Author: Rin Chupeco
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: 7th March 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Teens, YA
Source: Advanced reading copy from the publisher.
Amazon UK ** Amzon US ** Goodreads
Oh my gosh, this book!
With a description that contains the phrase "Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind" I went into this book with such high expectations, but fully expecting it to be nothing close to either of them.
When a book is compared to two of my all time favourites I'm going to be on my guard.
"Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves how bitterness tastes."- TeaHow wrong I was.
Rin Chupeco takes the best bits from each and combines them into something new and magically thrilling to form The Bone Witch.
I was honestly sighing in contentment the whole way through this!
This book tells the tale of Tea; a newly discovered Bone Witch (or Dark asha to be more polite). Her powers are realised by all, including herself, when she accidentally raises her dead brother back to life in the middle of his funeral.
Tea is then swept off far from home by a fellow Dark asha to The Willows, where all asha live, are trained and entertain with their vast range of skills (dancing, singing, music playing). Asha are much like traditional Geisha, except that they are gifted with magic, allowing them to use runes in order to access elemental magic.
Asha are respected and admired by all, except if you're a Dark asha that is.
Dark asha are tasked with fighting the monstrous Daeva, which no one else are able to kill. But despite this they are generally hated and reviled by all.
The world building in this book was truly excellent, with descriptions that managed to paint fully formed images in my mind. I could almost believe that the Willows were a real place and am now desperate to visit and witness the beautiful asha dances for myself!
The characters were equally as brilliant.
Despite Tea suffering from "special snowflake" syndrome, I really warmed to her as a character. I loved the way the story was told by her looking back on her life and the chapters alternated between present day where she's telling her story to a bard (and she seems like a total badass by the way!), and looking back at her past and how she got to where she is now.
I loved the relationship between Tea and her brother, and am really looking forward to reading more about it after the hints that were given towards the end of the book.
Other favourite characters include, the wise Mykaela:
"There is no greater strength then the ability to understand and accept your flaws".And another standout for me was the loud, boisterous, larger-than-life character of Rahim the hua maker (traditional asha clothes). He was just so much fun!
"...In Tresea, the men wear fur, but not in the fashionable ways. We kill the bears, the possums, the beavers, and then we stick them on the head, like so." He gestured. "Boring and unappealing. So I move here to Kion, where the clothes have shape and the hats do not stare back."More Rahim please!
From going into this book with such high expectations, I was not let down in the slightest and enjoyed every last page!
I don't know how I'm going to cope waiting so long for the next instalment!