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Publisher's Summary

In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price.

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.

©2017 Rin Chupeco (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about The Bone Witch

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,133
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    993
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story but too quiet

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. the world and magic in it was very unique and we'll explained. I look forward to the next book since there is still much to be explored with Tea's past and how she got to where she is now.

my only complaint is that the female (and primary) narrator was way too quiet. I had to listen to this at pretty much full volume. Much of the narration was spoke in a soft voice and it was hard to hear when characters were speaking quietly. when they talked in a whisper I couldn't hear anything. it was really irritating to strain to hear and then get blasted when characters like Mother (who has a loud screechy voice) would start talking.

89 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Leisurely fantasy

This is a story that you need to let happen to you. It's got a lot of positives and a lot of drawbacks. Firstly, this is a memoir of a necromancer named Tea. If you don't like character driven stories, then you probably won't like this.

The best thing this book has going for it is the worldbuilding. Aside from the maps and glossary pages, this world seems pretty believable.
The settings, culture, and (most) of the magic is fleshed out for you, usually in long descriped imagery, but it's consistent. Everyone has a heartsglass once they reveal their abilities at a given age, there's specialization of abilities, customs surrounding the heartsglass, and post death scenarios, etc.

While I like that Tea is randomly a bone witch, I also found it a bit hard to care about her being one. Bc she only deals with necromancy twice, by accident. This felt so interesting at the beginning of the story bc she's a witch who doesn't know how to control her powers and it's alluring to her. There's a dark temptation pulling her in. This was cool and I was all set to watch her master her powers and grow into her role. But nah. Let's talk about dresses.

Now I also am pretty intrigued by the world of Geisha and how they fit in history. In this world, Geisha/Asha are kinda like diplomats who try to persuade and encourage. This was cool. I liked that they are not just seen as.... ladies of the night/consorts. They play an active role in the society they are in and are respected and feared for their beauty and strength. This is clever and shows the duality of having powers. You're expected to be both beautiful and strong. I really liked this.

But we don't really see that played out. We are reading a coming of age story for a new strong bone witch, who is an outsider in the big city. There's an entire section of the book that follows after her raising her dead brother, where she's basically just a maid at a Geisha house. And the mother of the house hates her.... just for fun I guess.

I think the House mother was originally prejudiced against Tea's type of magic, but then the author changed it bc the house mother likes the bone witch who brought Tea there. So the house mother treats Tea like dirt and picked on her, giving her the worst chores and living arrangements....for no discernable reason.

But then Tea accidentally unleashes her power again and brings half a cemetary back to life!!! IN FRONT OF THE ROYAL FAMILY NO LESS!!! And! We! Time skip to the aftermath!!!

Wait what?

Because we are locked in Tea's perspective we don't actually see the event happen bc she passes out. We instead get a scene where the Bone witch from before comes in and says she's already fixed the emergency. And this is kinda where I started to get disinterested.

This is Tea's story, and not every fantasy needs a huge fight scene or battle to make it compelling, but you also can't just wash away all the conflict that comes up. We don't see Tea having changed from this - very disturbing - accident. Instead it feels like this is just played off as if she accidentally broke an expensive vase or something. The author established early on that bone witches are feared, hated, highly respected - and then one novice bone witch does this insanely grotesque show of power! There needs to be consequences. Both character and social.

Now this did change the course of the story in that, this is the event that starts Tea's schooling into becoming an Asha/Geisha. So that did change the story, but it didn't hit home as much. A few characters verbally tell Tea that ppl are scared of her, but she doesn't see that. Instead we get a huge shopping trip haul with the house mother who formerly hated her.... and now still kinda does...?

Now that Tea's scope of power is well known her role changes overnight from maid to student. This was confusing to me because I thought the entire point of taking her to the Geisha house ... was for schooling.... But... I guess .... not.... Idk

Now one sidenote I want to address before I get too much farther, is that of the dual timelines. So far I've been talking about the past Tea who is coming of age. But the second timeline is of a nameless bard who is interviewing the current Tea. And I love hate this.

I love this dual timeline because it shows a clear comparison of Tea then to Tea now. This really highlights the growth this character is gonna have and I like that. I also like that the current Tea is raising questions in the reader bc 'well how did this new upstart end up in a cave in the middle of nowhere with an altered heartsglass.' This was clever and showed a lot of nuance. Reminded me a lot of Interview With A Vampire.

