D N F
The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.
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.
Worldbuilding: It’s clear from the blurb that the Bone Witch series has an interesting magic-based world, and I enjoyed it very much as a concept. It has a complex magic system, and the medieval-like world was a nice setting.
Characters: I’m not yet sure how I feel about Tea. I mean, I liked her as a concept – her background, her personality, her reactions and view of the world. I enjoyed her up to the point where I gave up on the novel – which is the 30% mark on the ebook -, but not as I would have liked. She didn’t “become real” to me, not because she wasn’t built right but because our mean of communication didn’t work for me – more on that later.
Plot: The story has an action/adventure flair to it, I’d say a epic/high fantasy kind of scenario where we follow the MC through her adventures. The tempo is pretty slow, but it wouldn’t have bothered me, had I actually enjoyed my time with the MC. Since I ended up not enjoying though, the slow pace became too slow for me.
Writing: First and third person narrative, MC and another POV. And here is the reason I actually DNF-ed, though not without regret. Aside the fact that jumping POV is a pet peeve of mine – it often annoys me even in romance, so you can imagine -, it was the style that really didn’t work for me at all. I’d describe it as classic epic/high fantasy, somewhat dry, little to no humor, not that conversational. It didn’t “flow” for me, setting the story as a movie inside my mind – instead it kept zooming me on the actual writing, acting as an effective barrier between me and the characters and story in itself. The main reason I don’t often enjoy epic/high fantasy is precisely this – the writing style. As concepts, they’re very often strong – world. character(s) – but it’s lost on me when the writing style continuously breaks the flow of the reading experience. While this was a turnoff for me, I’m sure that fans of epic/high fantasy will actually LOVE it, and coupled with the strengths of the novel (at least up to the point where I read it), it will probably make for really good reading.
Curb Appeal: The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and the blurb is hooking – impulsive buy material for a YA fantasy craving for sure.
When I read the blurb, I was sure this was fantasy. But I didn’t really know what kind of fantasy it would be – considering the YA factor, I hoped it would go in the non-epic direction, to be honest. I was hoping for something in the vein of Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan or the Faraday Files series by Kate McIntyre, or a YA-style The Copper Promise by Jen Williams or Steal the Sky by Megan E. O’Keefe, for instance – I don’t mean the elements of the fantasy world, but the tone of the writing style. I’m only giving you examples of fantasy that isn’t UF or romance and that I did enjoy, to give you an idea of what I mean.
But it went in the action/adventure traditional epic/high fantasy direction, and it’s just one I rarely find myself enjoying.
I found myself feeling like I did when I DNF-ed Weather Witch by Shannon Delany, for instance – SO much potential, and I can’t enjoy it because the style is a barrier instead of a connection. It’s not that kind of style here, but the result was the same.
But I really enjoyed the concepts of the world and characters I met up to the point I DNF-ed, so I do really recommend you give it a try yourself if you’re into what ended up to be my turnoff about the novel.