Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
The Bone Witch #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Audible
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 400

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I just waited so long to read it that I just decided to get it as an audiobook and listen to it.**

Since I listened to this as an audiobook, I literally have no idea how to spell anything. So I am pretty much just going to apologize right here and actively try to avoid using words and names that I don't know how to spell.

The Bone Witch is told in two different points of view. The first POV that we see is of a bard, who had a dream that led him to a 17-year-old Tea. This is the present day point of view of the story where he has come to get her story about what led up to her being exiled by the asha community.

The second POV is from Tea, where she recounts her story starting from the point where she discovered that she was a bone witch by accidentally raising her brother from the dead at his funeral. She tells of her initial use of magic and the after effects and of how she came to become an asha apprentice.

Tea from her point of view and Tea from the Bard's point of view felt like two very different characters to me. Granted, Tea's POV takes place over the course of several years, starting from when she is like 10-12. I don't remember exactly how old she was. The Bard's POV takes place over only like a week and she is much older and more confident and sure of herself. She obviously goes through a LOT of growth in this book to get from point A to B, but we don't get to see all of it in this book.

I loved reading about the struggles that Tea went through as a bone witch, one of the most despised types of asha. She is so tough and handles everything as well as can be expected from someone her age, I feel. I had a hard time keeping track of how old she was in the flashbacks. I kept wanting to think that she was older than she was and it got a bit confusing for me, but that could just be a side effect of listening to an audiobook.

I really enjoyed all the relationships in this book. Especially the relationship between Tea and her brother that she brought back from the dead. It seemed like they had a pretty solid relationship while he was alive, but it was made even stronger when she brought him back.

A lot of the characters in this book I really didn't care for in the beginning. Mostly just for the reason that I didn't like most of their attitudes, not necessarily because I found anything wrong with any of them. Surprisingly, all of them grew on me over the course of the book. I really can't think of any character that I just didn't like by the end of the book. I feel like that's surprising for me.

The romance in this book was kind of a mystery throughout the whole thing. There really wasn't any romance in the book but it's mentioned that there were two people that Tea found herself crushing on. Only one of them becomes obvious in the book. During the flashback portions of the book, there really isn't any romance beyond the crush that Tea harbors for one of the two. Most of the talk of love happens in the Bard's point of view.

Despite being a little bit confusing and entirely frustrating because I WANTED TO KNOW, I really liked how the romance was done. I thought it was interesting and it kept me on my toes. But now I'm sad because the book is over and I want MORE!!

There are only two things that bugged me about this book. One was the passage of time in the flashback portions. Mostly because it confused me and it was probably and audiobook problem over a real problem with the book.

The second problem was that I just really don't understand the asha. Maybe I'll get to see more of what their purpose is in the next book, but at this point they just seem like glorified performers to me. They have all this magic and power and training at their disposal and what are they used for? To entertain paying customers at "parties". What's the point? The parties basically consisted of a group of men in a room drinking and eating and requesting certain girls to come talk to them and dance for them. Throughout the whole book, at every party, I was expecting the men to get handsy with the asha because like... they're going to a 'party' and requesting for certain girls to hang out with them in a private room? It feels like a situation where things get handsy. I did really enjoy this book and learning about the asha, but it felt like a really dumb waste of potential for such powerful people.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I need to buy myself a copy of this one because I loved it. And I want to know how to spell things. I would definitely recommend it and I absolutely need the next one because I am dying to know what happens next!

Have you read The Bone Witch? What did you think of it?!


  1. Lovely post Cyra! I am currently reading it and i'm less than half way through but the slow pacing has completely thrown me off and I've put it down for another book for the moment however I will get back to it hopefully soon!

    xx Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

    1. It definitely is slow, but so worth it! I hope you ended up finishing it and liking it!

  2. I'm so interested in this book Cyra! I wasn't going to give it a go, because I didn't care for the author's other series, buttttt. And especially on audible?!

    1. I would recommend this one! I loved listening to it! I think it was easier to listen to than it would have been to read, just due to the pacing of the book. But it's definitely good!

  3. Eeep, so thrilled that you enjoyed this book! I really liked it too :) And I agree, you totally need to get yourself a hardcover because the cover is so stunning :D Wonderful review, as always, Cyra!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. Thank you, Captain! I will definitely be buying this beauty!

  4. I've been going back and forth on reading this one because I've been trying really hard to clear books off my shelves and I don't want to spend too much time on things that are not going to work for me. I think it's interesting that you mention you wanted Tea to be older in the flashbacks though. Something I've been noticing as I get older myself and work with "actual teens" at the library is that I have become much more patient with teen characters who read young or seem immature. I fully admit it wasn't me because I was the definition of a precocious teen but a lot of times when teen characters are doing ridiculous things, I'm like "oh that actually could be real" more and more. That said, I think it points to poor writing more than anything and a lack of using prose and narrative style to convey a change in age.

    1. Yeah, it was difficult to distinguish the age difference in past Tea and present Tea. It just felt to me like the whole book was about the same Tea, but it takes place over the course of so many years and of course she is going to change, but it just went over my head.


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