BOOK REVIEW // The Bone Witch

12:10 PM


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.

The Bone Witch has been a highly anticipated read for me for a while, and despite it coming out last spring and despite me having an ARC before that >.>, I was only able to get to it recently. When I first read about it, I couldn't really tell if it was set in a modern world or fantasy world so there was a lot of intrigue happening. (It's a fantasy world, for those of you who don't know.)

It's a YA novel about a girl named Tea (pronounced tay-uh, yeah...that was hard for my brain to wrap itself around too) who is the most dreaded kind of witch that exists in her world—a bone witch. She discovers this when she accidentally raises her brother from his grave.

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The premise was very cool, with the bone monsters with gems in their chests, the different kinds of asha (the most powerful witches...I think), the magical rituals, and the training in areas like fighting, dance, and instruments. But, I felt that the rest of the story didn't live up to the initial excitement. Let me tell you why. *drumroll*

I spent a lot of the time trying to decide whether the timeline, hopping back and forth from the past to the present and back, disorientated me or intrigued me. While it kind of did both, the disorientation won out. Think of it as having a line with one moving piece at each end. Each piece takes a turn moving a spot forward, until they meet in the middle. That's how The Bone Witch worked. It also took the fun out of figuring out the ending because the book already gave you the beginning and the ending and just left the middle to be discovered.

That leads me to my next point. Is it bad that the only reason I want to read the second book is because I am dead curious (pun not intended) about the ending, which dropped an unexplained bomb about a person that I liked and who was pretty mysterious. I think it says a lot that that is the only thing that might make me ready book two.

There were not a lot of things happening in this book.

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There was way to much description for me. There were so many names, geographies, histories...the list could go on and on. It was an information overload that left my brain crying, because if I haven't mentioned it enough, names and such are not my strongest area. There was too much description and inner monologue, as opposed to interesting dialogue and good pacing. There wasn't a whole lot of action. There might have been a little war, but for the majority of the book Tea wasn't anywhere near the fighting. It was a weird isolation from the main events moving the book's plot.

And where was the training? Yeah, Tea trained at running errands and being a maid for a LONG time for the grouchy head of her asha house. And we learn what she eats and how the head lady picks her nose. For how important the book's description makes Tea's training sound, there is little of her actual asha training that we get to see. Loads of filler. Again, where is the war?? I WAS PROMISED WAR.

However, I did like the world building and the originality of the creatures. It was a very new fantasy world, and I only wish that the action had lived up to that part.

The heartsglass!

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Those were so beautiful to visualize and read about, especially when Tea learned about diagnosing a person or reading their thoughts through the colors. The concept of losing your heart, etc. and the importance of the heartsglass in relationships was fascinating. 👌👌 

It was also really interesting to read a story from the point of view of someone who I wasn't always sure was good. There's a very gray moral area in character that the author explores, and I appreciated that. 

If you are someone who loves slower paced books and the luxurious small details of fantasy books (very luxurious), then you might like this one.

my rating:
(it was okay)

Disclaimer: I received a free eARC of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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