I was SUPER excited to get an ARC of The Bone Witch from Sorcebooks Fire! The Bone Witch was my number one anticipated 2017 book, this does not affect my review in any way.
While I was super excited for this book, The Bone Witch definitely ended up being the opposite of what I was expecting.
Summary from goodreads.com
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’m REALLY not sure what to rate this book. I want to give it a 2, but 2 feels too low for it. While I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, so I’m torn between a 2 and a 3. But for goodreads purposes, I’ll just give it a three 🙂
What I Liked
The cover! I don’t think I need to explain this, it’s so beautiful and the colors 🙂
There are two points of views in The Bone Witch, one from the point of view of Bard talking to Tea, and the other is Tea telling her story to Bard. I don’t think I’ve ever really read a story written this way and I found it really enjoyable 🙂 I loved how in Tea’s point of view, it seemed like she was narrating in her voice and reflection on what brought her to the point where she is with Bard. I enjoyed the sections with Bard more because I really wanted to know what Tea was going to do.
One of the greatest things about The Bone Witch, is the world Rin Chupeco created. Not going to lie, but I love the idea of the heartglass, and the different kinds of magics. I really wish the story spent more time exploring the Bone Witch’s power because I felt like it didn’t really do enough with her magic (more on that later) but what we did get to see, I really loved.
The ending was REALLY good. I was really close to DNFing this book, but I had a feeling the ending was going to be really good so I decided to push through it to the end and I think it was definitely worth it. I have a feeling the second book will be even better now that we know about Tea and where she came from.
Another AMAZING thing about The Bone Witch, was the it focused much more on friendship and her relationship with her brother, Fox, than romance. Yes, there was a love interest, but the book spent much more time developing the relationship between her and her brother and her friends. It’s nice to read a book without a huge focus on romance for once 🙂
What I Didn’t Like
I had a really hard time getting into this book, despite it being one of my most anticipated 2017 books. The story was slow, the only time it picked up pace was the very ending, so the last 30 pages or so. Other than that, the book is super slow.
One of the reasons I think it was so slow to me, as the heavy emphasis on describing everything. I don’t mean for that to sound rude, but Tea spends a lot of time going into great detail about what everyone is wearing and what the dances look like and how she aches from combat training. I didn’t like how she described every little detail about an asha’s hua BUT she did say later on in the book that she only described it in such detail because the hua is important to knowing more about an asha and who she is. Yet, even though that amount of detail is important to an asha, it didn’t make it any easier to want to read the book because the pages would be filled with all the details…
The Bone Witch, mostly in the beginning was very info heavy, not just in detail. Rin Chupeco had to set up the world so for the most part, I understand why but at the same time, it felt too info heavy. For example, Tea would be talking to Mykaela and Mykaela would go into a long dialogue about some part of history that was relevant, or we’d learn more about the world because Mykaela would ask Tea to give her the history and so on. I get that this was to set up the world, but it felt too much like a history lesson, and not a super fun one D:
Another thing that really bothered me was that Tea would get in trouble… only instead of really being punished, she’d be rewarded because she was powerful. I don’t know why but that really bothered me. She can be powerful and still get in trouble, just because she’s powerful, doesn’t mean she should get away with it D:
While romance wasn’t the main focus, it was really important in the end. The thing is, I don’t think the book spent enough time developing Tea’s relationship with the boy she fell in love with to be as important as it was in the end. I didn’t feel the romance between them…
I was expecting magical fight scenes, moments were Tea rose an army of the undead to fight people. I was expecting battles full of magic and thrilling, suspenseful moments and… None of that really happened. The Bone Witch isn’t really any of that, I think the second book will be but hear me out. The Bone Witch was about Tea learning to become an asha, which means that she has to learn how to sing and dance and entertain people, NOT magic battle scenes or epic moments (until the end (I liked the end)). I was NOT a fan of watching Tea become an asha, I was expecting epic moments and instead watched her take singing lessons and combat lessons that weren’t that exciting So this only made the book harder for me to read because I didn’t want to read about singing lessons, I wanted the magic and action. That’s another reason why this book was so slow, and why I nearly DNFed it so many times.
Fable’s Final Thoughts
While I really struggled to get through this book, I think in the end it will be worth it. I can already see how the second book will be super epic! But at the same time, The Bone Witch was less about magic and more about entertaining than anything else 😦 sadly.