Necromancy typically has negative connotations associated with it, dealing with dead things and all. Being a witch with the power to raise the dead still has a negative reputation in Rin Chupeco’s The Bone Witch, but people seem to not only fear but respect the power it takes to raise and control the dead.
As Tea is about to come into her powers as a witch, she wonders what kind of abilities she’ll have and if they’ll be anything like her sisters’. But when her older brother Fox unexpected dies in a battle she unknowingly resurrects him during his funeral, marking her as a Dark asha with the derogatory title of bone witch. Leaving home under the guidance of another bone witch, Tea begins her training as an asha as dark forces threaten the kingdoms. As the threat starts to strike closer and closer, Tea has to choose how to move forward – save everyone at the expense of her curiosity or sate her curiosity at the potential expense of a few lives.
There was plenty of detail to flesh out the characters and what they were wearing, particularly as it applied to the hua of the asha and the heartsglass all people wore; however, the detail that was missing in world-building was rather distracting for me because too much of this fantasy world seemed to rely too much on Earth standards–OK for making it easy to relate to, but bad for establishing a world in which these events could reasonably take place. As a whole, the narrative was entertaining, but despite the attention given to fleshing out the characters, there wasn’t too much depth outside of a brief gender norm subversion tangent. The story is definitely set up to have at least a sequel as there are numerous things that were left unaddressed or only briefly brought up that need greater exploration.
Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.