The Bone Witch
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A Publishers Weekly Most Anticipated Young Adult Book of Spring 2017!
In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...
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 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.
Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
reading in small doses as the world slowly builds around you
3.5 Stars – Rounded
Amazingly intriguing premise sets the base of this story: we know that we are to meet Tea as she discovers how to wield and manage her powers of Necromancy, making her different from her family and friends, in worlds that are miles from her own. Told in two narratives of past and present, Tea shares her story with the Bard who found her living alone on an island laden with bones. Slowly the worlds unfold for us as Tea, in her desire to tell her story gives us descriptions and moments from her past that inform her ‘now’ and give readers insight into her current circumstances in which she was banished to this island.
Starting with her resurrection of her brother and meeting her mentor in another Bone Witch, the rich descriptions outline the history and mythology of the place, giving an understanding of the forces at work, the distinct feel and look of each kingdom, the bright colors worn by the Asha (magic wielders) and how those colors signify their ‘specialties’ and position within the world. Add to that the creation stories that bring forth the good, evil and supernatural creatures created in Daeva and how the more modern day societies used those creatures and beliefs, including necromancy, arranged marriages, court politics and even warrior cultures play their part in the world in which Tea was born.
Chupeco’s attention to detail is flawless, and while these details could (and did) morph into some mundanities that did not always feel relevant, the lushness of the descriptions do build a world that is easy to visualize, nearly palpable in the imagination. The one drawback to this description-heavy story is the time that is consumed as the world is built, leaving little time for actual action or revelations. But, fear not, the writing is beautifully crafted, and if you, like I, keep reading, the moments for Tea in her battle with Daeva brings startling discoveries, and is well worth your time.
From the Tea of the past we see the daring, bold and perhaps stubbornly curious young girl, who is now more jaded, and cautious. Still, we have questions about her ‘whys’, the reasons for her change and just why she is banished. Insets with her family show the bond and caring, and moments with the Asha who took her on to train are amusing and add more lightness to the story, while the descriptions of her in action in the past show just how bold and determined she is to make changes. While this wasn’t a read in one sitting sort of book due to the volumes of description and world building that could overwhelm, reading in small doses as the world slowly builds around you, allowed the story to unfurl and unfold, leaving me anxious to continue and discover answers that will hopefully be revealed in the next book.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.