Review | The Bone Witch

Posted 29 July, 2017 by Jade in Book Review / 6 Comments

Review | The Bone WitchThe Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1) by Rin Chupeco
Series: The Bone Witch #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 7th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 411
Format: Hardcover

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracised in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

“Tea,” the figure said.
But then it smiled, and it was Fox’s smile, quiet and kind.

The Bone Witch is slow to start. The worldbuilding is great, I love the world building and the descriptions are lovely. However, not a lot happens and it drags for a while in the middle before finally getting to the plot in the last ten to fifteen percent of the book.

There is so much world building; there’s so much information on the cities, and the beliefs, and what each form of dress means to each person’s role. But it’s so much filler. I found myself skimming a lot of the time where Tea was preparing to become an apprentice and then learning to become an asha. I loved Tea learning the realities of being asha and finding out what could and couldn’t be done with magic, but I preferred her learning it on the move with Mykaela rather than at House Valerian.

The characters were probably the best part, but even then there didn’t seem to be too much to them. Tea seems to pick up what she needs mostly through instinct, but it was nice to know that as she was learning time was passing—although at times it didn’t seem like it—and she wasn’t instantly proficient at everything. I liked her relationship with Fox, and I liked that despite both of them being close siblings they still hid things from each other and each tried to keep the other from harm.

This book has girl hate. There are quite a few female characters, but many of the ones Tea’s age are either mentioned in passing, rarely involved, or looked down on in some aspects. One of the rivalries seemingly gets resolved with no real interactions between the characters before the change; part of that could be excused as to how the asha system is set up with ‘sisters’, but I would have really liked to see the development within the book itself.

“When your heartsglass is black and steeped in the spells of the Dark,” the girl said, smiling, “you find that there is no need to wait five more years to raise daeva.”

I liked the parts between chapters where Tea was talking to the Bard, I liked seeing where she is now and where younger Tea is going to end up. Speaking of, I liked seeing potential hints as to how she ended up where she did within the numbered chapters. I can’t wait to see what paths she chooses and how things develop.

This book felt a lot like build up. There’s a potential plot. There’s a potential love triangle. There’s a potential change coming. I felt like this book needed more, but the second one in the series may explore everything further. I just wish this one had more plot than it did, as it really felt like it was mostly filler.

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6 responses to “Review | The Bone Witch

  1. This was a on sale on Kindle in the US so I bought it recently, but still haven’t read it. I don’t like girl hate either, I think I’ll still read this, but keep that in mind. Great review!

    • Kindle sales are great, aren’t they? 😀
      It’s not a lot of girl hate, but enough to be a bit annoying. Some of it gets resolved behind the scenes though, which is a bit disappointing because it would’ve been nice to read about lol


  2. I really like this cover but you saying the beginning was slow and full of a lot of worldbuilding info is enough for me to know this isn’t for me. I like worldbuilding but need it to not slow the plot (unless you just have SUCH amazing characters that I could read about them watching paint dry and be interesting). I usually like world building spread throughout and not dumped on you all at once. great review!

    • It’s such a gorgeous cover, isn’t it? I love it❤︎

      I wish this one had had more to it than it did; maybe if it had focused on the characters a bit more than the worldbuilding I might’ve liked it better. It’s hard to get into books sometimes when the majority of it seems to be worldbuilding and nothing else 🙁

      Thank you❤︎

  3. I agree with your review. It was a slow start and too much filler. I felt like we never truly hit the actual plot of the “bone witch”. I’m hopeful book 2 is better and faster paced.

    • Yeah, that’s my hope too. It’s not that the worldbuilding wasn’t interesting, but oh gosh it dragged sometimes lol