Tea is a bone witch, a witch with a gift for necromancy—which is how she accidentally raised her brother Fox from his grave. Ostracized from her community, Tea trains under another bone witch, who teaches her how to wield her powers. But the danger for Tea comes not only from within: dark forces and new enemies threaten her homeland, and she must find her place and role in a world that has rejected her.
The world of The Bone Witch is as enchanting as its title. It is both wild and immersive, leaving deep impressions of evocative images—including, early on, an image of the young and exiled protagonist surrounded by monsters’ corpses. The narrator’s voice is similarly heavy, charged with the weight of her powers and the challenges they bring, so that the setting of the novel feels at once dark and expansive.
The novel surprises as well; Fox, far from being a malevolent corpse or a violent caricature, is still himself, though oddly off, making Tea’s relationship with her undead brother complicated. Lady Mykaela, the older bone witch training Tea, is a beautiful but complex woman, both a protector and a fearsome opponent. The tight core cast helps ground a rich setting with its own language, magic, and politics.
The Bone Witch is a fantasy lover’s fantasy, with a rich history and hierarchy of its own. The secrets and workings of its magic are revealed slowly in a suspenseful novel that is sure to appeal to those with a love of serious, dark fairytales.
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