THE BONE WITCH – RIN CHUPECO
432 pages – March 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. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles… and make a powerful choice.
This is my second time reading Rin Chupeco’s The Bone Witch, and to be honest, the first time I read it I struggled with it.
This second time I definitely enjoyed it more, but it’s not a favourite of mine. I gave it another shot because by all reports the next books are better, and technically speaking this should absolutely be a series I’d love – necromancy? witches? some kind of revenge story we haven’t yet learned the details of? All things I’m interested in.
The main issue with The Bone Witch is that after our main character, Tea, raises her brother from the dead and is taken away to become a dark asha, not a lot happens. Chupeco’s writing is beautiful. It’s lyrical and descriptive, and she’s built an intriguing world for her characters to play in, but in the first book of this trilogy they don’t really do much. There’s training and necromancy mishaps and some well-developed characters, but the story just… muddles along.
Some of Tea’s actions I didn’t really understand. Everything that happens around her seems to be either an accident or a result of her thinking she knows better than every other asha who has trained for longer than she has. And the reveal of the Big Bad at the end was so out of left field I almost didn’t register what was happening.
This series promises a lot of darkness and creepiness and turmoil to come, but The Bone Witch sets the stage for all the interesting stuff that hasn’t happened yet. While I will be reading the second book and hoping the story picks up, this book alone isn’t enough to get me invested.
You can also find this review on Goodreads.