The Bone Witch is all about witches, which makes it a perfect October/Autumn book, with Halloween coming up at the end of the month! Witches, necromancy… It’s basically the recipe for a book I’ll love for sure. This book had been on my TBR and Kindle app for a while, and I was so happy to finally be able to pick it up! Did The Bone Witch live up to my expectations? Read my spoiler free review and find out!
“There is no greater strength than the ability to understand and accept your own flaws.”
The Bone Witch is unlike any YA book I’ve ever read. It’s a book split in two. It’s a story told within a story. One part takes place present day, the other is almost like an origin in story.
Which I love! It’s quite a dark book, yet the majority of it is told from a 12 to 15-year-old’s perspective. At first, it was quite difficult to get through. The “main chapters” are told from the main character’s perspective. The other is told from another mysterious person’s perspective. 17-year-old Tea tells her story to this person and it took me a long time to figure this out. That’s why I couldn’t follow along with their conversations for a bit. Then I checked Goodreads and saw it was actually told from two perspectives and I had my “Aha!”-moment.
Another reason the story was often difficult to follow along, was the descriptive writing. It was definitely more description than actual plot. Sometimes I had to take a step back from a passage to think about what was going on and then I summarised it in like two sentences. Lots of details got lost underneath all these descriptions. World building and character traits were buried under descriptions of thing that weren’t all that important. Eventually I got used it to it, but I often still struggled. This book was worth the struggle, though, because I really love it.
Rin Chupeco has created an amazing world in The Bone Witch. It all starts with the history of the world: Eight kingdoms, Five Great Heroes and the False Prince. Then there’s the Asha, the Bone Witches, the Faceless and the Daeva. These terms probably sound super vague and weird if you haven’t read the book, but I actually know so much of all of them that I decided to list them instead of talk about them extensively because otherwise we’d still be here tomorrow.
And we don’t want that! I have to admit all the different, sometimes difficult words and terms made it difficult to follow the story sometimes, but when I just kind of browsed through my notes and highlights for this review, puzzle pieces fell into place and it makes sense.
Tea (Tay-uh) is our main character and we follow her for about five years throughout the book. She’s telling her story as a 17-year-old, but when her story begins, she’s only 12. She accidentally raises her brother from the grave and then has to leave her tiny village to learn about being an Asha in the capital, at her home called the Willows (which I think just sound perfect). There’s a whole lot of character development that you don’t see directly. 15-year-old Tea is very different from 12-year-old Tea. She used to be scared of what she was but then learned and adapted. The 17-year-old girl who tells her story is also very different from the 15-year-old. It’s really interesting to see that development.
I love the family and friendships in The Bone Witch. Tea obviously has a special bond with her brother Fox (a name I LOVE by the way!) And the Asha have sisters who aren’t related by blood, but chosen. Tea doesn’t have the ‘standard’ three, but four. Which I think is great. She also meets some new people in her new home
obviously, including Likh. I think it’s a strange name, but I love him so much because he’s a boy who’s a hairdresser’s assistant who loves to dance and he’s just so wonderful.
Although it was quite a struggle getting through this book, it was so worth it in the end. There was a great plot twist and all the pieces just fell into place! (And not only those surrounding the plot twist, but everything.) I absolutely loved the cliffhanger! It wasn’t cut off at the worst point ever, but more like the end of one story and the beginning of the next. It’s quite open ended and a bit shocking and just so exciting! I cannot wait for the sequel!
Rating this book was so difficult, because it’s such a complex book and not everything about it was good. In the end I decided to go for 4/5 because the end was definitely worth the struggle, and I found it a very original and fun book.
About The Bone Witch
LET ME BE CLEAR: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.
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 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 captivating start to a darkly lyrical fantasy series.
Will you be reading The Bone Witch this Halloween?
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