I really wanted to enjoy this book, but it was almost painful to make it through. I received an ARC from Net Galley and had been excited to start a unique and creepy read about a “Bone Witch” who could raise the dead and practice dark magic, but I feel like the backstory of the world took over and I did not have enough of the witch in the story. The setting of the story felt like I was reading “Memoirs of a Geisha” and there was very little about raising the dead and magic. The book was rather long and boring and the only relief I had was a small amount of humor from Tea’s brother, Fox.
I really feel like a lot of the backstory and mythology should have been set aside in a separate book (such as Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs) or separate novellas. We could have used a small portion of what we actually received as far as world history. The flash forward sections of the story felt rather forced as well and may have been better suited as a separate novella.
Fox was the only character worth reading about. Tea felt forced and seemed much older than she was supposed to be. Though I appreciate the author trying to add some sort of nod to the LGBTQ community with Likh and Rahim, their characteristics felt forced as well. And with all the backstory we were given, I don’t think we were given enough on the main conflicts of the story, which were the Daeva.
There were only a few scattered moments in the book that kept my interest enough to finish it. I have to give the author credit for attempting to write a story that could have been quite unique, but I feel like she missed the mark. I honestly only finished the book so I could review it and, though I was not expecting the villain to be revealed as the villain, there were very few surprises and unique attributes to this story. I would not recommend this to anyone and will not be continuing the series.