The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Expected publication: March 7, 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
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.
I received an ARC from Netgalley and I have never been more pleased! I never read an ARC so I was sooo excited! Normally, I add spoiler but because it would be borderline cruel to reveal spoilers for a book that will not be out until next March, this is spoiler-free!
For the past few weeks, I have been in a book lull–unable to find a book that catches my attention but that ended today. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco is truly amazing! Hauntingly lovely, an exciting adventure as we learn how a random girl in a small town becomes this disastrously strong but lonely girl we meet in the first few pages. If you like reading books with strong female characters, sisterhood elements, badassery, magic, and a dash of romance that does not overwhelm the plot, then read on!
“Seventeen could explain the poetry of her face, with her skin brown and unblemished. Seventeen explained the pertness of her nose, the determined tilt to her chin. But seventeen did not explain the oldness in her eyes, large twin pools of black from where no light could escape.”
First, before I go any further, we must pay tribute to this extremely beautiful book cover! Intricate and eye-catching, I admit that I am the type of reader who buys books because of the cover so I was immediately drawn to this book. A lovely girl, whom I imagine is Tea, is alone as she overlooks a cliff. Memorable and forbidding, the cover does foreshadow the book masterfully.It is witchy, scary, but also appealing!
In the first few pages, we are introduced to the bone witch Tea of Embers who is extraordinarily powerful and can successfully raise the dead. I must admit, this is a badass way to introduce a character. I like how Chupeco begins the story with the end–it made me want to skip until the end because I was so eager to catch up! Through the eyes of a man we soon learn is a Bard, the story jumps from the future and present as we, the readers, eagerly discover how Tea ended up heartbroken and exiled. The language is patiently descriptive, which only benefits Chupeco. When authors are introducing their audience to a new world, authors should take the time to build the scene. Chupeco’s descriptive language is notable; when she describes the meals the characters eat, my stomach begins to growl!
“The girl smiled. She stroked its misshapen jaw and leaned toward the hideous, yellowing teeth, as if she had a secret to share. ‘Die,’ she whispered.”
I liked Tea. She is curious, honest, and determined. Tea’s journey throughout the story seems very realistic to me. She is a relatable character that I feel like women of all ages can understand. She is not the Mary Sue who whines about her situation, Tea does admit she does crave the influence of the Dark as she works diligently to become an asha. Also, her Dark powers are awesome! Even when she accidentally resurrects her brother and other incidents, I was blown away! I feel like when it comes to necromancy, an author can either make it work or not. Chupeco handles it well and I loved the concept of heart glasses–truly creative!
The world Itself:
In this world, the term Asha is parallel to spellcaster and only women are allowed to become asha’s. With this title, they are able to work for Houses to earn prestige and connections. I liked the politics of the asha; having to compete with other Houses and the jealousy of other inspiring asha. Their male counterparts are Deathseekers who undergo vigorous physical training to help fight the False Prince’s monstrous daeva. In consideration to the asha, it reminded me a mix of Memoirs of the Geisha and The Grisha Trilogy. The asha must flirt and charm with the men who come to the teahouses and there are asha’s who specifically dance and entertain guests. They are also expected to learn various, dynamic skills help represent their Houses.
Overall, I loved this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a refreshing, fun read. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT BOOK! 5 stars!