Rin Chupeco | The Heart Forger (Sourcebooks Fire)

528 pages | Kindle Edition for $9.99

The Heart Forger is the second novel in The Bone Witch series, where Rin Chupeco brings us directly back to the world of asha right after the first novel leaves off. Tea, a dark asha and bone witch, has mastered bringing the dead backs to life and hopes for revenge after being exiled from her kingdom.

I can easily say The Heart Forger is one of my favorite reads of 2018, which is funny considering how I wasn’t a fan of The Bone Witch when I read it last year. The Bone Witch is slower (to me, at least) and focuses on descriptions and worldbuilding, which is an entire 180 from its sequel. We’re continuing the story of Tea, who is a bone witch that can raise the dead, in the past (Tea as a young asha) and the present (Tea telling the story to the Bard).

It’s not exactly confirmed, but it looks like Tea is hovering between a villain and a hero, much like Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites. We’ll know for sure what Tea’s actions will lead to in the third and final book of the trilogy coming out next year, which is currently titled The Shadowglass.

The Heart Forger is fast paced—Chupeco focuses on action, characters, and plot rather than descriptions and worldbuilding, though those who aren’t familiar will have to read The Bone Witch first to get a sense of the characters and world before continuing. There is never a dull moment, something I haven’t found in my reading for a longgg while, and I found myself turning the pages of my iPad so quickly I might have left a mark on there.

One of the things I enjoyed back in The Bone Witch (and partially why I decided to give the sequel a try rather than skipping over it) were the characters. The first book only gave a small taste, but the second book is full of sass from Tea, Fox, Kalen, Khalad—the entire of cast of characters—and it made The Heart Forger much more entertaining. Chupeco is going to be pulling different emotions the entire time—from excitement to terror to laughter—and it’ll probably be simultaneously as well.

The wordiness and slow pace of The Bone Witch is well worth it when looking forward to the rest of the series—I’m so glad I gave The Heart Forger a chance, and I can’t wait to see how Chupeco will end the series next year with The Shadowglass. | Hannah Sophia Lin

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