Every May, a group of dedicated ladies hosts Wyrd and Wonder Month, celebrating all things fantasy. As part of Wyrd and Wonder 2023, Annemieke at A Dance With Books hosts The Bone Witch readalong. Today I’m here to discuss the questions she posted for week 2, regarding Chapters 9-15.
If you missed it last week, you can check out my discussion post for week 1 of The Bone Witch readalong!
Title: The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco
Series: The Bone Witch #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Week 2: Chapters 9-15
Here we go for week 2 of The Bone Witch readalong. Which means we are halfway through the book. I admit I’m not as into it as I hoped I would, and there could be a couple of reasons for that. 1) I’m kind of hitting a small slump. 2) I’m going much slower with listening than I normally would so I wouldn’t get ahead, which also means that some days I skip listening and it’s harder to pick up after that. Then again, the story itself isn’t moving all that fast either. Pretty much nothing happened in this quarter. 3) I had a busy week, so my mind is elsewhere. I find myself relistening chapters because I just can’t pay attention. 4) I don’t think I like the narrator very much.
All that said, I’m planning to stick around for at least one more week then we’ll see. I might just go ahead and listen at my own tempo and see where that leads me.
Alright, let’s see the questions for week 2 then.
1 The heartglass is very important in everyone’s life but especially if you are an Asha. Having heard of Lady Mikaela’s story, can you imagine giving your heartglass to anyone?
I don’t think so. Then again, I don’t like giving away my stuff, especially if they are a pretty piece of jewelry. They are my babies. Seriously though, it has to be someone VERY special, and even then… probably not.
2 Continuing on from that, how would you feel if your heartglass showed your every emotion?
Ugh… NO THANKS. I’d hate it. I’m a very private person, so I don’t like showing my feelings – not that I can help it when I don’t like something 😅
‘I don’t see the importance of good manners the way asha seem to,’ Kalen said. ‘People respond to a show of force, not to etiquette. You asha are powerful in your own right. I don’t see why you have to wrap it up in pretty clothes and dancing. People don’t kowtow to me because I know what type of spoons to use with my stew.’
‘You’re a man, Kalen,’ Zoya laughed. ‘Or, rather, you are the type of man who has little patience for intrigue, and so you dismiss it and think others should do the same.’ (P 103-104)
3 How much do you feel that Kalen and/or Zoya have a point here about how the Asha are regarded as to their powers?
I think they are both right in their own way. If you are powerful enough, people will look up to you no matter what. Or rather, will try to get in your good graces to advance themselves and won’t care about outer looks. Then again, I like Kalen’s approach because he just doesn’t care about the mind games that come with power and as Zoya points out has little patience for intrigue. He prefers bluntness to flowery language that hides all kinds of insults and traps. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But Zoya is also right, Kalen is a man of privilege who can afford to be blunt and not care about etiquette and the superficiality of things. But Asha, especially those who come from lowly origins have little chance to advance themselves or get noticed in the first place, and so they do everything they can. Including learning perfect manners to blend in as much as possible.
4 After the incident with the other asha, Tea is quite shocked to find she is not getting a punishment from Parmina. What did you think of this change of heart by Parmina and the conversation they had (on p134)?
It was both surprising and not at all. I mean, she showed her power in a spectacular way and also provided an opportunity for Parmina to show off the power of the Ashaka. I think Parmina was waiting for something like this to happen to make sure Tea truly was as valuable as Mykaela thought. And we still don’t know what her prophecy told her, so she could also see this as a sign or something.
‘She is a mix of both Water and Metal and a faint touch of Fire,’ she told Mistress Parmina. ‘Determined and highly intelligent. This is good. She will strive for perfection, and she has a strong sense of righteousness. She accepts change quicker than others, but she will always be questioning her abilities, no matter how far her training takes her. That is not necessarily a good thing.’
5 Salika seems to have a sense for who Tea is as she uses her vials. How do you feel this descriptions stacks up to the young and older Tea we have seen so far?
I think it stacks up pretty well fro young Tea. Especially the questioning her abilities bit. Although she doesn’t necessarily seem like a perfectionist to me. She definitely has a strong sense of righteousness though. For older Tea I don’t think the ability thing stands. She seems to be pretty sure in hers. But the rest fits, I think.
6 Fox is still a constant throughout the story though it has been more than 2 years than he was raised. He seems to act as when he was alive, discussing and disagreeing with Tea. He can go through the city and make his own choices. And except for the tie to Tea and wounds not healing, there doesn’t seem to be much backlash to being undeath. How realistic does that feel to you?
Does it have to feel realistic, though? I mean…this is Fantasy, so rules work differently. I also wouldn’t say there is no backlash (apart from the not healing thing, which I think is a nice addition) – Fox always will be an outcast, a servant of some sorts, will never have his own life including a lover, a family, etc. Having someone who can see into your head – even if occasionally – is no fun either.
‘After all,’ she mused, ‘who would deliberately break all eight kingdoms only to save the lives of Dark Asha?’ (p164)
7 Well that is an interesting drop! How surprised were you? And how much do you feel this might have to do with Lady Mykaela (the mention of her potentially dying)?
That’s certainly an interesting bit of foreshadowing. I don’t think it has anything to do with Lady Mykaela specifically, although she very much could be a strong motivational force behind the events yet to come.
I was grateful no one else was around to see a young asha apprentice chasing her brother down the lane leading back to the Valerian, their laughter riding on the wind. (Page 192)
8 This very last bit of our section for this week made me laugh out loud amidst the more serious moments this part had. Were there any funny or stand out bits to you in this weeks reading?
Hm, I don’t think so? But I’m also very bad at remembering details 😅 Although Tea meeting with the heart forger was curious! And her friendship with that boy who faces the life of a deathseeker. I’m curious to know who that will go.
And that concludes my contribution to Week 2 of The Bone Witch readalong. Have you read this book yet? Let me know what you thought of it!
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Good point about Fox always being an outcast. I hadn’t really considered that part, since we don’t see much of what he does away from Tea, and it seems that people accept (or just ignore) him around Tea to avoid upsetting or offending her.
I mean, who live in the Willows are probably more forgiving as they are used to Dark Asha and their familiars. If they stayed in their village though… People probably wouldn’t treat them very kindly.
Yeah I wouldn’t be giving away my heartglass either haha.
Right?! Call me selfish but I like my bling, lol. Unless I’m making any piece of jewellery specifically to you, don’t expect me to give away my pretties.