Series: The Witchlands #1
Published by Tor Teen on January 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Paranormal Fiction
Buy on Amazon
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.\r\n\r\nYoung witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.\r\n\r\nSafi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.\r\n\r\nIn a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.\r\n
This book kept popping up on my radar, but I was a little hesitant, because the title didn’t do a lot for me. Despite the uninspired names (Truthwitch, Bloodwitch, Witchlands…), I found myself quickly drawn into the book and invested in the characters. I really liked the friendship (and total badass girl power) between Safi and Iseult. Together they are completely unstoppable; their support and devotion to one another never wavers, and I liked that even though there is a budding romance, the main relationship focus is on the two of them. It was nice to see a strong, positive female friendship, even if they did make some really foolish decisions along the way. I also liked that a lot of the supporting characters had depth, and that the villain was more than just a mindless killer. It was also really interesting to see how people were connected, and I think that will prove even more important in the next book. I did have a couple of issues that kept it from being a full four stars. First of all, the world-building was really disappointing. Hopefully that will improve as the series progresses, but I found myself trying to piece things together as the book began. This is such a unique world, and it was a completely missed opportunity for some really dazzling world-building. Also, beware of insta-love. That just happens to occur during a dance, complete with magical wind effects [insert many eye rolls here]. I was able to overlook this, since the book was overall fairly light on the romance. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is a unique story that has a lot of promise. I liked the concept of the different witches, and I was especially intrigued by Iseult’s power. As a Threadwitch, she can see the colors of people’s “threads”, which indicate their feelings. She can see the ties that bind people to one another, as well as the ties that break at death. But the trade-off is that she doesn’t always understand her own feelings and cannot express them. She was a really interesting character who handled most situations with grace. We got a glimpse into her past, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about what is going on there. After I finished the book, I discovered that Susan Dennard and Sarah J. Maas are BFFs, which is too perfect. I could definitely see similarities in their styles, and I think fans of Sarah J. Maas would enjoy this book, as well.
“I guard the light-bringer, And protect the dark-giver. I live for the world-starte, And die for the shadow-ender. My blood, I offer freely. My Threads, I offer wholly. My eternal soul belongs to no one else. Claim my Aether. Guide my blade. From now until the end.”