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!
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
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.
Very good story!
Love how the story and the main character developed
Basically a book about Geisha training.
Oh Bone Witch, where do I start? Where do I start….
I expected this book to be about a young woman who discovers her powers as a necromancer after accidentally raising her newly dead brother from his grave. I expected her to go on and learn to use her powers and have adventures along the way.
What I got was a book about geisha training.
Seriously. At least half of this book described all the lessons our heroine, Tea, had to endure on her road to becoming an Asha. (Asha = Geisha. They even sound similar.) During this large portion of the book very little happens. I wish I was kidding.
If I wanted to read a book about geisha’s, I would have read a book about geishas.
Now, all that said, there were a lot of good things about this book. You just have to wade through the boring geisha—sorry, Asha—lessons to get there.
For starters, this book is dual POV in a very unconventional way. We start with a nameless bard finding Tea on a seashore full of bones. He convinces her to tell the story of how she came to be there. The other POV is Tea, the Bone Witch on the beach, telling the bard the story of how she came to be there. So, that was cool.
I also really liked the lore in the book. I liked the idea of the False Prince and his Daeva (monsters that never truly die). I liked the magic and powers. I thought all that was developed nicely… it was just overshadowed by too much geisha-Asha mumbo-jumbo.
On the other hand, the “big twist” near the ending sort of came out of nowhere. There really wasn’t any direct build up for it and it took me a moment to figure out what the heck was really going on. There were clues throughout the story, but they read more like backstory than anything that was actually relevant. It was…. strange.
I also had a hard time connecting to any of the characters. The servant girls at the Asha house were pretty interchangeable in my head. I couldn't tell you the name of most of the other characters either.
The very end of the book leads me to believe there may be a promising sequel. If the author can cut down on the training and get to the action, I think it could be a good book.
So, should you read it? If you are looking for a good dose of magic and action and adventure you will be sorely disappointed. If you are looking for an interesting and unique world and can look past long periods of nothing happening while our heroine goes through training, then you might just like this one. Oh, and if you’re really into geisha you’ll probably love it!