The Bone Witch (Bone Witch Series #1)

The Bone Witch (Bone Witch Series #1)

by Rin Chupeco


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The Bone Witch (Bone Witch Series #1) by Rin Chupeco

In the captivating start to the darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

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.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492652786
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 02/01/2018
Series: Bone Witch Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 30,960
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living. Connect with Rin at

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The Bone Witch (Bone Witch Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found myself pulled into the fantastic realm of Daevas and Ashas completely. This amazing story will suck you in and swallow you whole. Such submersive storytelling. I cannot wait for the next in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just loved the strong female characters the author introduced us to. Adding magic and daeva, was just icing on the cake. I'm looking forward to the next installment of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has surpassed my expectations and I eagerly await the rest of the series. Wonderful world building along the likes of Game of Thrones and interesting monsters as well. Teas flashbacks and flashfowards kept me on the edge of my seat the entire ride. An amazing read!!
gaele More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars – Rounded Amazingly intriguing premise sets the base of this story: we know that we are to meet Tea as she discovers how to wield and manage her powers of Necromancy, making her different from her family and friends, in worlds that are miles from her own. Told in two narratives of past and present, Tea shares her story with the Bard who found her living alone on an island laden with bones. Slowly the worlds unfold for us as Tea, in her desire to tell her story gives us descriptions and moments from her past that inform her ‘now’ and give readers insight into her current circumstances in which she was banished to this island. Starting with her resurrection of her brother and meeting her mentor in another Bone Witch, the rich descriptions outline the history and mythology of the place, giving an understanding of the forces at work, the distinct feel and look of each kingdom, the bright colors worn by the Asha (magic wielders) and how those colors signify their ‘specialties’ and position within the world. Add to that the creation stories that bring forth the good, evil and supernatural creatures created in Daeva and how the more modern day societies used those creatures and beliefs, including necromancy, arranged marriages, court politics and even warrior cultures play their part in the world in which Tea was born. Chupeco’s attention to detail is flawless, and while these details could (and did) morph into some mundanities that did not always feel relevant, the lushness of the descriptions do build a world that is easy to visualize, nearly palpable in the imagination. The one drawback to this description-heavy story is the time that is consumed as the world is built, leaving little time for actual action or revelations. But, fear not, the writing is beautifully crafted, and if you, like I, keep reading, the moments for Tea in her battle with Daeva brings startling discoveries, and is well worth your time. From the Tea of the past we see the daring, bold and perhaps stubbornly curious young girl, who is now more jaded, and cautious. Still, we have questions about her ‘whys’, the reasons for her change and just why she is banished. Insets with her family show the bond and caring, and moments with the Asha who took her on to train are amusing and add more lightness to the story, while the descriptions of her in action in the past show just how bold and determined she is to make changes. While this wasn’t a read in one sitting sort of book due to the volumes of description and world building that could overwhelm, reading in small doses as the world slowly builds around you, allowed the story to unfurl and unfold, leaving me anxious to continue and discover answers that will hopefully be revealed in the next book. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Fantastic story! I read it in one day and had to immediately go buy the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had no idea what I was getting into when I first picked up this book. I have to say, I flew through this book and enjoyed every page in it. I had read in the description that it was reminiscent of Memoirs of a Geisha and I kind of laughed, because how could a book called The Bone Witch live up to that? It certainly did. The beginning started unglamorous and we were learning about Tea’s world as she was. The rich mythology that Chupeco created, as well as a clever way to identify those with powers, made me wish I could be in that world. There are Geisha style trainings, and I could imagine myself there, with the rich fabrics and untouchable beauty. The characters were like-able as well. The romance is building, and the book left me with so many questions. I can’t wait for the next one. This book was a treat. Rin Chupeco had me hooked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I was a bit confused. This story was nothing like I expected and it took a little while for me to get use to. Once I did get use to it I didn't want any interruptions. It's a great story and I like the way it flashes back and forth. I've never read anything like it and I'll most likely read it again just to make sure I didn't forget anything (I'm a fast reader and I get distracted easily even if I'm completely absorbed) or miss any implications.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was magical! I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out. It was powerful, intense, and spoke of the hard choices one makes in life. Sometimes doing the right thing, isn't always the popular thing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the story!
