Wow. Time got away from me. I’ve had this book read and reviewed for months, waiting to be posted. And then life happened and before I knew it, this release day had come and gone!
Well, better late than never, right?
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Series: The Bone Witch #1
Read: January 8-15, 2017
Format: E-ARC (NetGalley)
My Book Rating: 3.5 Stars
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
Challenges: 2017 YA, Flights of Fantasy 2017
ABOUT THE BOOK
The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.
Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.
Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Oh Bone Witch, where do I start? Where do I start….
I expected this book to be about a young woman who discovers her powers as a necromancer after accidentally raising her newly dead brother from his grave. I expected her to go on and learn to use her powers and have adventures along the way.
What I got was a book about geisha training.
Seriously. At least half of this book described all the lessons our heroine, Tea, had to endure on her road to becoming an Asha. (Asha = Geisha. They even sound similar.) During this large portion of the book very little happens. I wish I was kidding.
If I wanted to read a book about geisha’s, I would have read a book about geishas.
Now, all that said, there were a lot of good things about this book. You just have to wade through the boring geisha—sorry, Asha—lessons to get there.
For starters, this book is dual POV in a very unconventional way. We start with a nameless bard finding Tea on a seashore full of bones. He convinces her to tell the story of how she came to be there. The other POV is Tea, the Bone Witch on the beach, telling the bard the story of how she came to be there. So, that was cool.
I also really liked the lore in the book. I liked the idea of the False Prince and his Daeva (monsters that never truly die). I liked the magic and powers. I thought all that was developed nicely… it was just overshadowed by too much geisha-Asha mumbo-jumbo.
On the other hand, the “big twist” near the ending sort of came out of nowhere. There really wasn’t any direct build up for it and it took me a moment to figure out what the heck was really going on. There were clues throughout the story, but they read more like backstory than anything that was actually relevant. It was…. strange.
I also had a hard time connecting to any of the characters. The servant girls at the Asha house were pretty interchangeable in my head. I couldn’t tell you the name of most of the other characters either.
The very end of the book leads me to believe there may be a promising sequel. If the author can cut down on the training and get to the action, I think it could be a good book.
So, should you read it? If you are looking for a good dose of magic and action and adventure you will be sorely disappointed. If you are looking for an interesting and unique world and can look past long periods of nothing happening while our heroine goes through training, then you might just like this one. Oh, and if you’re really into geisha you’ll probably love it!
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Had I known the color of my heartsglass sooner, I might have been better prepared.
They said bone witches gave sleeping sicknesses to innocent princesses with the prick of a finger, and they said bone witches ate the hearts of children who strayed too far into forests.
Asha means two things in old Runic. The first is ‘truth’; the second, ‘spellbinder.’ That is what we must do—we bind the magic and force it to do as we command.
“You knew; still you were affected by the charms I wear. Now imagine the subtlety it can wreak on an unsuspecting world.”
I was trapped between two minds, and at that moment, I was a part of the creature just as it was a part of me.
“If there is one thing I have learned from both our trades, it is that we must always be in the business of forgiveness, lest we become consumed by our anger.”