Guest review of Truth Witch is brought to you by Arkon & Annie
Release date: 5th January 2016
Series: The Witch Lands #1
About the book
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.
Disclaimer: This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned.
Why we chose it: There was a lot of love for this book when it came out and of course, Witches.
Review: At its core Truthwitch is a story about friendship and the threads that connect everyone together. It’s also a story about family. The family we’re born with and the family we choose. There are romantic elements to the book too, but that’s all they are. The never take over and divert the entire course of our main characters. Safiya and Iseult are what’s really important. Threadsisters because they’ve both saved the other from death. They have a bond that is so much stronger than blood and so very magical.
Safiya or Safi is a Truthwitch. She’s a very rare kind of witch and there are any that would anything to take control of her power. There are also those who would kill if they couldn’t have her. The fact that she’s always been able to tell truth from lie is a big part of her character. One could say her whole personality is built around it. It was obvious to us that she had a great deal of confidence because of it, but we all know what happens to a confident character.
The author puts them in situations where they doubt themselves and question things. The author makes them grow as a person and it was interesting to see how that was done in Safi’s case because not only did her awareness of herself and her personality grow and develop, she also learned a lot about her magic. Character and magic development all in one.
Exploring Safi’s character was a little exhausting for us because it’s like trying to separate the threads that break, the threads that build and the threads that bind. Impossible unless you’re a Threadwitch.
Iseult, Safi’s partner in crime and soulmate in a purely platonic way is one such witch. Being a Nomatsi she faces possible persecution in a different way than Safi. Hers is because of her looks. She’s become an adept user of moon scythes to combat that and throughout the book there are many times she displays her wonderful fighting skills. Being able to see how people connect and work together is something that’s always fascinated us so it’s no surprise that Iseult is our favourite character.
Truthwitch had a really interesting magic system because there are so many facets to it. There are at least six main categories of magic. Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Aether and Void magic. In each categories there are sub-sects. For example in Water there can be someone who’s magic is only good at healing and someone who can control any aspect of water. In Aether there exists the Truthwitches and the Threadwitches. Interesting, no? There’s definitely a lot still left for Susan Dennard to explore in future books.
We’ve noticed lately that a great deal of Young Adult fantasy worlds consists of three kingdoms. In Truthwitch we have the Dalmotti Empire, The Martoski Empire and the Catorran Empire. What’s nice about all that is that there’s also a little country called Nubrevna from which Prince Merrick hails. He’s one of the romantic elements we mentioned earlier, but his individual story-line doesn’t falter because of that.We’re curious to see more of his personal agenda and his country in the next book which is titled Windwitch.
Until now the action in this book has only bee briefly mentioned and there’s certainly a lot of it. Nearly every character in the novel is proficient in some kind of offensive talent. Whether it has to do with weapons or magic-it’s not lacking diversity. Our favourite though is a sort of passive aggressive offensive magic. Wordwitchery. A powerful Wordwitch can influence the mind and render a contract useless from the other side of an ocean.
We’d be unable to choose whether we’d want to be a Threadwitch or a Wordwitch and that’s what’s great about this book. There’s really something for everyone.
To sum up, Truthwitch is our first Susan Dennard novel and it certainly won’t be our last. She’s a talented writer who can blend action, magic, intrigue and romance in a near perfect blend. Of course there are some things about her writing like the overuse of the word for that annoy us, but it’s so tiny it really doesn’t detract from the great plot and characters.
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