Now I hate this as well. Firstly, the Tea in the beginning is said to be like 13-14 and the current day Tea is 17.
Huh?
Why would you do that? The time jump doesn't feel long enough to warrant an additional storyline. Like really what could have possibly happened in 3 years to get this different? At first I thought this new Tea was maybe mid 30s or 40s. Later I thought maybe mid 20s. But 17? That makes the clever character buildup seem like an angsty teenage rebellious phase. I went in thinking this was a world weary woman who lived her life, recounting her romances and hardships with a bit of humor and wisdom.

Tea states that she's only ever loved 2 men in her life. Like.... Girl you got time. I refuse to believe that a 17 year old is gonna remain a spinster her entire life. Keeping her this young feels jarring bc my aged beauty of a bone witch is unmasked as a runaway teen with Mommy issues.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Volume changes

The difference in narrator volume was annoying. The story was imaginative and interesting, but I did not like the change in narrators.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not the story I thought it would be

Well, I made it to chapter 22 and then couldn't take it anymore. I jumped to the last chapter and finished it.

The author writes well but I found the pacing of the story to be slow and focused more on the heroine becoming an asha (I don't know the correct spelling of asha since I listened to the audiobook). And apparently, it's like becoming a geisha, which can be an interesting story.

It's just not the story I was looking for. But you might really enjoy it.

Emily Woo Zeller did a great job with the narration.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Intresting

I really enjoyed this book and loved the world of the Asha. The slow burn romance really had me guessing. The only reason I can't rate this book a solid 5 stars is because at times the narrator was a little too quiet, and I felt as though the author could have gone into a lot more depth about the magic of the world. But the magic that was shown was fascinating and I can't wait to see how this series ends up.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

info dumpster, and whisper mummble

struggled to finish because the story was heavy weighed down by details, world biulding, and descriptions.
the narrator albeit lovely voice whisper mumbled a lot and proved difficult to enjoy. disappointed

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Bone Witch - A series with potential

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I think what I disliked most about this book was the fact that I chose to listen to it on audiobook.

Yes, my method of listening to the first book in a fantasy series has finally failed me.

The narrator of Tea just made the character came across as so whinny that on more than one occasion I found myself knee deep in eye rolls.

Also, the man narrating from what I can tell is a yet unknown character was rather monotoned in his rendition.

How could the performance have been better?

Looking back through certain passages, that really got on my last nerve, I found myself reading them in a different less obnoxious way.

Any additional comments?

3.5 out of 5 stars.

If you like dark high fantasy then The Bone Witch by Rin Cupeco should be the next book you pick up.

The magic system is what makes it dark, with one of the two narrators, Tea, being able to bring back the deceased.

There’s a part with some rats, so you have been warned.

But just because she has this fantastical ability, doesn’t mean she’s accepted by either non-magic or asha’s (other magical folk).

I may sound like a broken record but I enjoyed the lack of romance in this YA book.

While Tea did have a love interest in Prince Kance, it wasn’t as developed in this first book, with only a dinner happening between the two.

Furthermore, the relationships explored between Tea and her brother Fox, and Tea and her mentor Mekayla.

And can we just gawk about the cover for a second?!

Even with this issue I think I am going to continue with the series.

I feel this book really set the ground work for an epic fantasy, and as such was slower because of it being the first.

Second, that ending has me intrigued enough to pick up The Heart Forger when it is published in March 2018.

There is potential.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Painful on the ears at times

The book itself is very interesting and i think i would have rated it higher if the audio wasn’t so poorly mixed in post production. Mainly on the female POV some characters were spoken so low you couldn’t hear at all, and then some were so loud it hurt your ears. There wasn’t a good balance with the volume, and at times i had to actually cover my ears because it was hurting them. I made it though and the only reason i didn’t give up was because i enjoyed the story. I just don’t think i can listen to any more in this series if they are narrated by the same voice actors and if they are produced in the same way. The female, mainly, unfortunately was off putting with her voices. It’s a great book and wish it was better performed.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

poor volume control but good story

the female narrator uses a vast range of volumes. i get the intended effect, but at the same time i keep javing to adjist my volume.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great narrator, story is creative with potential

***I have just finished the end of the story (book 3) and I couldn't be more disappointed.
This first book started out with such potential, it's creative & different and I eagerly started book 2 as soon as I finished book 1. Book 2 was just okay and book 3 was so ridiculous I wish I hadn't wasted my time. Book 3 - the majority of the book is about the lead character's inner turmoil - and it is so frigging drawn out it's beyond ridiculous. Almost every emotional scene (to which there are many) is overly done, and the lead character spends most of those crying. It is boring, the books get worse until it changes to awful.
Don't waste your time with this trilogy - even though these are free, it's time you won't get back.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Tracy Tucker
  • Tracy Tucker
  • 06-28-21

A Compelling Listen

Wonderful narration, although sound balance was a problem throughout. I have marked the narration down because I had to turn volumes up and down all the way through. At times I could barely hear the audio, and at times I thought it would wake the whole house. It is such a pity, because the voice artists themselves were wonderful.

