I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Book: The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco
Release date: March 7th, 2017
Publisher: Sourcefire Books
Synopsis (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 really wanted to like The Bone Witch. Like, really really wanted to love it. The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis is intriguing, but the actual book? The actual book bored me.
I always hate giving books negative reviews because I know how much passion and work goes into the story writing process and I admire people who make a living out of it or who, at least, have the guts to share their words with so many people. But at the end of the day, I only read about 20% of The Bone Witch and skimmed the other 80%.
I will say this: Rin Chupeco put a lot of effort into building this world (world-building is not my forte). There are rules and customs and multiple kingdoms and that's really cool, but I couldn't bring myself to care. A vast majority of the book is description - of the world, as I mentioned, but also of Tea’s daily tasks and her clothes. OH GOSH her clothes!! I'm not 100% sure what a “hua” is, but they were described to death and I'm just not into it.
I unfortunately didn't love any of the characters (except maybe Tea’s brother/familiar Fox) and it made it hard for me to care what was going on since I couldn't get a good grasp on any of them (probably because I was skimming so much!). I also didn't like the dual perspectives - most of the book was from Tea’s POV, but every few chapters there was a “present-day” scene from a Bard’s POV who is listening to Tea retell her story. That secondary POV was basically used to add tension as Tea hinted at what was to come, but it just made the story drag (and I totally saw the twist with her “beloved” coming from a mile away).
Overall, I was very disappointed with the way The Bone Witch turned out. It had such potential, the prose is decent, and I’m sure there are people raving about the inspiration drawn from Asian cultures, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t entertaining enough to keep me invested.