ARC Review: The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco


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.


**** Big thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!****

I was super pumped when I found out Rin Chupeco was writing not only another book but a dark fantasy book! So of course I went into this book expecting to love it since I loved “The Girl From the Well” and luckily for me I was not disappointed.


While I was very much invested in the plot of this story I will admit that the pacing was pretty uneven it was borderline slow. It felt like this book was more so setting up for the next book than having any real action on its own. This is a book you have to be a little patient with.

I also really liked how the story was told from two different POVs one being a Bard whom an older Tea tells her life story in the present and the other being told from the past by a younger Tea. I have to say the present day Tea is very dark and mysterious and I found her to be the most interesting I want to know what happened to her to make her this way! So this does jump back and forth throughout the story between the present and the past which I thought worked really well in this book, it made the story more suspenseful and interesting, it kept me reading!

The story may not be the most fast paced or action packed but it’s still super interesting with all of the world building. I absolutely loved reading about the asha and their magic as well as the horrible monsters the daeva which were actually pretty terrifying. Reading about how Tea is such a rare breed of “witch” and watching as she comes to terms with her Dark abilities and learning how to use them was just a ton of fun.

The world building was also spot on and very creative, it provided just enough to keep me happy and withheld enough that I am interested to learn more in the next books. I loved the concepts of the magical Asha, the demonic monsters Daeva, the mythology of the world, and the different aspects of all the Kingdoms. Also the magic system was interesting as well. There was definitely no lack of world building here and at the same time there was no info dumping either.

The writing was something I had a sort of love-hate relationship with, on one hand I liked it and thought it was very beautiful but on the other hand I found it to be almost TOO descriptive at times. It did help me visualize things a little better but the in depth details got a little tedious after while, I can only read about clothes in that much description before it gets old.

THAT ENDING THOUGH! It wasn’t necessarily a cliffhanger but at the same time it left me crying because I don’t want to wait a YEAR for the next book!


Overall the characters were pretty great in this book, I did feel some lacked a little development though especially the secondary characters because I would have liked some more background on them. I still got very attached to a lot of them mostly the other asha characters such as Althy and Polaire!

The more central characters were a little better such as Tea, her brother Fox, and her mentor Lady Mykalea. We got a lot more background on these characters and I assume we are only going to get more as the series goes on.


I’m happy to say that the romance did not play a HUGE factor in this story, it didn’t take center stage and didn’t take precedence over the plot. Apart from that it wasn’t really developed either, once again I’m assuming it will be explored more in the next book.

There is a bit of a love triangle although without spoilers I will say it isn’t what you think it is a first, they kind of throw a red herring our way and it WILL surprise you when you get to the end. I hate love triangles and this one didn’t bother me at all!

in conclusion

Overall I was very satisfied with this book even though it did bother me a little bit that so much is left to be determined in the next books. The world building is the strongest (and best) part! I am VERY excited to continue with this series and so far Rin Chupeco has yet to disappoint me!

What I Liked:

  • The overall story was intriguing
  • The world-building was great and creative
  • The POVs between past and present was interesting
  • The ending left me wanting MORE
  • The characters were pretty well written
  • The romance didn’t take over the plot

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The writing got a little TOO descriptive at times
  • I wanted just a bit more background on some of the characters


If you’re interested in reading a dark YA fantasy I highly recommend this one, it combines all the best parts of fantasy with a little bit of horror since the monsters and sometimes the magic get very creepy. Also if you liked Chupeco’s other duology I think you’ll love this one too!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy


22 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco

  1. Books, Vertigo and Tea February 20, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Fantastic review! I wanted to love this one so badly, but about halfway through I felt like I was drowning in unnecessary details. The overly description narration was so a loss for me. The story is great, but I just struggled.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek March 6, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      Thank you! I definitely feel you on the overly descriptive writing, while it bothered me at times I found the story interesting enough to push through those parts. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy those one more that’s always a bummer!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelly February 20, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    Awesome review! So glad to hear you liked it! I still haven’t read any previous books by this author, but I was really drawn into this one – it has such an interesting premise, and the cover is simply beautiful. I’m also happy to hear that romance doesn’t really play a big part in this book – too many fantasy novels have a huge romance thing going on that tries to take center stage and makes the book less appealing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek March 6, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      Thank you!
      I thought the premise and cover were lovely as well plus I have read one of her other books and liked it so I was excited for this one.
      I agree, so many YA fantasies focus a lot on romances but this one definitely did not. There was actually a plot, haha!


  3. Aria February 20, 2017 / 10:42 pm

    Ohhh, now I’m definitely on the fence with this one. I read some reviews and a lot of them didn’t like this book, but I’m tempted because of the pros you’ve listed. Though, the cons (especially the one on the writing) is making me hesitant, urk. I guess I’ll have to read it myself and see. Glad you like the book, though! Also, lovely review ❤


    • thesassygeek March 6, 2017 / 3:26 pm

      Thank you! 🙂
      I’ve read quite a few reviews for this book that were more negative as well but I’m glad I went in and still enjoyed it. If you’re seeing pros and cons with it then yeah definitely give it a go yourself and see because I think if you go in with those in mind you may enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Eve Messenger February 20, 2017 / 11:50 pm

    This review was so well done, super detailed, and you hit all the important points. Alas, I could not get into this book. The writing was smart and, like you said, the world-building was creative (heartstones!), but ultimately the story just didn’t come alive for me, and I didn’t connect with the characters (except for Tea’s brother).

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek March 6, 2017 / 4:03 pm

      Thank you so much!
      I definitely agree with you on not connecting with the characters, I was willing to overlook that a little bit and hope they get more fleshed put in the next book! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek March 6, 2017 / 4:05 pm

      I thought so! The POV of the bard with “present day Tea” was never longer than a page or two so that POV was very short throughout and easy to follow! 😊


      • ashley March 6, 2017 / 4:33 pm

        That’s good to know. Sometimes I have a hard time following multiple POVs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thesassygeek March 7, 2017 / 2:40 pm

        Yeah it can definitely be a struggle sometimes but this one wasn’t that hard to keep track of at all so I hope that helps! 🙂


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