The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch#1)
by Rin Chupeco
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
*eARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review*
The 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.
I will not lie. I enjoyed this book more than I thought. The story is told from two different points of view, one is a more current story told from the point of a Bard that has sought out Tea to learn her story and to tell it to others during their travels. The other, are the flashbacks that Tea tells to the Bard. They are easy to differentiate due to the font type.
The story of Tea and what she went through after discovering that she is a Bone Witch was amazing. Tea lives in a small village with her 2 sisters, her brother and mother and father. Fox (her brother) joins the military and ends up dying “by creatures unknown.” Her refusal to allow him to be dead is that strong, that Tea draws the attention of Mykaela, another Bone Witch. Since Tea resurrected Fox they are now bound as a “master and servant” type of bond. They can sense each other mentally.
Mykaela takes Tea and Fox to Kion where she can begin her Asha training.
This is where I started to enjoy the book, knowing how Geisha training is done. The Asha apprentices go through something very similar. They reside in a house that may represent them, and pay for their training. In return the apprentices pay back the House after their debut as an Asha. The descriptions of the hua (my guess is that the hua is very similar to a Kimono that Geisha’s wear) that they wear once they are allowed to start training were just amazing.
“A deep coral that made an elegant contrast against her dark skin. Blue-green bamboo swayed against swirling, silver cloud patterns on the rich cloth, and she had on a grey waist wrap with embroidered sparrows set in gold.”
I mean how is that not a beautiful image?
The apprentices do go through a large amount of training in different skills there are singing lessons, music lessons, history lessons, dance even combat training since these girls are able to use elements to battle with. Tea had to learn more in combat training since being a Bone Witch/Dark Asha wasn’t very effective in battle.
My favorite character in the book doesn’t show up for awhile, but when Likh shows up working at the zivar shop (hairpin, comb, and accessory shop), I had a feeling I’d like him a lot. I’m not sure why but when Tea explains Likh’s description I pictured Haku from Naruto. Likh is a very feminine looking boy, and would rather train as an Asha instead of being sent off to be a Deathseeker.
Deathseekers are the male equivalent of an Asha, only males can be Deathseekers, and only females can be Asha. They do fight side by side when fighting daeva that plague the Kingdom. I’d be interested in knowing how what their history and backgrounds are like. Do they train in a similar style to that of a Ninja, or more like what the apprentices go though?
Another beautiful scene that was describes was at the darashi oyun which is a night set aside for the children of the Kingdom to since, dance, perform just to show the families how their teachings are going. Likh has an opportunity to perform a dance that I had a wonderful time visualizing in my mind, knowing that he was disguising himself as a female, so he wouldn’t be found out. Along with his use of fire magic during his performance, and the crowd’s reaction at the end, I wish I could have been a part of the crowd applauding him at the end.
At the start of the book Tea mentions to the Bard that she is no longer an Asha and has been exiled at the end of the world. Throughout the book the Bard sees exactly how powerful Tea is, and by the end there were more questions that I had than when I started. I do hope that they will be answered in the next book, because I need to know what happened to Likh, Fox and Tea’s one love.