The Bone Witch has an interesting premise, and though I do not normally read modern books with witches (aside from Practical Magic and HP), I liked the idea of a witch with a rare magic that would make her an outsider within her own community and what conflict that would cause for her as she tried to learn and master her gift. Necromancers (or asha in this world), those with power over the dead, are nothing new to the fantasy genre (see The Hobbit and any other number of books) and yet they are not introduced often and even more rarely as a main character. Anyway, I was in.
The first half of the book really delivered in building the world and getting to know Tea. I really enjoyed her relationship with her brother, Fox. I found the setting to be gorgeous and her apprenticeship to be well-detailed. The book does, however, switch between two points of view. Switching POV for me is a double edged sword. It works when it works, and when it doesn’t, it’s a little uncomfortable. For me, this was somewhere in between those two options. At times it was fine (probably because I’m reading a lot of multiple POV stories lately), and other times it was disjointed.
The powers of the other witches were elemental – fire, water, earth and wind. This seems true to a lot of what I’ve read about witchcraft in the past, but not so similar to other currently popular magic-filled worlds. What was even more unique was the heartglasses. Without giving too much away about them and how it effects the dynamics of relationships, in short, they are almost a way of wearing your heart and emotions on your sleeve for all to see… if they know how to read and use them. It was just an interesting magic element that sounds like a mood ring, but goes much beyond that.
There is a ton of description, which if you love that, you will really enjoy this world. With lots of description comes a plot that is not as fleshed out. I feel like the characters could have used a little more action as they are made to be women and men of power and adventure. But, that being said, I believe there is going to be a second book (if not a series?) so maybe this is building everything up for a lot of action in the next book.
Overall I would give this a 3.5 out of 5. Somewhere between like and really like. I will definitely want to read the next book.
Note: Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. The Bone Witch is currently available, having released this Tuesday, March 7, 2017.