The Bone Witch is the first book in an exotic new YA fantasy series by Rin Chupeco, author of the recently adapted to movie – The Girl from the Well. Set in Odalia, a kingdom that reminds me of medieval Japan, the story follows the life of Tea; a teen who unexpectedly discovers her ability to raise things from the dead when her favorite older brother is killed by one of the magical creatures roaming the world. This act earns her the title of bone witch, a person who is both revered and reviled.
The Bone Witch is a fabulous example of painting visual pictures to tell a story. Rin’s rich imagination permeates each line of the book and builds a unique experience for the reader. It was easy to follow the context of the story and understand all the new customs and objects and I was quickly swept into this foreign world. Rin tells the story from two perspectives; the minstrel – who finds Tea as an 19 year old banished to a bone laden beach and Tea – who shares with the minstrel her recollections of the events that led to her present state. Her writing style is so fluid and natural that I was easily able to immerse in the story and fascinating characters, even while jumping back and forth between these two settings.
Rin does a great job with the ending; there’s still so much to find out yet the reader doesn’t feel shorted or distraught in any way. The Bone Witch is the beginning of what looks to be a fantastic new YA series. It is appropriate for teens but so well done that adults will love it too.