I usually don't leave reviews because I feel like I never do the book justice (and I kinda suck at reviews). The reason that I'm leaving this review is because i really enjoyed this book, its good, but its not for everyone.
I probably wouldn't have liked/finished this book three years ago. I used to read books as fast as I could so I could always get to the next book. You cant do that with the bone witch. I believe that she has built a beautiful world that you need to learn about so you can enjoy the next book in this series (whenever it comes out). I read some reviews that complained that she describes too much and that there isn't enough action. While she does describe a lot I do not believe that she overly describes, in the past i have read books where i have skipped paragraphs or pages because the author spent forever describing the color of a dress, or how someone's laugh was, etc. I do agree that there is little action in this book, but I believe that there will be more in the next.
Most of the book takes place in the past with a few pages at the end of each chapter taking place in the present. The present lets you know pretty fast that she has fallen from grace and has been exiled. I personally liked that because it kept me guessing to what she did and how all the people who care about her come to distrust or hate her.
In the bone witch when you turn 13 you get a glass heart necklace and runes are used to fill it with your power and show what kind of magic you have. Water, Wood, Fire, etc. Dark Asha (Bone witches). Deathseekers, and Heartforgers have silver hearts. The girls are taken for Asha training, the boys become deathseekers and are taught to fight the Daeva (Dark creatures that can only be killed by the Bone witches and they resurrect every few years) but are not as good at it as the Dark Asha. Your heart also changes color depending on if you are sick or it will react to a strong emotion.
I loved how she wasnt the chosen one. She is one of the more powerful Asha. In the Bone Witch there are women called Asha, who can basically use elemental magic, then there are the Dark Asha or Bone witches who cant use elemental magic but can control the dark and raise the dead (if the dead are willing), they are also the only ones who can defeat the Daeva. Tea awakens her dark powers when she accidentally brings her brother Fox back from the dead. Another Dark Asha Lady Mykaela shows up to take her for training. Tea is understandably nervous because Dark Asha are mostly hated or distrusted. I found it interesting that this extended to her family. In the beginning you find that she loves her family and they love her, everyone gets along, but as soon as she leaves for training thats it, her family never comes to visit her or send letters or anything. She is training for at least two years in this book with no word from her family. She does find out that some towns and people in important places trust and love Bone witches, they realize how important they are.
I like how the Asha realized a long time ago that they need to be friends with royalty and influential people so that others will trust and respect them. In order to complete Asha training you have to learn: Magic, Runes, Medcine, Combat, Singing, Dancing, History, Language, and so much more. They entertain guests at tea houses and parties, they guard royalty, and the Dark Asha go out and fight the Daeva. Defeating the Daeva takes a lot out of the Dark Asha, they get really sick for a long time and can die. Tea sees this happening to her mentor and knows that that is her fate if she dosnt find a better way. I believe this is how she gets exiled because you find out that the council of Asha do not like to break from tradition.
About 3/4 through the book you get a history lesson through a festival dance. It explains the history of the good guys, the bad guys (the faceless), how the Dark Asha came to be and why they are not trusted.
This book is not a fast read, its a slow burn, but it is beautiful and worth the read. Im sorry that this review is a little all over the place and i am leaving a lot out because I dont want to really spoil anything.