Series: The Bone Witch #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 7th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: the publisher
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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!
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This story is told straight from the beginning with a narrator and then flash forward interludes between every chapter told from the point of view of a bard who is writing the story. Right from the beginning we know that something must happen because the Bard is interviewing a Dark Asha with some serious anger issues. I loved the flash forward perspective because it was done very well and it reminded me of another of my favorite books, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Bone Witch is told in much of the same way, but it evades some of Name of the Wind’s pitfalls. Tea is not a Mary-Sue who is already good at everything when the story begins, for one. She makes mistakes, causes problems and grows over the course of the story.
I found the concept of Asha very intriguing. Each Asha can draw a variety of runes, water, fire, wind, except Dark Asha. Dark Asha cannot use the typical runes. They are limited to drawing Dark runes. Asha can work in a variety of jobs. They are professional dancers, apothecaries and bodyguards. However they all start out working in a house and entertaining rich clients in the evening. An Asha can run around all day healing sick people and then is still expected to dress up and go to a fancy party in the evening. It seemed to me that Asha were like a combination of geisha and assassin.
Daeva, giant demons, come in many monstrous shapes and sizes. They wake up on a set schedule and terrorize towns. A Bone Witch, basically a necromancer, is also charged with rising and slaying the Daeva every so often to protect the world. Bone Witches, Dark Asha, may not be able to utilize all of the runes other Asha can, but they can definitely kick some ass.
This book does slow down at about 75% but I loved it regardless. I really enjoyed the way it was written, with the flash forwards and story within a story aspects. I loved the Daeva, the really dark subject matter and the eternal struggle between good and evil. This book is really unsettingly, which I loved.
Bone Witch is going on my short list for my top 10 favorite books of 2017.
P.S. it took 200 pages of me waffling with the pronunciation for the author to confirm it. It’s TAY-uh, not Tee. You’re welcome.