Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard
Released: January 14th 2016
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
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.
Truthwitch was really good, guys. It wasn’t my absolute favourite book ever, but I understand why so many people have been excited about it - it’s definitely an addictive read (seriously, I finished it in a day). This is going to be a short (well, short for me) review, because I really feel like Truthwitch is one of those books you should go into without knowing too much - trust me, you’ll enjoy it so much more.
Truthwitch was, essentially, about two friends, Safi and Iseult. Safi was a Truthwitch, able to always determine truth from lie, and Iseult was a Threadwitch - a concept somewhat more difficult to explain (so read the book because Susan Dennard does it much better than I do) but basically involved the ability to see the threads (bonds) of individuals and those around them and how they connected. I loved how close Safi and Iseult were - they were Threadsisters who would never turn their backs on each other. Safi was in danger as a Truthwitch - her powers were highly sought after by those who wanted to use them for their own gain - and she had to spend a lot of time laying low and hiding. Iseult stuck by her and ugh guys I just loved these two so much. At first I really favoured Safi and enjoyed her POVs a lot more - she had some awesome fight scenes and she was hilarious and oh the parts with Merik (more on that later) and while she still is my favourite, I have to say, Iseult really grew on me. There was a strength to her that was different from Safi but which was equally as awesome and I loved getting to know more about her, her family, and her abilities toward the end of the book.
Prince Merik. I adored him. His point of view was one of my favourites, because his inner thoughts were just fantastic. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes focussed on whatever task at hand, I just, I can’t even explain to you what I mean, I’m not gifted enough (clearly, I read books, I don’t write them) - so please just pick up Truthwitch because then you’ll understand what I mean. And the romance! It’s started off rocky (that’s an understatement) but the way he and Safi connected over time…it was just brilliant. Really. I am so for this relationship, it’s unreal. And speaking of relationships…are we thinking Aeduan and Iseult for book two? I’d love to find out more about Aeduan, he was such an intriguing character.
Plot-wise, I don’t know where to start. I’m making this book sound less complex than it was - there was so much going on. There was politics and feminism and cool fighting action scenes and romance and humour and mystery and diverse characters and great world-building and fab secondary characters and a dancing scene that was amazing and so much more. As I said, I am not good enough with words to describe to you how excellent this book was, so please, just read it. I will admit it did have a bit of a slow start, but once you get past that, it’s non-stop exciting things until the end.