"A high-fantasy Memoirs of a Geisha, Chupeco's latest excels in originality" —Kirkus Reviews
A story of scorned witches, sinister curses, and resurrection, The Bone Witch is the start of a dark fantasy trilogy, perfect for fans of Serpent & Dove and The Cruel Prince.
Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, 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.
Riveting and atmospheric, The Bone Witch is perfect for readers looking for
• witch novels for adults and teens
• stories with diverse representation and multicultural influences
• dark fantasy YA books and series
• original worldbuilding and captivating writing
Praise for The Bone Witch:
"A fantasy lover's fantasy" —Foreword Reviews
"Mesmerizing. Chupeco (The Suffering) does a magnificent job of balancing an intimate narrative perspective with sweeping worldbuilding, crafting her tale within a multicultural melting pot of influences as she presses toward a powerful cliffhanger."—Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review
"Chupeco delights us with a fascinating world and a rich atmosphere for a story that is exceptionally written from beginning to end."—Buzzfeed
"Readers who enjoy immersing themselves in detail will revel in Chupeco's finely wrought tale. Game of Thrones fans may see shades of Daenerys Targaryen in Tea, as she gathers a daeva army to unleash upon the world. Whether she is in the right remains a question unanswered, but the ending makes it clear her story is only beginning." —Booklist
The Bone Witch Trilogy:
The Bone Witch (Book 1)
The Heart Forger (Book 2)
The Shadowglass (Book 3)
In this ambitious fantasy, the start of the Bone Witch series, a young woman with the ability to raise and control the dead becomes embroiled in a struggle for power and acceptance in a world that fears and distrusts her kind. Tea attempts to master her new status as a bone witch among those who possess less frightening and more tolerable magics, but she learns that the role she's expected to play tends to kill bone witches before they grow old. As Tea's story unfolds against a framing sequence that shows how far she'll go to succeed, and how far she has already fallen from grace, a quiet tension and menace grows. Readers start off knowing that something terrible will happen, but the journey as recounted in Tea's evocative, sometimes distant, and sometimes flowery manner is mesmerizing. Chupeco (The Suffering) does a magnificent job of balancing an intimate narrative perspective with sweeping worldbuilding, crafting her tale within a multicultural melting pot of influences as she presses toward a powerful cliffhanger. Ages 12 up.)
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.
If you like magic and witches, this is the book for you. It’s not the kind of glitzy lovey magic story you usually see, it’s got dark magic that you can feel as you turn the pages. There isn’t a dull moment. I can’t wait to read the other books in the series.
One of the best books to come out of fantasy in a while
This book is indescribably well written. The characters mesh and interact flawlessly, colored by a thought out and well-paced environment. The colorful descriptions of magic, sisterhood and suspense are moving. Five stars.