I was so excited to find The Bone Witch, by Rin Chupeco, on the shelf at my local library. I knew nothing about it except that I’d seen the cover online and it looked intensely cool. Necromancers! Black magic! Kickass magical girls with dark and dangerous powers!

So…was the cover deceptive? Was it really that cool? Well, sort of.

What The Bone Witch is about:

There are many types of witches in the Eight Kingdoms, but Tea is no ordinary witch. She’s is a bone witch—a necromancer. Feared and ostracized, Tea is forced to leave her homeland in order to train under an older bone witch, Mykaela, after she accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox. Tea trains hard to learn to control her magic and the most dangerous beasts in the kingdom, but it isn’t long before she realizes that she’ll soon have to use her magic for something else: war.

My thoughts on The Bone Witch:

The Bone Witch is a little outside of my comfort zone. Pure fantasy has never really been my thing—I always feel like I need a spreadsheet just to keep track of all the made-up names and places—and that definitely affected how much I liked The Bone Witch.

Nevertheless, I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I think that that reflects more on me than on Chupeco’s writing abilities (which are stellar, btw. She totally deserves the phrase “lyrical.”)

My favorite part of the book was definitely the city. Watching all the different real-life influences converge and trying to guess who was from where was buckets of fun. I honestly could not pin down what place/culture Chupeco was drawing most heavily on, though, and after a while the seeming mishmash started to wear on me. At first it was fun, and then it was like…??? What’s going on here?

I’ll admit I kind of lost interest in the book as it went along. I had been hoping for more bombastic necromancy and less…um, whatever it was. Daily life, I guess? It wasn’t exactly the dark, magical thrill ride that I’d been hoping for. The book ended with the promise of Tea raising an army of the undead and gallivanting off into the sunset, though, and I liked Chupeco’s poetic writing style enough that I’ll read the sequel.

Those are all my thoughts—now I want to hear yours!

Have you read this? Will you be reading the sequel?