terferj More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars I thought this was an alright book. After reading the first chapter I was a little lost. I went back and started it again. I then had a better understanding on how things were going. I like the idea of the story in italics were the present time and that I’m guessing the chapters are the story of Tea’s life she was recounting. While I found the story to be very interesting and unique, I found myself losing interest at some points. A little too slow for my liking. Very slow pacing. I found Tea’s magic to be marvelous, scary, awe inspiring. I actually laughed at what she caused at the Falling Leaf, I know it wasn’t meant to be funny but I was just picturing it all and the look on everyone’s faces. Haha. I liked her relationship with her brother, Fox. It was a little strange but I liked that she still had him in her life. And he was a cool guy, all things considering. I thought the daeve were an interesting creatures. All of them so different and their bezoar’s could be used for very different yet beneficial factors. To get to them was tricky and dangerous but well worth getting them. Unless you’re Tea then they’re not as scary when she had control. My other problem with this book was how every time I started reading something new happening, there was so much confusion with me. Why must I have to reread the passages again to understand what was happening? Geez. For example: It was confusing when it came to controlling the azi but once I figured it out, it was really cool. Overall, I think the ending was a nice set up for the continuation of what Tea wants to accomplish. Looking forward to see how that goes. *I received this through Netgalley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome story, amazing development of plot and characters. Love love love.
faye d More than 1 year ago
Despite adoring the language and the world building -- I'm not sure exactly why, really! -- this just never clicked for me. Ultimately, my ratings end up something like: Writing Style: ***** Characters: *** World: **** Pacing: ** Plot: *** (This would be about a 3.3 averaged out.) The world is lush and well thought out, though I did want either a little more or a little less originality, as the melange of Asian cultures (heavy and transparent Japanese influences but also lots of Indian and some vaguely European High Fantasy) left me wondering how things came to be. However, when I set that aside I enjoyed the world and the author definitely knew it well. Character wise, I liked but didn't love young Tea - she seemed to be used as a point of view to the world for the reader, sometimes. I got a sense I WOULD love older Tea, but the story took so long to get to how she came to be the way she was that I put it down. Overall, I really enjoyed the writing when I read the book, but never ended up wanting to pick it up again when I took a break, or found it a book I couldn't put down. So, a good story for someone with more stamina I think. I am POSITIVE there are lots of people who would love this (and clearly are!), I just wasn't that person.
TheFarmersDaughterReads More than 1 year ago
My Rating: 5/5 Stars “Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise.” HOLY SMOKES BATMAN This novel sucked me in and kept me breathless while I read the night away when I should have been sleeping. I loved this book, like dying for the sequel, L-O-V-E, loved it. At first, I was a little confused. There are a few pages in each chapter that are italicized and it took me a little while to determine who was who, what was going on, and how it related to the rest of the chapter. SPOILER***[Tea is telling a bard her story after the fact, the italicized portions are her speaking to the bard and the rest of the chapter is her story.] However, once I had pieced it together, I really enjoyed the added perspective of Tea’s thoughts on her own actions later on. Tea is a young girl from a back water village in Odalia. Her life is simple until the death of her beloved brother, Fox. She is so distraught at his burial that magic she was unaware of surfaces and she resurrects her brother. Tea is a bone witch. Tea is terrified of the knowledge that she can raise the dead, bone witches are reviled in her small village and in most of the world. Tea’s magic is detected by Lady Mikaela, a dark asha (bone witch), who comes to take Tea to Ankyon, a city where asha are trained. Tea must learn to control her powers for the dark magic she wields is filled with temptation, and to draw too much of her magic could cost her everything. As a dark asha, Tea is one of the very few asha that can harness the Dark. She can control only Dark runes, while other asha control elemental runes, fire, earth, wind, water, and metal, but not Dark runes. Dark asha are crucial even though they are despised. They put down the daeva when they reawaken. Daeva are ancient demons that can be killed only by asha or deathseekers and are resurrected after a certain number of years to wreak havoc. Tea must maneuver her training as a dark asha while learning to master her power before it masters her, for one day it will be her duty to put down the daeva. “You can be the most powerful witch in the land, but you will always have a weakness, and that will always make you believe you have no power when someone exploits it. There is no greater strength than the ability to understand and accept your own flaws.” The characters are so multifaceted and they grow on you and become your friends and enemies too. Tea is so intelligent and strong willed, but she is REAL. She can act selfish and impulsive