Series: The Witchlands #1
Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: YA High Fantasy
Received: At BEA
Releases January 5th 2015 from Tor Teen
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.
Truthwitch has been one of the most hyped books in the blogging community in a while. People have already declared that they love it without reading it or having read her other series. Truthwitch definitely does deserve all of its hype and is an amazing book. The community has kind of gotten a bit too out of hand with pre-release hype. I am really glad that this was my first experience with Susan Dennard's books. I recently read Something Strange and Deadly, which was her debut and I have to say it wasn't that good. It was all over the place and just meh, which goes to show how much she has improved as an author.
The world of Truthwitch is the best part of this book. You should read this book for the world of it alone. It does have similarities to other YA, but it was done very well. It feels like fantasy. I liked how she built the world around people's abilities. They aren't necessarily witches, which I didn't mind. I liked how expansive it was all in the first book. So many fantasy novels don't really expand until later books. It was also great to see that she still left somethings to be explained in further books and didn't info dump. I really liked the court settings when we saw them and also the ships. Truthwitch has many different tones and moods, it isn't just one thing at a time. This has the best parts of my favorite fantasy novels in that it has tons of action, plenty of action, and great politics.
I fell in love with Safi right off the bat. I think when you have a book set around two friends you will either gravitate towards one or the other. The Safi/Iseult friendship reminds me a lot of Rose/Lissa from The Vampire Academy. It isn't a complete rip from that series, but just reminiscent for me in that I'm not the biggest Iseult fan. I find her hard to connect with. That is definitely more of my personal opinion, but I love her storyline. Her backstory, at times, was much more compelling than Safi. But Safi has this fire to her that I love. Their friendship is phenomenal and great to see in YA, because it is rarely done well.
The one downside for me with this book was the multiple POVs at the start of the novel were just too jumpy. They weren't long enough between switches between Safi and Iseult that became confusing. It did get better as I knew their voices and they separated.
I really love the perspective love interests. I like that we get hints at amazing romances to come, but we don't have fully fledged romances thus far. I loved that we have more character development first then romances to come.
I have so much excitement for this series and all of the exciting things to come. We did end on a cliffhanger and I will probably need to reread by the time the next book comes out. Truthwitch was exciting, magical, and fresh. I can't wait to experience more of Iseult and Safi's friendship and learn more about the Witchlands.
Have you read Truthwitch early? What did you think? Are you excited for Truthwitch?