Review | Rin Chupeco Takes Her Bone Witch Deeper into the Dark in The Heart Forger


“The dead do not rest,“ she told me, “only the living believe the grave can bring you peace.” 

Sequel Alert—The Heart Forger is the sequel to Rin Chupeco’s The Bone Witch. As a result, this review contains spoilers for The Bone Witch.

When we last left Tea, she was beginning her march towards the kingdom of Daanoris with her army of daeva and the Bard in tow.

An evenly paced book similar to The Bone Witch, The Heart Forger is not a book that demands to be devoured. To call it slow would be an insult and a lie, but neither is it a quick summer beach read. This is not a book that can be picked up on a whim. You need to be in the mood for it.

If you read my review of The Bone Witch, then you know I struggled quite a bit with the writing style at first. I initially found it a bit too slow and difficult to follow, but I came to love it as I adjusted to it. The Heart Forger is written in the same lyrical storytelling style, and I’d argue it works even better in The Heart Forger than it did in The Bone Witch. Perhaps this is in part because I was expecting it, but also because Rin Chupeco has had the time to master it by this point. The chapter cut offs that take us from Tea’s story to the present and vice-versa are timed painfully well. Just as we feel we are on the brink of understanding one of the many secrets Tea is keeping, the perspective changes and we are pulled from one story back into the other. With a book with such steady pacing, this method of playing keep away with the reader is vital to ensuring they don’t get bored and put the book down, and it worked really well for me personally. That said, impatient readers might struggle with it, so be aware of that going in.

The romantic reveal that shocked us all at the end of The Bone Witch when Tea raises Kalen from the dead is a major focus point of The Heart Forger in ways that had me shamelessly grinning at the pages. I am forever a sucker for hate to love arcs, so needless to say this was my favorite aspect of the book. But of course, having answered the question of who was her love that they killed, new questions had to be introduced. We slowly gain more insight into what led to Tea’s exile from the family she found in Odalia, but true to form, we are left with more questions than answers. I certainly have a theory, but I’ll leave you to develop your own.

Overall, if you enjoyed The Bone Witch I suspect you will enjoy The Heart Forger even more. I, for one, will be here eagerly awaiting the release of The Shadowglass, so if you need someone to cry over The Heart Forger with my DMs are oh so open.

Rep to Read For

  • Ownvoices Asian-inspired fantasy world
  • Gender-fluid side character (with an excellent support group!)

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