Content Warnings: Blood/gore, dead bodies, death of a sibling, death of a parent, sexism, and bullying.
I first read this in late 2020, shortly after joining Booktok, and fell in love with Rin Chupeco’s world-building. They have a way of crafting complex and beautiful worlds filled with equally complex characters. For my initial reading, I had checked the book out on the Libby app but when I realized I’d have to wait for books 2 and 3 [other people had them checked out] I was impatient and bought all three digitally. Since that first read, I have now purchased paperback copies of all three books and hardcover copies of books 2 and 3 [I can’t find a copy of book 1, in hardcover, anywhere]. Both my hardcovers and paperbacks, of “The Bone Witch” trilogy, sit on a shelf dedicated to my favorite YA series along with Traci Chee’s “Sea of Ink and Gold” trilogy.
This is actually my third read-through of the book and the first time I decided to highlight and make annotations, within my paperback copy. Each time I’ve read this book I’ve just fallen more in love with Rin’s writing and the magical world they created in The Bone Witch trilogy.
We have two different perspectives we follow throughout the books, first, we have the bard who is narrating the current time as Tea tells her story to him, and then we have Tea whose eyes we see through as she experiences raising her brother, from the grave and the consequences/rewards of doing so. This first book only takes us through a few days with the bard where Tea’s narrative takes us from the time she’s 12 till she’s almost 16 years old.
Not only is the world fantastic but I love all the different people that Tea meets and interacts with. People who seem like adversaries become friends and those who were friends might just turn into adversaries. Aside from Tea, I have to say my favorite character, throughout all 3 books, that we meet and get to know is Likh.
If you’re looking for a YA fantasy series with magic, discovering who you are, found family, battles, and just fantastic characters…dive into the world of The Bone Witch.