When Tea’s brother died after being attacked a daeva, she accidentally raises him from the dead. Now that she’s a bone witch, she journeys to Kion with Lady Mykaela, a fellow bone witch. A bone witch is a type of asha, and ashas can use magic. She soon joins Lady Parmina’s asha-ka, the House Valerian, in the Willows, where she spends a year working as a maid before becoming an apprentice. She is tricked into attending a party, falls in love with a prince, and gets in more trouble than imaginable–all while being protected by her resurrected brother, Fox. This story was alternated with chapters of her in the future where a bard forced out of his country who came to collect Tea’s story.
At first, the story was confusing because there was little clarification of many of the details, but this was eventually resolved. In addition, the characters were each well developed, different, and surprising. The author’s storytelling skills were perfect. Small details and seemingly insignificant sentences came back to fit into the grand puzzle of the book. I definitely appreciated the alternating storylines that kept me engaged, and, in the end, shocked.
One part that stuck with me was when Lady Mykaela told her that due to her, history books would have to be rewritten. She had raised all of the dead beneath the Falling Leaf tearoom, and one of the dead had said something that changed history.
Reviewed by Ashley, Grade 8, Libbie Mill Library