The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
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.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
When 12-year-old Tea raises her beloved brother from the grave her fate is sealed as a "Bone Witch", the most hated and feared of the three types of ashas (witches). In swoops Lady Mykaela to take Tea and her resurrected brother Fox back to her home and become Tea's mentor.
As Tea follows Lady Mykaela through the lands she learns that not everyone hates Bone Witches. She meets a young prince named Kance from her home kingdom, Odalia and he will be a constant presence in her thoughts in the years ahead.
When Tea arrives in Kion's capital, Ankyo, she is tested and deemed worthy by the oracle and allowed entry into Lady Mykaela's asha-ka, Valarian - run by the strict Lady Parmina.
Tea's life in Ankyo begins with her being a maid, not an asha apprentice, at the asha-ka and she works hard hoping that soon she will be allowed to begin formal lessons. One night, two years later, a girl from a tearoom fetches her from Valarian and an unexpected event resulting from a trick played upon Tea from the girls of the Imperial House causes everyone to see how powerful Tea really is.
After her show of power, Tea is fast-tracked through her training but it may not come fast enough. Lady Mykaela is getting weaker every day and someone is working against the ashas by raising up a powerful daeva (a monstrous creature capable of wreaking complete havoc) against the ashas and deathseekers (male warriors with the ability to draw runes).
Will Tea be able to save the kingdom from the daeva and figure out who wants to destroy the ashas? What unforgivable event causes her to become exiled? What will Tea do when the lines between good and bad, right and wrong begin to blur?
The Bone Witch is an addictive, excellently written novel told in two perspectives: the bard, who has been summoned by the now-exiled Tea as he spends seven days with her hearing her story, and Tea herself as she recounts to the Bard her story of how she became a bone witch and what leads up to her being exiled.
The way Rin Chupeco describes details of everything from the clothing everyone wears to the kingdoms and even Tea's lessons is amazing. You can clearly picture Tea's world in your head. However, sometimes the descriptions go on and on, bordering on dull. The dual perspectives The Bone Witch is told in and Tea's story pull you in and you want to find out what happened to her to get her to the point she's at when the Bard finds her.
The imaginings of The Bone Witch is every fantasy lover's dream and I loved every minute of this book. I can't wait for the next book in this series because the ending of this book leaves you craving more. Especially when you find out who Tea's love is - it will make you say "wait, what? How did that happen?"
Overall The Bone Witch is a fantastic start to what I'm sure will be an amazing series.
My rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
The Bone Witch is available today, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, from Sourcebooks Fire. You can buy it on Amazon in eBook or Hardcover!