
There was one twist in the last chapter, which was unexpected. After the end, I was left with more questions than answers, which is why I want to read the next book. We don’t know why she was exiled or why she could control daeva.
Despite the slow pace, no, excruciatingly slow pace, I liked this book. It laid a solid ground for the premise. A terrific introduction to asha and this world. But I was left with more doubts than I could’ve asked for. I liked the magic system in the book. It was a new approach to what I was already used to. I still don’t get why most part of the novel was about dancing, singing and attending parties. It was how Asha worked, but it made reading about them a tedious task.
In the end, The Bone Witch is an impressive start for a new series that’s magical, dark, and unpredictable.
Every fight is unique. There is no blueprint for opponents, and you must learn to decide quickly in the course of a battle or you will be dead.
TW // Self cutting imagery, Death, Blood, Gore
About the Author
Rin Chupeco wrote obscure manuals for
complicated computer programs, talked
people out of their money at event shows, and
did many other terrible things. They now write
about ghosts and fairy tales but is still
sometimes mistaken as a revenant. They were
born and raised in the Philippines and, or so
the legend goes, still haunts that place to this
very day. Their pronouns are she/they.
Have you read this novel or is it on your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
“I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life.”
— Virginia Woolf
great review! I’ve been thinking about reading this book for a while, and wow the magic system sounds soooo cool!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you, Saima!🧡 I absolutely liked the magic system, but the book is quite slow, which also depends on the reader, so I’m not gonna say more on that.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Great review 🤩 this book has been on my TBE for a long time and I can’t wait to read it
LikeLiked by 1 person
Many people on Goodreads either DNF’d it or rated it low. I liked the magic system, though. Hope you pick it someday. Have good day and happy reading!💖
LikeLiked by 1 person
[…] ➼ The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco ★★★.5 | I seem to stay way from slow paced book, but I wanted to read it because of synopsis and it was worth the delay. Leaving my review here. […]
Amazing review! I’m going to order one soon. Also, could you please suggest on how one can receive ARC, I’m interested in the same, would love to get your guidance 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks! For ARCs, you can create a NetGalley or Edelweiss+ accounts and request for ARCs there. If your requests are getting declined, then you make use of Read Now option and read books from your preferred genre. Netgalley will give you access to titles easier than Edelweiss though. There are other sites that handout ARCs as well, you can check them on google. I hope this was helpful.