The story was very interesting enough to keep me listening, and has laid a strong foundation for the second in the series. I look forward to listening to the next book.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kernow Girl
  • 03-17-17

Not the Best Ending!

Loved this book up to the last chapter.... then it ended too quickly with lots unexplained. Such a shame!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-19-21

Awesome!

This was the first Series of books I have listened to by this author. If you adore fantasy, good battling against evil, dragons and other mythical beasts then this is the series for you! It maybe classed as a YA but, if like me, your inner child cries out for a bedtime story then you will not be disappointed! True there is more romance in the 2nd and 3rd book of the series but the tale is woven deftly and the imagery beautiful. Will be listening to this series again and again.
Warning: If you get caught up in the story, you won't get much sleep until the last line of the 3rd book! Enjoy!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-28-21

Weird pacing but interesting read

I liked the story, but the pacing and setting threw me off. Some parts are in a current setting, and some in a past. But the relationship between the two are jarring. I can feel what Rin was going for, but it just... confused me and I did not think it brought anything to the story.
the last "present" setting felt more like a spoiler than anything else.
The performance of the cast is good. Lots of range and feeling.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • mulberry summer
  • 06-21-17

Interesting

Great start and a unusual fun story but where as the author had taken time in the beginning to describe each scene they started to cram it in at the end and it got abit confusing. Then they leave you hanging

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • KcBrit
  • 06-15-21

Bone witch

the book started out really strong about a very strong young woman with strange powers. but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth with all of the the bowing of heads and being demure, dancing, singing, entertaining of men: when these women are supposed to be unimaginably powerful. especially since most of the girls in the book started out as Minors and were left to entertain nobility and Kings while they drank. I'm reading it 3 stars for its creativity but I will not read any more of the books and I will not give this book to my daughter.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Heidi Kristiansen
  • 03-27-21

Loved it

Absolutely loved this book it was well worth the read and can recommend it to anyone that loves fantasy and which craft

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Deleata
  • 10-15-21

brilliant

Beautifully read, inspiringly written, I cannot find fault with this book! thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to hear the rest of the series!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kornelia
  • 10-04-21

Memoirs of a Geisha rip off

Memoirs of a Geisha rip off thinly wrapped in weakly built fantasy world. Nothing really happens in this book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Bethany Luke
  • 09-11-21

DNF

DnF at like 50% or so.

I just could not get into this at all and considering I got to half way says how much I tried and tried and tried to give it a chance. I cant pinpoint what it was I wasnt enjoying. This was an audiobook read so i dont know if i wasnt gelling with the narrator or what was throwing me. The narrator didnt particularly annoy me like some can instantly so I'm not sure if it was that. I will maybe in the future grab the book and see how I get on. I do try to give an audiobook another try in book form for this reason. Not in too much of a rush to do so though.

It was just so slow from the get go. The chapters of the bone witch narrated by her man visitor or whoever's he was was way more interesting and enjoyable than her actually telling her own story. It got absolutely no where fast and by half way through I felt like nothing had happened of any significance whatsoever!! So frustrating.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Pipie
  • 05-02-21

The Bone Witch.

Oh dear. I didn't really know what to expect but I am disappointed. Not for me. I'm lost. Can't follow and a bit boring. I won't be finishing this one.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Emma
  • 01-03-21

Not what I expected.

If you go in to this book prepared for a story about witchcraft, you will be sorely disappointed. Think more alone the lines of memoirs of a geisha.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-21

it was really good

loved it was a really well written book I adore it lot and lots

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-23-21

great story

I struggled with this book at the start, as I was put off by the male narrator , who narrates an over view at the end of each chapter, it really throws you out, especially how loud he is, still haven't quite figured out who he is. otherwise if you persevere the book is well written and worth listening to

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cassie O'Leary
  • 08-13-20

Best medievil book

This is one of the best medievil book about witches that I have ever read, I can't wait to start the next book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Gary
  • 05-25-18

Interesting protagonist, but slow, uneventful plot.

I will admit that I am a sucker for a fast paced, action novel that takes full advantage of the mystical and magical, but this story never really got going at all. An interesting protagonist, great setting and story concept, but the plat plodded along with only minor sparks of interesting conflict. This story had such potential, but failed to engage me.