Title: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
Author: Susan DennardPublisher: Tor Teen
Publication date: January 5th, 2016
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
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.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)
I had so much expectations for Truthwitch, not just because I had to endure a moment very similar to the Cornucopia scene in The Hunger Games to grab a golden ticket for an ARC, or the fact that it boasts a badass synopsis and numerous blurbs from very influential Fantasy authors. No, a big factor that contributed to my high expectations was the general hype that came with its series announcement. The cover had just been released and the internet went wild so, I, being the very trusting reader and consumer delved into Truthwitch (after my mom kept telling me she'd spoil me the book if I didn't read it ASAP)... and I freaking loved it.
Truthwitch is literally a refreshing breath of fresh air after a long hike, after reading so many Fantasy novels that hinged on the same premise, Susan Dennard managed to unearth incredibly unique elements for her Fantasy debut; everything about it was so new and completely untapped and so gloriously enjoyable.
The friendship and inexplicable bond between Threadsisters, Safiya fon Hasstrel and Iseult det Midenzi were key elements that truly made this book. (I love that Safi and Iseult's relationship was based on Susan's real life friendship with Sarah J. Maas, it made the former two's bond even more tangible and relatable.) Iseult being the more level-headed and wiser of the duo, balances Safi's reckless and act-first-think-later attitude, creating a very solid foundation for the two characters' personalities and attributes. (One of my absolute favourite scenes in the book is when Iseult goes back to her clan's encampment and finds herself in a really sticky situation, but what really struck me the most about that event was her interaction with her mother. Susan Dennard really managed to pull at my heart-threads with that one. It also made me see that even though Iseult didn't particularly belong with her tribe or her family, she would always, always have Safiya with her and that moment was really special for me.)
I have to applaud Susan Dennard for the great execution of multiple POVs, it is so hard to find novels that switch POVs that are clean and not boring/confusing. Each POV shift in Truthwitch added its own significant contribution to the story that created even more intrigue and excitement. I absolutely could not get enough of Safiya and Merik's perspectives, those two manage to always find trouble. However, I would have loved to see more through Aeduan's eyes, the Bloodwitch is an unreliable narrator which I'm sure was Susan Dennard's goal from the beginning (that guy is hiding something, I'm telling you).
One thing Truthwitch had an abundance of other than crazy awesome fight sequences and badass witcheries was sexual tension. So. Much. Tension. I just wanted to grab everyone's necks and force them to kiss each other because oh my lord. *fans self* I'm really looking forward to seeing what else these series has in store for us with its romance aspect. But I'm actually glad that Truthwitch didn't focus too much on its romance, it left room for more growth in other areas. (Also, there is an abundance of hot guys in this book. Just sayin'.)
I kind of hate myself for reading this book back in July because the wait for Windwitch is insaane, especially after that ending. I literally found myself just staring at my copy of Truthwitch for a solid five minutes, I was that stunned. I can't explain what it was like without spoiling anything but oh my god, Susan Dennard knows how to end a book. It hurt so much but it hurt so good. Grr you, Sooz, for making me like and crave the pain.
You will not know what to expect with Truthwitch and when you finally dive into it and devour its words, sentences, and pages, it will blow out every expectation you have with its quickly paced and smooth story-telling, amazing, amazing characters and freaking out of this world magic-filled fight scenes, you will seriously be left begging for more. I actually hated myself for awhile because I didn't savor Truthwitch enough. I just couldn't resist, it was so good. You need it. Need. It.