I thought “The Bone Witch” sounded interesting and after reading the last sentence in the book description, “Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!”, I knew that I had to read this book. Maybe my expectations were too high but I found myself sorely disappointed. Now before I delve into the details, this isn’t a bad read, it just isn’t in the same league as “Memoirs of a Geisha” or “The Name of the Wind”.
The story itself was decent. The story follows Tea as she discovers her innate ability to raise the dead and learns what it means to be a “bone witch”. Along with following Tea as she learns proper magical etiquette, the story alternates chapters with an older Tea as she reflects back on her life and raises beasts from bones. There isn’t a whole lot of action to keep the reader glued to the pages, rather it’s more of a glimpse of life for Tea as she navigates a new society with new rules and challenges. With that being said, there’s enough action that I didn’t give up on the book and finished it through to the last page. The storyline is the one place where I would compare this book to “Memoirs of a Geisha”- a lot of descriptions of the rituals that Tea goes through.
The characters in this book are alright. I didn’t find myself caring about any of them, even the main character, and didn’t really relate to any of them. They weren’t unlikable but I felt that I didn’t know them well enough to care about them. I could have used a little bit more of an emotional connection to all of the characters but maybe throughout the rest of the series there will be more of a connection.
The writing in this book is pretty good. The author writes with a good variety of sentence structure- definitely a polished writer. The descriptions in this book don’t stand out as magical but they’re readable and get the point across. This is why I wouldn’t compare this book to “The Name of the Wind”- the writing just doesn’t live up to the comparison. Even though the writing isn’t the best I’ve ever read- the writing is definitely not amateuar. I would be interested in reading more by this author, just not this series.
The most frustrating part of this book for me was the ending. I had so many unanswered questions at the end that I found myself extremely irritated. There’s such a thing as the perfect amount of intrigue left at the end of a book, this book misses that mark by a long shot. The book would have been much better if the author had fully told the story of Tea’s young life and left her adult life more of a mystery, rather than leaving both stories half finished. If you’re going to read this book- I would recommend waiting until the next book in the series is released.
I can’t say that I would recommend this book but I can’t recommend against it either. If you are looking for a story that combines elements of “Memoirs of a Geisha” with a fantasy story, you will enjoy this book. If you’re looking for a book with writing comparable to “The Name of the Wind”, look elsewhere.
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.