I am currently reading The Bone Witch, written by Rin Chupeco, the same author as The Girl From The Well, a novel that I have never read but am assuming that it is nicely written considering the fact that it has gotten four stars on goodreads.com. I chose to read this 408 paged fantasy book for a few reasons. I have never been one to enjoy reading fantasy books, but after reading the back of the book, I was very intrigued. The whole topic about how the main character could raise people from the dead, even accidentally, left me dumbfounded. The Bone Witch, although a fantastically written book, is definitely not one of my favorites. I was thinking this book would help my “issue” with fantasy novels, but left me feeling the same. Don’t get me wrong, I love all disney movies with the villains and mermaid stuff, but it is not something that I could just sit down, read 400 pages about and try to take seriously.
In The Bone Witch, the main character, Tea, comes from a family of witchery. Both of Tea’s older sisters were witches, Rose was a forest witch while Lilac was a water witch. Tea never thought that she was a witch, not having any powers, until her brother Fox’s funeral. After the ceremony, Tea raised Fox from his grave, and was named a “Bone Witch,” formally known as asha. Lady Mykaela, another asha, comes to take Fox and Tea to combat training, and if Tea refused, “the Dark would sup on the waste of your bones,” (page 15). Tea goes through combat training, dancing lessons, singing lessons and everything inbetween that you had to know to be a Dark asha.
I couldn’t understand how and why the author made the book so complicated. For example, some of the kingdom’s names were just too irrelevant, I have no idea how anyone could have come up with names like Yadosha City-States, Drycht, Aren-Kosho and Isteria. I was also surprised because I could not find an underlying message or theme to this novel. I would say something like perseverance as the theme, but everything just seemed to come too easy for Tea to accomplish. As I continued to read the book, I was constantly looking for a theme to emerge, if there was one, I never found it and it seemed like the author was telling the story for the sake of a story. This book reminded me of The Hunger Games. Just like Katniss had to go through all the training to be part of the Hunger Games, Tea also had to go through training to replace Lady Mykaela as a Dark asha.
“‘There is a reason they call Ankyo the City of Plenty, Tea. Most Kions are rich, which also means that they can’t help themselves.’
Kion castles were different in structure from Odalian castles. They were smaller in size but boasted multiple floors, each layer marked by a bowed rooftop- thinner than the ones in the kingdom of Daanoris but less ornate than those of Arhen-Kosho. The result was not unlike several tiers of sugared cake piled atop one another with pointed spires on every corner curling up into the sky. But this time, Lady Mykaela ignored the palace and turned to a small district nearby and into another world entirely.” (page 59)
I chose this passage from the novel because it is a perfect example of how Chupeco writes. Sometimes, it seems as if the author describes the setting a little too much. In the text, the author goes from describing one thing to the next, sometimes, Chupeco goes on for too long and I zone out and forget what the characters were even doing. Although describing the setting is a good thing, sometimes too much is too much.
If I had to rate this book out of ten, I would probably have to choose a two. This is probably just because of my hate/hate relationship with fantasy, but I can not seem to look past that, so if fantasy novels are your thing, then this would be a great book to read.