Monday, March 27, 2017

Books: My Thoughts on The Bone Witch

The Bone Witch The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

In every chapter we have 2 points of view: Tea in the present, telling her story to a bard, and Tea in the past learning to become an asha. The premise is interesting and immediately as you start reading, you wonder to yourself about Tea's situation. You will not get an answer to the question that forms in your head in this installment, just so you know. The end of this book really pulls you in, but I wish the momentum that I felt at the end started a bit earlier in the book.

The story is very slow building. We follow Tea in her studies, which is very similar to a geisha or gisaeng, I think. She learns how to sing, dance, play instruments, but she also learns self defense and attack skills as well as ways to hone her magical abilities. Men hire her at tea houses for conversational and artistic entertainment and the more renown she becomes, the higher the price they pay for her company. Also, part of what she earns at the tea houses goes to paying back what her asha-ka, or the house that she belongs to, has already paid for her training. Reading how Tea learned these techniques and how she rises up the ranks was interesting, but it wasn't enough to glue me to the book until I finished, at least not until the last 10% of the book.

I do believe that if some of Tea's journey to becoming an asha were condensed, it would've propelled the story a bit faster. Part of what slowed me down is that there isn't a lot of action in the story. Nothing really pulled at me to come back to the story and I would step away from it for days at a time. Another thing that bothered me was that more than half way into the book we're told that Tea's name is pronounced Tay-uh. Personally, this was very confusing and I couldn't get myself to pronounce her name the way it was supposed to be pronounced. If this pronunciation was introduced at the beginning of the book, this wouldn't have made me stumble every time I read her name after that pronunciation was introduced.

Truthfully, this book took a lot longer to get through than I thought it would. I feel though that now that the story has gained momentum, the next book should move much faster and I am interested to see more of Tea's journey and get an answer to the question that I have had since the beginning of this book. I did enjoy this, despite my issues above, and am looking forward to the sequel.

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