Title: The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
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. (Goodreads)
This story has one of the best openings I’ve read in a long time:
Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise.
Talk about grabbing your attention on the very first page, with the very first sentence! Too bad the rest of the book didn’t live up to that opening sentence.
The chapters alternate between past and present.
In the present, a renown Bard has sought Tea out for her story, finding her exiled on a distant beach. I actually preferred the chapters set in the past, watching Tea’s journey from child to accomplished Asha.
When Tea accidentally raises her brother from his grave, a Dark Asha shows up almost immediately to whisk Tea away for training.
She just happened to be nearby? At that exact time?
Coincidences like this are a little annoying to me. Why did she have to turn up so quickly? Couldn’t she have been sent for, while Tea dealt with her now suspicious neighbors?
Seems that Dark Asha, aka Bone Witches, are the most powerful Asha. They are the only ones who can raise and/or control the dead, so they’re also the most feared. Rare in number, they don’t receive the respect they deserve.
Asha remind me a little of Geisha, as they’re skilled in singing, dancing, and entertaining. They also have magic at their disposal, although in varying degrees. And the description of the traditional Asha clothing reminded me of a kimono. Definitely got a Japanese vibe from the story.
While the writing is lovely with lots of descriptive passages, it had a little too many descriptions for my taste. I don’t really care what someone is wearing, so don’t need a full description right down to the hairpins.
I’m more interested in action scenes, which are few and far between.
I understand that authors need to set the scene and create background, but I prefer a faster pace.
This one took me awhile to finish, despite the interesting premise.
A few revelations came towards the end of the book that left me scratching my head.
Admittedly, I’m lousy at mysteries and usually don’t pick up on cues, but these seemed to come out of left field! And the ending? Straight out of left field!
Hoping that there’s a sequel to this one as I was left with too many unanswered questions.