The Bone Witch by: Rin Chupeco

First book in “The Bone Witch” trilogy

Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, 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.
Photo by Lum3n from Pexels

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.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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