Hey, all, it’s Alexa! And today, I’m here to share my review of darkly atmospheric, upcoming fantasy, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco.
Tea is different from other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, feared and shunned by the populace. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.
From the very first sentence, this book is just incredible. Every sentence, every second, every word draws you in a little further, a little deeper, engaging your little reader’s heart more and more into this chilling, creative, and complex story—until you realize it was actually quicksand from the beginning and you have drowned and now are dead.
Okay, so maybe that was dramatic, but the fact of the matter is this story started out brilliantly. Literally from the very first sentence, I was amazed at the way the author drew the narrative. And I was thrilled: I love the sound of a book when it’s a storyteller telling a story or a character telling their own story; there’s just something so special about that style that tugs on my heart every time. Also, I had no idea what was coming next, yet I was content to see where the author would take me. To savor the storyworld, sampling a bit at a time, until we reached what I was sure would be an absolutely epic ending.
And it was… in a way. But it didn’t end up quite the same as I had hoped it would. For one thing, the “catching the baddie” bit fell through for me. It wasn’t strictly random, but the way it had all been set up… it was far too hidden for the reader to figure out anything until the characters explained it all. And I mean, I like being surprised—by books—and not being able to predict every plot twist—in a book—but I at least want a fighting chance, lol, at figuring out whodunnit. In The Bone Witch though, there were a lot of loose pieces lying around with no real way to put them together until the characters do it for you. And when they did explain it, it was logical, but it didn’t come together naturally. It wasn’t one of those where I went, “Ah, that makes sense!” when it all came out, but more like “Um, well, okay. If you say so, Tea.”
Secondly, the story is told in a kind of intertwining fashion (which I actually liked): there’s the bard telling the story of his meeting with future Tea and then there’s future Tea telling her story, what happened to bring her to that place. Except we don’t find out what happened to bring her to that place. And I mean, I know it’s a series, so I’m sure that’ll all come into play later, but I would’ve liked to have had more answers before the end of this book. The two pieces barely seem to be of the same story; they’re definitely in the same world, but I just can’t mentally connect the future/present Tea with the little girl in the story. There’s too big of a gap there, and my brain refuses to leap it. :p
So all in all, it’s a beautifully epic read. But for me, the ending left quite a bit to be desired.
Plot: 3 ½ stars out of 5.
I love Fox so much. He was an amazing brother, protective, but not overprotective, wise enough to help her, never one to hold her back, and always there to catch her when she fell. He had a slightly sarcastic, witty sense of humor, but knew when to sober up when need be. I adored him, and though I’m not 100% on continuing the series, him at least, I would love to see more of.
Young Tea was… not reckless, but occasionally careless because she wanted to do the right thing and she thought she knew what it was, but was liable to make a lot of mistakes along the way. But I liked her because she was fiercely loyal, she loved with everything she had, and more than that, she did all in her power to help those she cared about (future her may or may not be trying to do the same thing, but I suppose that’s a problem for future books). Though she often went against the grain (and consequently, the ruling Asha), she wasn’t rebellious for rebellion’s sake; her driving motivation was always the well-being of someone dear to her. And she was never willing to risk them.
Characters: 5 stars out of 5.
The writing in this book, though. It’s gorgeous, painting every scene with careful detail. The world is deep and clear, like Island of Exiles, but darkly magical in a fashion all its own.
The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer. She held no weapons except for the diamonds glinting like stars above her brow, against hair like a dark mass of sky. She wore no armor save a beautiful hua of mahogany and amber spun from damask silk, a golden dragon embroidered down its length, its body half-hidden by her waist wrap. She raised her arm, and I saw nothing. But the creature saw, and its wrath gentled, until it did little but whimper.
“Kneel,” the girl ordered, and—against all expectations—the daeva obeyed.
Writing Style/Setting: 4 ½ stars out of 5.
And so, we come in at just under 4 and a ½ stars out of 5. I really enjoyed the reading of The Bone Witch, but honestly, I’m kind of upset that things turned out the way that they did and I would’ve liked a better explanation for them before the book came to a close. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, you can pre-order your copy here for $11.00.
So read any epic fantasy lately? Tell me about some awesome sibling characters you’ve read. Can’t wait to hear from you all and I will see you in the comment section!
Love, Alexa <3
Notes: I voluntarily reviewed a free ecopy of this book.
Content: small amount of cursing and some violence, frightening descriptions of fantasy creatures.