Review: The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco

The Bone WitchThe 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 ostracized 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.

Ever since I’d heard that The Bone Witch was about a necromancer, I knew that I had to read it. Books that center on someone who can use magic associated with death, are so intriguing, especially when the author also discusses the society and the character’s feelings about this type of magic. 

The Bone Witch takes place in a different world. The region in which Tea grows up has Middle Eastern elements, and the region to which she moves to has Asian elements.

It’s a villain origin story, and I was intrigued by the in-depth description of how Tea became a villain and why she decided to be one.

I enjoyed the writing style here. The chapters alternate between those where Tea describes her past, and those where a different character narrates what he experiences Tea doing in the present. Due to the alternating between both perspectives and time, the story develops slowly and you learn what occurred at the same pace that the second narrator does. This makes the book quite slow-paced but each chapter brings about more understanding, which made me never lose interest in the book.

The meanings that flowers have have always intrigued me. Thus, I was so excited see that there was a reference to a flower language in this book!

The idea of wearing your heart outside your body (in a heartglass) is so scary. Even though only a few people could read the heartglass in minute detail, I would find it stressful to have my heart out in the open like that. I can’t wait to see this concept developed in the sequel The Heart Forger.

One of the characters touched a young Tea’s breasts (while measuring her for clothing), which I found inappropriate no matter why he was doing it. There was also some ableist language.

The Bone Witch was a fascinating villain origin story. I was especially fascinating by the concept of a heartglass.

4 stars

Have you read The Bone Witch? What do you think of the idea of wearing your heart outside in a heartglass?


6 thoughts on “Review: The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco

  1. I’ve always wanted to read this! I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Rin Chupeco’s books. And this review made me want to pick it up even more!


  2. Ohhh, somehow I didn’t know (or forget after first checking out the blurb …) that this is a villain origin story! My interest in this book just grew considerably. 😀 (I think I’v already bought the ebook at some point, so maybe in December or early next year.)


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