as well as kind and compassionate, like a normal person. She’s not a Mary Poppins, “practically perfect in every way.” Lady Mikaela, Lady Polaire, and Lady Althy are incredible! They have so much personality and they are all so different. Zoya and Princess Maeve, whom I never could have liked to begin with due to her name… Thanks, SJMaas…, are cruel. However they are cruel for different reasons and in different ways. I appreciate that Chupeco was able to make so many different characters with different motives, personalities, and strengths. The character development is incredible and we are really able to get to know each character, even minor ones such as Zoya. The world building is so rich too, I loved the descriptions of the asha’s attire and how each hua is designed in a way that fits the asha in every need complementing strength and hiding weaknesses. Chupeco even managed to slip in some characters who definitely don’t fit their molds, and
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read The Bone witch by Rin Chupeco. The book opens with a Bard witnessing a seemingly seventeen-year-old girl control a beast. The bard wants to tell the girl's story and she gives seven days for the bard to observe her. The girl tells the bard that she’s a bone witch. A girl named Tea tells her story of when she unknowingly brought her brother Fox back to life. The story alternates between past and present in this girl’s life. The telling of the story sets the world and characters based on Asha and bone witch legends and mythology. Tea grows in talent and becomes an Asha and fights against a dark creature and conquers it with help from her brother Fox, other Asha and soldiers known as Deathseekers. Tea’s alternating stories have not completely lined up yet, so the ending leaves the reader expecting more explanation in the sequel, Heart Forger. 4 stars for this fantasy tale. *I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
Three_Show_Saturday More than 1 year ago
Bone Witch, written by Rin Chupeco, is the first book in what promises to be a brilliant new fantasy series. The world-building is exceptional as the reader is immersed in Tea’s world where asha’s wield extraordinary powers and are both revered and feared. As Tea evolves from a simple, country girl to a powerful asha, the story introduces a cast of unique and entertaining characters. The descriptions of the asha’s outfits can sometimes be a bit drawn out, but overall the detailed descriptions only serve to make the world more real. The story is told from the perspective of Tea and from the perspective of a Bard who has sought out Tea to hear her story. The story unfolds as Tea recounts her rise as an asha to the Bard. The story goes from present day to the past as the two storylines build and the reader begins to anticipate that Tea will reveal what happened in her past to bring her to where she is now. This gives the story a page-turning quality and even though the plot is somewhat slow, the writing and characters are sure to keep the reader engaged. A beautiful, epic tale with strong female characters that will be enjoyed by teens and adults who love fantasy stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this book. Looking forward to the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really interesting story, hard to put down
Beammey More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book, oh my gosh. The story line is really engaging, the cover is BEAUTIFUL, the characters are well written and believable. I might have to do a yearly reread of this one, I loved it so much. Such a great story and I would recommend it to anyone. 5 out of 5 stars.
MontzieW More than 1 year ago
The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco is one of the best fantasy books I have read in the last few years, and I read a lot of books! This book is rich in how the author weaves the story's multiple levels, the characters, the many subtle things that come up later that if you don't really pay attention to it, you would miss it. I read really fast but for this book, I read very slowly and reread parts over, something I never do! This book has so much in it that you might miss if you read too fast or not paying attention to it. There is the dark magic, lighter magic, oracles, the resurrected, creatures like no others, suspense, action, and told so well I felt I was there. I stayed up all night to absorb it all. I could not stop, I felt I was under a compulsion spell. This book needs to be on the big screen for all to see, not just readers. Tea, our gal of the story, is too young to get her heartstone but she does something that gets everyone's attention. Her older brother dies and in grief, she resurrects him from the dead. She is no ordinary witch like her sisters, she is a powerful asha, a dark witch, a bone witch. Someone feared and loved at the same time. Someone that will be trained to kill the creatures that hunt man. That is the plan at least... There will be more books, I hope, I can't wait. I will stay up all night to read those also! This story takes the girl from about age 12 or so to age 17 and a lot happens in that time, but she is not done telling us the whole story! Wow, this book is powerful. Loved the plot, the mysteries, the characters, the fantasy of it all. Thanks NetGalley for allowing me to read such an awesome book. Also, even though I only got this book from NetGalley and didn't buy it, I was still allowed to get the Asha Apprentice Card download. It is so pretty. I could print it out but I put it as my screen saver. AWESOME! I don't know how anyone could not see this as anything less than a 10 star book out of 5 stars! lol
