The Bone Witch (Bone Witch Series #1)

The Bone Witch (Bone Witch Series #1)

by Rin Chupeco


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In the captivating start to the darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

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.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492652786
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 02/01/2018
Series: Bone Witch Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 27,981
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living. Connect with Rin at

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The Bone Witch (Bone Witch Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has surpassed my expectations and I eagerly await the rest of the series. Wonderful world building along the likes of Game of Thrones and interesting monsters as well. Teas flashbacks and flashfowards kept me on the edge of my seat the entire ride. An amazing read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found myself pulled into the fantastic realm of Daevas and Ashas completely. This amazing story will suck you in and swallow you whole. Such submersive storytelling. I cannot wait for the next in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just loved the strong female characters the author introduced us to. Adding magic and daeva, was just icing on the cake. I'm looking forward to the next installment of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic story! I read it in one day and had to immediately go buy the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I was a bit confused. This story was nothing like I expected and it took a little while for me to get use to. Once I did get use to it I didn't want any interruptions. It's a great story and I like the way it flashes back and forth. I've never read anything like it and I'll most likely read it again just to make sure I didn't forget anything (I'm a fast reader and I get distracted easily even if I'm completely absorbed) or miss any implications.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was magical! I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out. It was powerful, intense, and spoke of the hard choices one makes in life. Sometimes doing the right thing, isn't always the popular thing.
gaele More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars – Rounded Amazingly intriguing premise sets the base of this story: we know that we are to meet Tea as she discovers how to wield and manage her powers of Necromancy, making her different from her family and friends, in worlds that are miles from her own. Told in two narratives of past and present, Tea shares her story with the Bard who found her living alone on an island laden with bones. Slowly the worlds unfold for us as Tea, in her desire to tell her story gives us descriptions and moments from her past that inform her ‘now’ and give readers insight into her current circumstances in which she was banished to this island. Starting with her resurrection of her brother and meeting her mentor in another Bone Witch, the rich descriptions outline the history and mythology of the place, giving an understanding of the forces at work, the distinct feel and look of each kingdom, the bright colors worn by the Asha (magic wielders) and how those colors signify their ‘specialties’ and position within the world. Add to that the creation stories that bring forth the good, evil and supernatural creatures created in Daeva and how the more modern day societies used those creatures and beliefs, including necromancy, arranged marriages, court politics and even warrior cultures play their part in the world in which Tea was born. Chupeco’s attention to detail is flawless, and while these details could (and did) morph into some mundanities that did not always feel relevant, the lushness of the descriptions do build a world that is easy to visualize, nearly palpable in the imagination. The one drawback to this description-heavy story is the time that is consumed as the world is built, leaving little time for actual action or revelations. But, fear not, the writing is beautifully crafted, and if you, like I, keep reading, the moments for Tea in her battle with Daeva brings startling discoveries, and is well worth your time. From the Tea of the past we see the daring, bold and perhaps stubbornly curious young girl, who is now more jaded, and cautious. Still, we have questions about her ‘whys’, the reasons for her change and just why she is banished. Insets with her family show the bond and caring, and moments with the Asha who took her on to train are amusing and add more lightness to the story, while the descriptions of her in action in the past show just how bold and determined she is to make changes. While this wasn’t a read in one sitting sort of book due to the volumes of description and world building that could overwhelm, reading in small doses as the world slowly builds around you, allowed the story to unfurl and unfold, leaving me anxious to continue and discover answers that will hopefully be revealed in the next book. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Well worth the read, I am addicted to this trilogy, I will definitely read these stories more than once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome story, amazing development of plot and characters. Love love love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really interesting story, hard to put down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was a bit hard to follow in the beginning, but by the end I could barely put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intriguing and captivating. Excellent use of present and past tense. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The flow of the story caught me off guard. Usually when there are chapters that deviate from the main story, I tend to find it annoying. But in this book, I looked forward to the change in pace. I highly suggest reading the book from a library and I will probably read the second book.
