Saturday, February 11, 2017

Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

by Rin Chupeco
Sourcebooks Fire
YA Fantasy
400 pages

MARCH 7, 2017!!!

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.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!


I was really looking forward to reading this one. The cover is amazing (so much so that I promised myself to get the hardback version after reading it through). The surmise promised so many awesome things - hints of the Asian culture, myths, a character's struggles, and magic. 

The writing itself was lovely. The world comes to life on so many levels. The society, the inner struggles and daily life are easy to sink into. There were times when I'd hit a phrase, and it'd make me pause because it described things in such a beautiful and perfect way. This isn't something I've run into often and was surprised to find myself stopping just to repeat such perfect phrases.

The book is written as a flip-flop between two settings/times. The first is set in the future, when the Bone Witch (Tea) is with the bard, who is recording her tale. These sections were usually only a few pages as a sprinkle between the heart of the book-Tea's story. Still, these were the settings I enjoyed the most, since they were the ones which radiated the most personality, emotions and sympathy. 

The second setting/time is Tea's story itself. This is narrated from Tea's stand point and begins with her not knowing of her powers until her brother dies, and she accidentally raises him from the dead. Although this is the pulp of the book, the characters remained at an arm-length away, making it very hard to connect with them. This was especially disappointing in several of the relationships (Tea to her brother), where the emotional bond was told to be strong and could have been beautiful, but was never given a chance to leave the typed word.

The plot itself promised much but didn't hold pace. The descriptions and explanations of the society take over. Although they are masterfully done, the plot is left in the shadows making especially the second of the of the book fall into a slow pace.

There is a romantic triangle, which is a thing of personal taste. With a better character connection and emotions, this could have offered more.

Summed up, this simply wasn't what I'd been hoping for. The writing is beautiful, and I'm sure others might enjoy the tale simply for this lovely depth. However, without a tighter connection to the characters, and a more distinct and quicker paced plot, it wasn't a read for me.

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