Review | The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

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.

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“I was born at the height of an eclipse, when the sky closed its only moon eye to wink back at the world, like my arrival was a private joke between old friends. Or perhaps the moon read my fate in the stars and hid, unwilling to bear witness to my birth.”

The Bone Witch was one of my more anticipated 2017 reads – a dark fantasy involving necromancy and a gorgeous cover ticks almost all of my mental checkboxes when it comes to choosing my next read. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to my expectations.

The Bone Witch was beautifully written, with vivid and lush descriptions. At times, though, these descriptions seemed endless – to the point where they outweighed the magic and action of the story. As a result, the plot progressed incredibly slowly and I frequently found myself skimming the info-dumpy descriptions in hopes of finding more action.

The story is incredibly character-driven, focusing on Tea’s progression from a young village girl to an incredibly powerful dark Asha. I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters nor the inevitable romance, though I did enjoy the level of cultural diversity that was present within The Bone Witch‘s pages.

A place where The Bone Witch excelled was its worldbuilding: the different classes of witches and the concept of (literally) wearing your heart on your neck were intriguing, and I especially enjoyed seeing the monsters that live in village rumours.

Overall, The Bone Witch was an underwhelming read that contained more pretty prose than plot. That being said, the way that the story ended certainly piqued my interest enough to give the second book a read.

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