terferj More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars I thought this was an alright book. After reading the first chapter I was a little lost. I went back and started it again. I then had a better understanding on how things were going. I like the idea of the story in italics were the present time and that I’m guessing the chapters are the story of Tea’s life she was recounting. While I found the story to be very interesting and unique, I found myself losing interest at some points. A little too slow for my liking. Very slow pacing. I found Tea’s magic to be marvelous, scary, awe inspiring. I actually laughed at what she caused at the Falling Leaf, I know it wasn’t meant to be funny but I was just picturing it all and the look on everyone’s faces. Haha. I liked her relationship with her brother, Fox. It was a little strange but I liked that she still had him in her life. And he was a cool guy, all things considering. I thought the daeve were an interesting creatures. All of them so different and their bezoar’s could be used for very different yet beneficial factors. To get to them was tricky and dangerous but well worth getting them. Unless you’re Tea then they’re not as scary when she had control. My other problem with this book was how every time I started reading something new happening, there was so much confusion with me. Why must I have to reread the passages again to understand what was happening? Geez. For example: It was confusing when it came to controlling the azi but once I figured it out, it was really cool. Overall, I think the ending was a nice set up for the continuation of what Tea wants to accomplish. Looking forward to see how that goes. *I received this through Netgalley
cree-blur More than 1 year ago
Wow. Its been a long time since I've read a book, let alone a trilogy, that had me crying so much. Not just from sadness but also joy, frustration, eagerness, etc. Rin's world building is exceptional and I fell in-love with all her characters, especially the heroine, Tea. I will be on the look out for more books written by this author. I *highly recommend this series to all diverse audiences.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
I want to start by saying, I tried to read this book, but could not get into it. Several months later (now), I was able to get a copy of the audiobook, so thought I would try to listen to it instead. I did finish it, but I am not sure what I think. This is a very wordy, slow moving descriptive novel. This is the first book in a trilogy and it spent a lot of time world and character building. There was not a lot of action going on, which I had expected. This book tells us the story of Tea, a girl who was born as a dark asha or better known as a bone witch. When she accidentally raised her brother from the dead, she was hated and feared. She was sent to the capital city to be trained to use her powers and serve the kingdom. This story shows how she overcomes obstacles, deals with disappointments and learns about her powers. The story is told from two points of view, Tea and a person named Bard who talks and hears Tea’s story. In the present, Tea is living alone in a cave. What happened to her debut as an Asha, why is she living alone? I did like several of the characters. Lady Mykaela, Tea’s mentor, Tea's brother and familiar Fox, Kalen and Kance were all very interesting. Their lives were not really their own, but the way they dealt with things was interesting and left me wanting to know more about their past and future. Tea was a great MC. I liked how she stayed strong and true to herself, despite the demands and expectations. She was also very stubborn which got her in trouble a few times, but she always had good reason for it. I loved her relationship with her brother, Fox. It was such a true love and one of the best things about this story. I am not sure if I will read the rest of the trilogy or not. I do want to see what happens to Tea and the others, but the story is so slowwww. If you enjoy fantasy, character and world building and descriptive stories, then you will love this one. Be warned, the story does not end with this book, in fact, it is only the beginning and there are two more to come.
Book_and_recipe_Examiner More than 1 year ago
Tea is young, yet still a mightily powerful bone witch, feared by her family and village for accidentally raising her brother from the dead at his funeral. As she stated, it wasn't intentional. She just didn't want to live without him. And so Lady Mykaela, an asha and an instructor in Dark magic comes to bring her to the house of Valerian in the city of Odalia, where she will learn to control her abilities, and become a full asha: to fight, learn history, dance, music, and the important art of entertaining—much like a geisha combined with an ancient warrior who can weave compelling magic over death. But a legendary threat has been hiding, biding its time—the Faceless, an unconquerable and still undetectable group of three powerful daeva have been seeking to conquer their world, causing horrors that the Deathseekers, the military force, cannot prevent. And even the system of life for the asha is not without room for improvement, especially the way that they are feared and hated by many of the people, despite draining their own power and life in order to save their world from abominable creatures whose bezoars must be collected every few years. The Bone Witch is exceptionally well contrived, with elaborate magical forms and limitations, fictional history, class systems, geography, cultures, new creatures, and costumes like kimonos and hairpins bound with spells—all the things you would wish to explore through the eyes of a young, powerful apprentice, even in dark, death magic. The Bone Witch is an intelligent, consuming fantasy with an intricate world to unfold that upends its own status quo in order to save their world and its asha. For discussion questions, a matching themed recipe of Peach Ginger Scones, and a list of similar books, visit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had no idea what I was getting into when I first picked up this book. I have to say, I flew through this book and enjoyed every page in it. I had read in the description that it was reminiscent of Memoirs of a Geisha and I kind of laughed, because how could a book called The Bone Witch live up to that? It certainly did. The beginning started unglamorous and we were learning about Tea’s world as she was. The rich mythology that Chupeco created, as well as a clever way to identify those with powers, made me wish I could be in that world. There are Geisha style trainings, and I could imagine myself there, with the rich fabrics and untouchable beauty. The characters were like-able as well. The romance is building, and the book left me with so many questions. I can’t wait for the next one. This book was a treat. Rin Chupeco had me hooked.
faye d More than 1 year ago
