Monday, March 13, 2017

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco

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A Publishers Weekly Most Anticipated Young Adult Book of Spring 2017!

In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

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!

Source: advance e-galled provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Here's the deal: I kept noticing how many fellow bloggers had included The Bone Witch in their TBR pile. I liked the cover and let's be honest, the title is pretty brilliant. I'd seen it enough times that I had to take a closer look. The first line of the blurb was both so chilling and straight to the point convinced me that I had to read it, too. 

The Bone Witch is one of the most unique stories I've come across in a while. Tea's special ability is that she can raise the dead, a gift that's mystifying and frightening. It's not exactly something to go bragging about. Her grief-stricken misery upon the death of her beloved brother, Fox was the trigger that set off everything. She raised him from the dead and now her family and neighbours eye her suspiciously; fearfully even. Luckily, a fellow bone witch is travelling through the area and offers to take Tea under her wing. Mykayla wants to teach Tea everything in due time. But Tea is young and confused and wants answers immediately. Being away from home and everything that's familiar doesn't help either though she has Fox with her.

One of the more appealing aspects of the story is Tea's internal struggle to accept the truth that she enjoys the power she feels coursing through her when she's harnessing her abilities. She feels guilty about wanting more of something that she must to learn to control. I liked this tug of war within herself because this is where one's character is built. I liked how Chupeco split Tea's POV between the present and the past. In so doing, she created an otherworldly atmosphere in the present that appears desolate and bleak. It suggests a hard life complete with heartbreak and hard choices. Tea's POV from the past feels like life is just starting for a young, naive girl eager to learn and become stronger. 

This is a story rich with detail which can be a good and bad. There were times when I felt bogged down by them. This isn't one of those stories that you can just pick up when you have a free ten minutes to fill. Chupeco has taken great care to describe as much as possible so that we can inhabit this world with Tea. Because of the complexities and the many characters involved, I picked the quieter times to read so that I could absorb the details. With that approach I wasn't at my usual reading pace.

The Bone Witch is highly imaginative and descriptive, and it's awesome to see so many people excited about it. Definitely pick this one up but make sure you have the time to devote to this story so that you can fully appreciate it.

~ Bel

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