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Bone Witch is an utterly captivating fantasy novel about a girl’s quest to challenge societal conventions and completely change the inequalities in her world. One day Tea raises her brother from the dead and discovers a source of power deep within herself she never knew was possible. This incident begins her adventure into a world of magic, inequality, and darkness. While the concept of necromancy is well established, Tea’s world twists this magic and makes it necessary for the survival of the kingdoms. This story weaves a multitude of elements together: Memoirs of a Geisha, necromancy, and rebellious women, resulting in an intricate and fantastic coming of age story. The characters in the novel are beautifully complex, but the most interesting relationship is between Tea and Fox, her brother. After she raises him from the dead, they have both a familiar/witch and a brother/sister relationship that manifests itself in complicated ways. Their survival is directly linked and Fox becomes her confidant and protector. The romance in the novel was my least favorite aspect, but its presence connects many themes of the novel: the concepts of heartglasses, Tea’s sister, Tea’s tutor and fellow bone witch, and many coming of age stories. Tea is spirited and fearless (even to the point of recklessness) and she must constantly control and battle the dark magic within her. Her journey does not end with the last page, in fact some would say that it is only just beginning. It has been a while since I have read a fantasy novel and this one truly fulfilled my craving. It brought me back to Tamora Pierce and I see the same fierce strength and potential for societal change in Tea that I saw in characters like Alanna and Daine. Tea and her close friends inspire the same rebellious attitudes to gender as those strong female characters who are not content with a society which confines people to their gender. Instead, they break conventions and challenge their world to change their minds. I am looking forward to the next one and already in a book hangover from finishing this book! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy and Memoirs of a Geisha, enjoys fantasy books in general, and to anyone who especially enjoyed the Tamora Pierce novels. Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley
plyle More than 1 year ago
I will agree with the assessment that nothing much happens. The author is building such a complete and different world that the reader has much to take in. This bothered me off and on, but wasn't a huge concern until I realized how close the end of the book was and how the story hadn't exactly started. This entire book is just prelude to the story of why Tea now feels compelled to tear her world down. It's odd to finish a book and realize that not only is there more to the story, but that you don't really know what the story will be. You only know the end result. Very odd. We don't even know the identity of the other boy to whom Tea will be attracted. That in itself, is a fine bit of work with her meeting 3 boys that day and only later finding out their identities. This is masterful storytelling and I can't wait to read more.
JReppy More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most creative and enjoyable books I have read in a while. I really liked the Asian and Middle Eastern influences in the book; something that I do not see in many of the books I read. The technique of alternating between Tea (the Bone Witch) preparing her revenge in the present and telling a bard the story of how she became the Bone Witch was an effective way of telling the story and engaging the reader. Tea makes for a compelling lead character, especially as she is young, headstrong, and willing to challenge authority and tradition when necessary. The author has created a complex and diverse world. Her descriptions of individuals and events are often quite vivid, allowing the reader to get a real feel for what is happening and who the characters are. The book ends with Tea preparing to start the process of obtaining revenge, but also leaves lots of unanswered questions about how she ended up in her current situation, setting up a sequel. I received a copy of the e-book from NetGalley in exchange for a review.
J Alton More than 1 year ago
"The Bone Witch" is the story of Tea; a necromancer and practitioner of Dark Magic. Presented in two alternating parts, the first of which is that of Tea as a mature and powerful woman of seventeen. Therein she interacts with a bard who is desirous of hearing the story of the feared outcast that Tea has become. The second part is her story of what happened after she raised her brother Fox from the dead. This richly detailed and lavish novel is awash in strong characters, where even the least have rare shading and form. But it is the world of the Valerian, the asha-ka where Tea takes her training in singing, dancing, martial arts, magic, and diplomacy, that makes the story unique. The fabrics, clothing, jewelry, and rivalries found there all have a sort of glittering spirit that evokes the world of the Geisha and seraglio. “The Bone Witch” is not without flaw. The alternating storylines lead to confusion as to who is speaking and there are several instances of strange syntax throughout the novel. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next novel in the series. I recommend it to all lovers of the genre. I received a digital copy of this novel from Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley in exchange for this review. (less)