REVIEW: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) *Spoiler-Free*

truthwitchTruthwitch

By Susan Dennard

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young 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.

Safi 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.

In 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.

So before I get started, I would like to say that I will be trying out a new format for my reviews. I’m not really feeling my old format of discussing my overall thoughts, then the world development, character development, and plot, so I decided that I would switch it up a bit. I won’t go into detail about my new review format (because who wants to read that?) instead, I’ll just jump right into the review and you’ll see for yourself! Oh! Also, if a book review is spoiler-free, I’m going to start marking it in the title of the review, like I did for this one.


This book was chosen for Hype or Like Friday’s book of the month. For more information on the group, visit it’s Goodreads page here. That being said, this book was definitely a like book for me. This book had everything I liked in a book and more. The writing was amazing, as were the characters. I was thoroughly engaged while reading this book.

Truthwitch is the first book in a new(ish) fantasy series about these two best friends, who each have their own powers, weaknesses, and differences, but are united by their loyalties to one another. One is a Truthwitch – she can tell whether somebody is lying or not – while the other is a Threadwitch – she can see the ways people are connected to one another as well as their feelings. They end up getting in some trouble and are on the run from a Bloodwitch – he’s known as The Devil and can track you by the scent of your blood no matter where you are. This book is non-stop action and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

“Everything had gone horribly wrong.”

From the opening line of this book, you get the sense that you’re in for a bumpy, yet thoroughly exciting ride. And the ride doesn’t slow down. The beginning of the book starts off with our protagonists in trouble, and everything just goes downhill from there. Their laid-out plans for a life together in the wonderful Venaza City is squandered and we’re thrust into the dangerous world of living as two outcasts in a daunting world filled with magic of all sorts. The stunning opening sequence shows the readers that the female protagonists in this book are the farthest away from damsels in distress as you could get. They are strong, powerful, and determined. But most importantly, they’re independent women who know that they want, and aren’t afraid to take it. Young adult literature needs more protagonists like these.

“She eased the blade away from his throat. Not gently – it cut through skin and dragged onward, as if she was too tired to even lift it.”

The beginning of this book was a bit on the slower side, and I  oftentimes found myself overwhelmed by all of the info-dumping, but it got easier to read after about the 100 page mark. Once you get past that, you will have to tear your eyes away from the pages. There are two main males in this book as well, one an antagonist, another an ally of sorts. I ship them both with the main female protagonists because I’m a fangirl at heart. But there isn’t an overwhelming romance in this book, which I was so relieved. Although this book was chosen for February (the month of love), the love in this book was between two girl best friends. You have no idea how refreshing that was for me to read about. Iseult and Safi are now my favorite fictional girl besties.

Although there were male love interests added into this book during the climax, they weren’t overwhelming in the slightest. One was hinted at, one happened, and another is just something I see in my fantasies. The girl’s friendship overruled any and every love interest present and that is exactly what the YA genre needed. I applaud Susan Dennard for writing such a wonderful pair of leading ladies.

“Threadsisters to the end.”

The ending of this book left we wanting more from this series, more of these characters and the world and the magic. I want to explore this world and delve deep into it’s murky and unexplored depths. But mostly, I want to know what happens to these characters that I’ve become to connected to. I don’t get connected to characters all that easily, so when I say that I was terrified for their lives in this book, you’ll know it’s the highest of compliments I could give. I’ve heard the second book isn’t as good as this book, but I will still give it a go because there is so much left to be explored.


Pros:

  • Iseult and Safi’s friendship.
  • The different kinds of magic.
  • The amazing, intricate writing.
  • The pacing and flow.
  • The antagonist.

Cons:

  • The first 100 pages.
  • The lack of explanation of the magic.

This book had it’s problems just like any other book, but it recovered quickly in the end. The characters were all unique in their own ways, with their own loyalties and agendas that kept you guessing what their true intentions were, as well as witty dialogue and wonderfully-written fight scenes. I can’t quite give this 5 stars, but I can’t settle for 4, so I give this book a solid 4.5 stars.

silver-star4-5

Also, let me know if you like my new review format! And let me know if you’ve read this book, and if you have, what did you think of it?

lots-of-love

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