The Bone Witch (Book)

So the Books and Tea Discord server did an #OwnVoices themed read-a-long last month and we ended up choosing a book called The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. I wasn't even going to participate at first because I've been trying to avoid doing too much impulse shopping, but of course the book conveniently went on sale on Amazon so I picked it up anyway. And boy am I glad I did! My only regret is that I got it as an ebook instead of a physical copy because the book has such a beautiful cover.

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 remember my friend recommending this book to me months before the read-a-long and she definitely wasn't wrong guessing I'd love it. It was pretty much a love at first sight (or chapter) situation. The story is basically present day Tea telling about her past to the reader, so we get to see her discovering her powers and between chapters also little glimpses of what she becomes. That was really interesting to me and combined with the style of the book it reminded me a lot of Kushiel's Dart, because that one is also really beautifully written and has the main character telling her own story like that (and it also happens to be one of my favorite books). 

The world of The Bone Witch was really interesting and the way they did magic was pretty different from what I'm used to. The asha need to draw runes to do their spells, and if I understood it correctly they're basically just drawing them up in the air with their hands, which must make their spell casting look a lot like dancing if they're doing it in battle. The rules of magic were so precise I could easily see it working in a video game as well. Like in a game dark asha would be a support class because they can only use support runes and those three dark magic runes etc. I would totally play a game that was all about different kinds of witches. The way you could tell magical people apart from normal ones was also really cool, because everyone wore these necklaces called Heartsglasses that would be silver or purple if the person had magic and different shades of red if not, and asha could read all sorts of stuff from those like people's emotions and illnesses. 

Tea was probably one of the least annoying protagonists I can think of off the top of my head, and the fact that the narrator was an older version of her probably had a lot to do with it because most of the time she was like "and then I did something unwise" so I didn't feel that need to yell at her for being an idiot at any point because she already knew whatever she did was a bad idea. I don't know if that makes sense. Anyway, I liked Tea. Rahim and Polaire were also some of my absolute favorite characters. Especially Rahim because who doesn't love a huge hairy bear of a man making pretty dresses for asha. Tea's resurrected brother Fox didn't really stand out to me that much for some reason even though he was an important character, but I guess it makes sense that he didn't have a very strong personality until later, because of reasons I will not spoil. Also could be he got a little overshadowed by all the strong ladies Tea was surrounded with. 

I've seen a lot of people complain about the slow pace of the book but I personally didn't have a problem with it and actually it didn't even feel that slow to me, but then again I've been reading the Outlander books and the first day in Fiery Cross lasts 13 chapters (150 pages) so my perspective on that is probably twisted to something really weird. The Bone Witch actually felt like a pretty fast read to me and I enjoyed it a lot and I'm definitely getting my hands on the sequel whenever it comes out because damn that ending. I need to know what happens!!

1 comment:

  1. I am definitely going to see if my library has a copy of this! I have seen it floating around lately.
    - Emmie from the discord server