Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard
Published: January 5th 2016 by Tor Teen
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.
In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.
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.
I can’t believe I have this on my shelf for months before I picked it up!!! Although now I wished I waited until my copy of Windwitch arrived in the mail so that I could just binge read them both. Unfortunately, I have to wait until the middle of February before my copy comes in because I pre-ordered another book. =( Lesson learned. One pre-order per order!
Each Well was linked to one of the five elements: Aether, Earth, Water, Wind, or Fire.
This book had all of the elements in a fantasy novel that I love most! It was action packed, had some light romance, magic, and a strong connection of friendship and family. The setting starts off when a 20 year peace treaty is about to end, and there are players who want it to continue and others who want it to end. Somehow, after years of keeping her witchery a secret, everyone seems to know that Safi is a Truthwitch.
It was the circle of perfect motion. Of the light-bringer and dark-giver, the world-starter and shadow-ender. Of initiation and completion.
Since everyone seems to be after Safi because of her powers, you kind of wonder what makes her so special. In the beginning, Safi was just your typical “special” snowflake main character who has a knack for getting herself and Iseult into a lot of trouble. Character wise I didn’t see what was so special about her. Thankfully, though Safi starts seeing the world isn’t all about her and that her actions could have some serious consequences. When Safi started changing about halfway through the book, I started to like her more as a character.
If you wanted to, Safiya, you could bend and shape the world.
The character I liked most in this book was Iseult! She was more level headed and more caring between the two. Iseult seemed to also have more of a backstory in how she got where she was before her and Safi went on the run. The one aspect that bothered me throughout this entire book was how everyone had a prejudice against Iseult, and we were never told why! Everywhere the pair went, someone would always say something insulting to Iseult and the extreme racism bothered me. Hopefully in the second book it will be explained! ::crosses fingers::
An epic fantasy is nothing without the villain! And the Bloodwitch, a mercenary for hire, made a fantastic villain. All he cared about was working for the highest payer, and why he couldn’t smell Iseults blood like everyone else. The premise from the second book sounds like him and Iseult are going to have a very interesting time together tracking down Safi. It seems as if our villain might not be a true villain and those make the most interesting of villains in my opinion!
I would definitely recommend this book if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet! It’s full of political scheming, action packed scenes, and sea monsters! The world building could have been a little bit better, but since there will be about 4 books in the series, I guess we have time for that?