Review: The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch

Series : The Bone Witch

Publisher: Source Book Fire

Source :  Nsw Wales Books

Release Date : March 7th 2017 US / July 2017 Aus


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.

Tash M

Do  you ever have a book that you wait in anticipation for and then it doesn’t live to your overwhelming expectations that you have.   Unfortunately this was the case for me with The Bone Witch. It wasn’t quite the book I hoped it would be.  I’m not overly disappointed, I just hope that I would be totally in love with the book and gushing about it right now

There is nothing wrong with the book. I wasn’t finding  myself connecting to the story like I hoped I would as a fantasy reader.  It’s very descriptive  and isn’t a bad thing but I wished there was a bit more action sooner as this fantasy reader wants to be midst of the action. However then I  do see the point of delaying the action to end as these a gentle woman all things considered  as the asha culture is based on a very famous real culture that is known for their arts right then fighting skills. Tea was totally ignorant and very young at the beginning but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Inspired by geishas and their culture  , the author weaves a  story  where witches are revered and treated as important members of the community  because of their abilities and  the happiness they bring to the community .  Except for Tea who discovers her gift for necromancy unintentionally when  she raise her brother from the dead and  makes her a outcast in her community. Fearful of  her powers, she is forced to take leave under the care of older wise bone witch and sent to another land to become an asha.

For Tea,  barely a teenager she was surprisingly strong about the whole situation considering things.  Her beloved brother Fox was back so  it seemed no harm for her to go and train to become something . As least she would have a future where she was looked after like a human being and had a chance to become someone thanks  to  her powers.   Though now looking back I wonder if the  maturity she lacked at the beginning was there would she have made the same decisions.   Tea was from a simple background and whilst she was very knowledgeable  about the kingdoms and people.  I found her lacking when it came to the finer details of life. She was book smart yet she was very innocent in others way.   It really came to light as the story progressed as  arrives at her new home and began her training. Her innocent was slowly taken away and sometimes it wasn’t easy being Tea especially  when she undertook her training.

The home of the ashas is magical and mysterious and this where the story starts to take its shape as the author delve into the mysterious culture that Tea is now part of.  Unlocking the door to the world that is govern by hierarchy . It was an intriguing world though  it was  sometimes mundane  as we watched Tea in her new life .  Forced to  start from the ground up and learn about the world she was thrown into .  She embraced it and allowed us to experience may things and met people along the way that added to the story and the world we were in
A world that was secretive and still an enigma by the end as we only saw in the perspective of Tea. As  a teenager  Asha  who was supposed to be  a gentle woman yet  Tea wasn’t  that person exactly.  It was very late in the game but we saw a shift  after  basically building up the life of Tea as this asha who would be responsible and prim so to speak.  Guided by the elders and forced to live up the rules

That  when we really got to crux and then the climax of the story. Whilst there was action and saw Tea becoming her own person  and challenge the norm.  The  action element that we deemed the norm with fantasy was very much  lacking until to the later part of this book.

The Bone Witch has an intriguing premise and fantasy is one of the bigger trends in YA currently and I’m spoiled for choice. So when  this originally came across my radar.  I was intrigued by the premise and  was curious about the second half of the blurb.  As it alluded to Tea becoming something special and not being feared  which intrigued me as this power could be dangerous.   Whilst this  book did deliver the answers I sought though very late in the book of what she could become. It was a very long journey to that point.   I love the  inspiration that was taken with this book and enjoyed it some what . But  this book takes a very long time to really get going because we watch Tea grown into her teenage years  and as an asha .  The author really spends time building the geisha inspired culture that  forms the basis for this novel and explore relationships that Tea makes in her new life.  And with all the building with the culture and the world to allow Tea come into own. I do hope the next book will explore some of the ideas that were introduced in this novel and take more of an action approach .



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  1. I actually bought this one not too long ago Tash because the premise sounded wonderful. Fantasy is very much a hit or complete miss for me so the slower pacing sounds as though it’s more suited to non or occasional fantasy readers like myself, so I can understand why you would find it a little slow and dull. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it despite the pacing. Great review Tash, planning on reading it after the Bingo Challenge <3

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