Monday, January 9, 2017

REVIEW: The Bone Witch

The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco

When her brother is killed in battle, young Tea surprises everyone, including herself, when she accidentally raises Fox from the dead. While there are many types of witches in Odalia, Bone Witches -- those who can wield dark magic and raise the dead -- are feared and distrusted. With Fox accompanying her as a familiar, Tea begins training to become an asha. As a dark asha, she faces many challenges, given the open distrust of her kind. The fact that Tea's powers are wild and uncontrollable at times doesn't help make her path easier.

The world described in this tale is intriguing and interesting. Asha are like geisha....trained to entertain, dance, sing, and provide interesting conversation.  But asha also wield magic and are trained warriors, fighting evil faceless ones and monstrous daeva that threaten the land.

At times the story got bogged down in too much background information or detailed explanation of asha training, dancing and clothing, slowing the pace of the action. The first half of the book held pace pretty well...action well balanced with detail. But in the second half, there were a few times that background details overwhelmed the plot. For example, an entire chapter was mostly explanation of an asha ceremonial dance, rather than anything actually happening. While I did enjoy the geisha-like atmosphere, at times the background details took too much time away from the main plot. I wanted less talk, more action. *cue Elvis music*

The ending of the story seemed a bit abrupt to me. Chupeco does plan a sequel, so perhaps the second book will pull the unresolved plot points together.

For the most part, I enjoyed this book. I like the idea of magic-wielding geisha and a hierachy of magic users, ranging from more mundane powers to epic warrior magical fighting skills. Tea was an engaging and multi-faceted main character. Her brother Fox was a great supporting character. Some plot twists and turns caught me by surprise....very well-executed!

The Bone Witch will be published by SOURCEBOOKS Fire on March 7th. I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy YA science fiction and fantasy. Rin Chupeco is also the author of The Girl From the Well series. To find out more about the author and her other books check out her website:

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