By: Rin Chupeco
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Young Adult - Fantasy
Tea lives in a land where magic is commonplace. Many witches deal in the four elements of wind, earth, water, and fire. On rare occasions, other forms of magic manifest. Tea finds out at a young age that she is one of these rare sorts; she is a necromancer, a bone witch. Her kind is both revered and feared. Her village shuns her when she raises her older brother, Fox, after dies in battle. Her parents and siblings are horrified by what she has done, but her brother was a willing participant.
Tea's magic calls the powerful Lady Mykaela to her. Lady Mykaela plans to teach Tea how to control her powers and use them against the beasts that terrorize the lands and kill those who attack them like Fox. Tea isn't thrilled by this as she's always expected to find more acceptable magic running through her veins like her older sisters. Tea has no desire to leave home, but she has no choice as she must be trained to control the dark side of her nature. It also wouldn't do any good to remain at home where the villagers would throw their discriminatory glares in her direction and shudder each time Fox passed. The bond between Tea and Fox transcends death; the loyalty and love between these two was one of the things I loved about this novel The pair follows Lady Mykaela and Tea's adventure begins.
The story is told in multiple times. Chapters contain the present where Tea is discussing her tale with a bard who wants to tell her story and the past where Tea is actually experiencing things firsthand. I found this was an interesting format for the story as I got to see an older and harder Tea in the present sections. I wanted to know more about how she became that person which compelled me to become invested in the past segments.
While I enjoyed Tea and found the magic lore to be intriguing, this is a hefty read. There is so much world building happening for both the setting and the magic system. In order to make these things perfectly clear and real for the reader, it requires a lot of telling rather than showing. I found my reading pace was slowed as I became bogged down in the intricate details from time to time. This novel is creative and well worth a read, but I feel it will appeal to those who enjoy high fantasy more than those like me who prefer the paranormal side of fantasy reads.
One Last Gripe: I wanted more action. I'm hoping now that the foundation of the world and magic system has been laid that the next book in the series will be more fast paced.
Favorite Thing About This Book: I was fascinated by the heartsglass and the magic lore.
First Sentence: The beast raged; it punched the air with its spite.
Favorite Character: Fox
Least Favorite Character: Tea - I just couldn't connect with her.
Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.
Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.