The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Star rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5 stars
Format: ebook galley
Summary: Tea discovers she is a rare type of asha, a bone witch who can raise and control the dead with dark magic. In a world where undead creatures terrorize the kingdoms bone witches are in high need.
Review: I received an ebook galley from NetGalley for a review.
I was so excited for this book, it sounded so interesting and cool. When I got down to actually reading it though, it really fell flat.
I spent the better part of this first half of the book struggling to plod through all the world building Chupeco was throwing at me. There was hardly any plot it felt like most of the time. A lot of nothing happened. There was a bit of action and plot but it felt like overall there wasn’t much at all. I’m all for a lush and rich world but this was too much, it was almost info overload and made it hard for anything about the world to really stick.
The concept of asha as these geisha like witch-warriors was great in theory. But in application they were… Kinda boring. They mostly just did geisha like things with dancing and entertaining and as far as the warrior aspect? There was very little, like almost nonexistent. They just stay in their city and be pretty. While reading about asha and their whole culture that I couldn’t stop wondering why they were even a thing.
The two timelines made it confusing. Tea kept talking about how she’d been betrayed and thrown out of the asha community but we never get to that part of her past storyline. So it’s just really unsatisfactory overall. There’s hints at a love triangle but we only see who she chose in the future but not the events leading up to that.
In the end I’m not sure that I’ve read anything. It felt like a very long book with very little happening or resolved. I loved the concept but it really did not deliver. It’s a real shame, I don’t think that I would read the rest of the series after the disappointment of this first book.
Recommendation: I don’t think this book is terrible but it’s also not great. If you think the mostly descriptive writing would bother you it could be worth a shot but if not then I think it’s safe to skip.