So when I finished reading The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco I knew I had to pair this with a place that would also share it’s atmospheric beauty. The book’s Asian-inspired fantasy world sounds stunning, so I wanted a place that when you walk in you think ‘WOW’. That is why the Moving Sidewalk in the heart of downtown Houston, TX was the only option here. The place is narrow, cozy, and about 60% bar – – brick walls, exposed pipes/ducts in the ceiling, large chandlers over the bar, candles, several tables, bar seating, and a couple of tables towards the back for a couple trying for a little one-on-one time. Basically dark and beautiful! That cutie behind the bar in the above picture is my cousin Ryan. (As far as I know ladies, he’s single ❤ )
The picture below is taken directly from their website! See…gorgeous!
We went on a Friday so it was pretty hoppin’, as was this entire block! (My last blog mentioned The Honeymoon – same street.) My uncle and I were feeling adventurous and tried a couple of the mixed drinks. (My brother still desperately trying to find that Bud Lite. haha! Poor guy!) The menu looks like an old menu given out by flight attendants in the ’50s with menu categories titled Arrivals, Departures, International Destinations, and Ground Transportation. Very fun idea!
I tried the Chai-o-Coco (aged rum, white rum, lime, masala chai, honey, and star anise). Unless you like the flavor of black liquorice then this is NOT the drink for you! It was good, but super strong in the liquorice department. Was not ready for that!! Not bad, but quite the punch. Next time I’ll be trying this Suzie Q (white rum, lime, Suze Orange, and orange bitters)… I have a thing for bitters! Oh and if you are feeling loose with the cash, they have a Whiskey on the Rocks option that will cost you a pretty penny, but according to the guy sitting next to us at the bar, worth every one of them!
Ok, first… this cover is CRAZY PRETTY! I love it, and would be lying if I said this wasn’t the first thing that drew me to this book! The book itself took me a little bit to get into, but once I did I loved this world. Gorgeous by description, it’s set in sort of an Asian-inspired fantasy world. The story is told in two timelines but by the same main character, Tea, an asha. One is a retelling of her story to a barb at the age of 17. The other is a first person perspective when she is around 13ish years old (I believe). She and her sisters are asha, meaning they can control the elements (Earth, Wind, Fire, Water).
The story really gets moving when her brother is killed by a daesha – – a creature created by the False Prince. In her anguish, Tea resurrects her brother marking her as a dark asha/Bone Witch, and essentially an outcast. This is when she meets Lady Mykaela who is also a dark asha/Bone Witch. Lady Mykaela takes Tea under her wing to train her, forcing Tea and her resurrected brother to leave their home. The training process for ashas was enthralling really. Tea excels, which is to be expected. The training ranged from combat, to music, to the art of conversations. I really enjoyed the parts that went deeper into that part of her world.
There are two part of this story that really stood out to me, one great, one just indifferent. My indifference revolved around the love story here. I suppose every author feels they need one, but I found it unnecessary. The rest of the story was fulfilling and dynamic. The romance neither added to nor took away from the rest of the story for me. I’m sure it will be further developed in future books so maybe at that point it will feel more significant. Although I will say, the relationship between Tea and her brother Fox is wonderful and one of my favorites throughout.
The part I LOVED, or the concept I suppose, was the idea of the heartglass. To me this was the most original part of this book and I loved every time it was brought up. The whole concept fascinates me. The heartglass is a necklace type piece that each person wears that in essence represents who they are. It is crafted for each person by an asha when they become a teenager. It glows different colors based on the person. They can give their heartglass to others, which is a type of marriage. Being a dark asha, Tea can read other heartglasses to know if they are lying, sick, etc. It really was by far one of my favorite elements of this story. This along with the descriptions of the world it was based in made this story stunning description wise.
I would really recommend this one! It’s a solid start to the series and I’m really looking forward to getting deeper into this world. There are some things I think need to be ironed out, but nothing that I think takes away from the main story or the writing. A lot of reviews compare it to Memoirs of a Geisha. A book I also really love and I definitely see the similarities. But given that both books are really great in their own right, I think it only makes this book more exciting to recommend.
I was given a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher Sourcebooks Fire for an honest review. Thanks!!!
This would be a great book to go seat yourself at the bar, order some crazy drink concoction from these brilliant bartenders, and just dive in…… if you are one who reads in bars… I am one of those people 🙂