Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: 14th January 2016
No. Pages: 400
Source: Sent by the publisher
Buy at: BookDepository
Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.
Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.
Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
Truthwitch was one of my most anticipated releases of 2016, so when I received an ARC of it I was over the moon and a little nervous that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. Fortunately, it did not disappoint.
It’s hard to summarize Truthwitch but I’m going to try. The twenty year truce is coming to an end and the Witchlands are preparing for war. Threadsisters Safiya (a Truthwitch – she can discern truth from lie) and Iseult (a Threadwitch – she can see the invisible ‘threads’/bonds that bind us) flee from the empires desperate to get their hands on a Truthwitch. With the unwilling aid of Prince Merik (a Windwitch and prince of Nubrevna) and a revengeful bloodwitch on their tails, the girls struggle to evade capture.
This book focuses heavily on female friendships, which was so refreshing to see in a YA book. Safiya and Iseult are both strong and independent girls on their own, but it’s when they’re together that they truly become something spectacular. I loved seeing how both girls would go to the ends of the earth for one another and unlike the typical female relationships within YA, there was no cattiness between them. Safiya and Iseult are polar opposites, yet their love for one another is unwavering.
Safiya really develops over the course of this novel. When we first meet her all she wants is freedom from her title and responsibilities, but as the book progresses she begins to realise that she’s able to achieve something. She begins to want to do something important.
Iseult was probably my favourite character. She’s met with hostility from the vast majority of people she encounters, yet she never lets that get her down. She could have easily abandoned Safiya at any point, yet her loyalty never wavers – even when it could get her killed.
Then we have Prince Merik, my second favourite character. He’s got an unmatchable temper, which makes for some entertaining moments with Safiya. But it’s his willingness to do anything to open trade with another country to feed his starving people that I really admire.
Lastly, we have Aeduan, the bloodwitch. We don’t really learn enough about him for me to have an opinion but I feel as though whilst he was seen as a ‘villain’ in this book, he won’t be in the future books.
I loved Dennard’s writing style, my only complaint being that Truthwitch felt like a second book, in terms of getting the reader familiar with the world. We’re thrust straight into the action and it does take sometime to fully understand everything, but once you do the story is fantastic.
I was expecting a cliffhanger ending and now I cannot wait until the second book is released (I’d pay good money to get the book now!)