Despite adoring the language and the world building -- I'm not sure exactly why, really! -- this just never clicked for me. Ultimately, my ratings end up something like: Writing Style: ***** Characters: *** World: **** Pacing: ** Plot: *** (This would be about a 3.3 averaged out.) The world is lush and well thought out, though I did want either a little more or a little less originality, as the melange of Asian cultures (heavy and transparent Japanese influences but also lots of Indian and some vaguely European High Fantasy) left me wondering how things came to be. However, when I set that aside I enjoyed the world and the author definitely knew it well. Character wise, I liked but didn't love young Tea - she seemed to be used as a point of view to the world for the reader, sometimes. I got a sense I WOULD love older Tea, but the story took so long to get to how she came to be the way she was that I put it down. Overall, I really enjoyed the writing when I read the book, but never ended up wanting to pick it up again when I took a break, or found it a book I couldn't put down. So, a good story for someone with more stamina I think. I am POSITIVE there are lots of people who would love this (and clearly are!), I just wasn't that person.
TheFarmersDaughterReads More than 1 year ago
My Rating: 5/5 Stars “Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise.” HOLY SMOKES BATMAN This novel sucked me in and kept me breathless while I read the night away when I should have been sleeping. I loved this book, like dying for the sequel, L-O-V-E, loved it. At first, I was a little confused. There are a few pages in each chapter that are italicized and it took me a little while to determine who was who, what was going on, and how it related to the rest of the chapter. SPOILER***[Tea is telling a bard her story after the fact, the italicized portions are her speaking to the bard and the rest of the chapter is her story.] However, once I had pieced it together, I really enjoyed the added perspective of Tea’s thoughts on her own actions later on. Tea is a young girl from a back water village in Odalia. Her life is simple until the death of her beloved brother, Fox. She is so distraught at his burial that magic she was unaware of surfaces and she resurrects her brother. Tea is a bone witch. Tea is terrified of the knowledge that she can raise the dead, bone witches are reviled in her small village and in most of the world. Tea’s magic is detected by Lady Mikaela, a dark asha (bone witch), who comes to take Tea to Ankyon, a city where asha are trained. Tea must learn to control her powers for the dark magic she wields is filled with temptation, and to draw too much of her magic could cost her everything. As a dark asha, Tea is one of the very few asha that can harness the Dark. She can control only Dark runes, while other asha control elemental runes, fire, earth, wind, water, and metal, but not Dark runes. Dark asha are crucial even though they are despised. They put down the daeva when they reawaken. Daeva are ancient demons that can be killed only by asha or deathseekers and are resurrected after a certain number of years to wreak havoc. Tea must maneuver her training as a dark asha while learning to master her power before it masters her, for one day it will be her duty to put down the daeva. “You can be the most powerful witch in the land, but you will always have a weakness, and that will always make you believe you have no power when someone exploits it. There is no greater strength than the ability to understand and accept your own flaws.” The characters are so multifaceted and they grow on you and become your friends and enemies too. Tea is so intelligent and strong willed, but she is REAL. She can act selfish and impulsive as well as kind and compassionate, like a normal person. She’s not a Mary Poppins, “practically perfect in every way.” Lady Mikaela, Lady Polaire, and Lady Althy are incredible! They have so much personality and they are all so different. Zoya and Princess Maeve, whom I never could have liked to begin with due to her name… Thanks, SJMaas…, are cruel. However they are cruel for different reasons and in different ways. I appreciate that Chupeco was able to make so many different characters with different motives, personalities, and strengths. The character development is incredible and we are really able to get to know each character, even minor ones such as Zoya. The world building is so rich too, I loved the descriptions of the asha’s attire and how each hua is designed in a way that fits the asha in every need complementing strength and hiding weaknesses. Chupeco even managed to slip in some characters who definitely don’t fit their molds, and
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read The Bone witch by Rin Chupeco. The book opens with a Bard witnessing a seemingly seventeen-year-old girl control a beast. The bard wants to tell the girl's story and she gives seven days for the bard to observe her. The girl tells the bard that she’s a bone witch. A girl named Tea tells her story of when she unknowingly brought her brother Fox back to life. The story alternates between past and present in this girl’s life. The telling of the story sets the world and characters based on Asha and bone witch legends and mythology. Tea grows in talent and becomes an Asha and fights against a dark creature and conquers it with help from her brother Fox, other Asha and soldiers known as Deathseekers. Tea’s alternating stories have not completely lined up yet, so the ending leaves the reader expecting more explanation in the sequel, Heart Forger. 4 stars for this fantasy tale. *I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
Three_Show_Saturday More than 1 year ago
Bone Witch, written by Rin Chupeco, is the first book in what promises to be a brilliant new fantasy series. The world-building is exceptional as the reader is immersed in Tea’s world where asha’s wield extraordinary powers and are both revered and feared. As Tea evolves from a simple, country girl to a powerful asha, the story introduces a cast of unique and entertaining characters. The descriptions of the asha’s outfits can sometimes be a bit drawn out, but overall the detailed descriptions only serve to make the world more real. The story is told from the perspective of Tea and from the perspective of a Bard who has sought out Tea to hear her story. The story unfolds as Tea recounts her rise as an asha to the Bard. The story goes from present day to the past as the two storylines build and the reader begins to anticipate that Tea will reveal what happened in her past to bring her to where she is now. This gives the story a page-turning quality and even though the plot is somewhat slow, the writing and characters are sure to keep the reader engaged. A beautiful, epic tale with strong female characters that will be enjoyed by teens and adults who love fantasy stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this book. Looking forward to the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beammey More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book, oh my gosh. The story line is really engaging, the cover is BEAUTIFUL, the characters are well written and believable. I might have to do a yearly reread of this one, I loved it so much. Such a great story and I would recommend it to anyone. 5 out of 5 stars.