Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Title: Truthwitch 
Author: Susan Dennard 
Series: The Witchlands #1 
Genre: Fantasy, YA 
Publication date: January 5, 2016 
Rating: ★★★★★ 

Synopsis: 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.

I guard the light-bringer,
And protect the dark-giver.
I live for the world-starte,
And die for the shadow-ender.
My blood, I offer freely.
My Threads, I offer wholly.
My eternal soul belongs to no one else.
Claim my Aether.
Guide my blade.
From now until the end.

The beginning of the book is a bit hard to get into. The world building is pretty complex, which is obviously great, but it took me a while to get everything straight. Long story short there are multiple types of witchery, some good and others evil. But despite the fact that I had to be really focused to understand everything, I immediately fell in love with the two MCs.

The story focuses on two young witches: Safi and Iseult. They’re best friends, thread sisters and soul mates in every sense of the way. Their friendship is the most powerful thing in their lives and they would gladly die for one another. They share the secret of Safi’s power. Safi is a truthwitch and as far as she knows she is the last one of her kind. Therefore no one can know what she is or how powerful she can become. The moment they find out, they would try to use her for their own selfish purposes and the last thing she wants is to become a pawn in a war she doesn’t want to fight. Iseult on the other hand is a threadwitch and threadwitchery is considered a rather common kind of magic. But magic is never ‘simple’, as you will find out once you read this.

It wasn’t freedom she wanted. It was belief in something—a prize big enough to run for and to fight for and to keep on reaching toward no matter what.

They’re both very different and not just because of their magic. Safi is a bit wild. She is impulsive, a tad reckless, strong-minded, energetic and always looking for the next adventure. Put her in a crowded room and everyone will notice her. It’s just the way she is. Iseult is the opposite on many levels. She’s careful, thoughtful and prefers the shadows over the spotlight. The darkness to Safi’s light. She is every bit as strong and powerful but it might take people a while to realise just how careful they should be of her. But they are both really, really bad ass.

I admired the ease between Safi and Iseult. Outsiders wouldn’t see them as equals, but to each other they were never anything else. True friendship has been hard to come by lately. I feel like too many young adult novels invest too much in love interests and not enough in friendship. Susan Dennard proves there can be both! Because there is a love story developing for Safi (and.. in my head for Iseult as well *wishful thinking*) and even though it is a bit obvious at times, I was completely on board with it. SHIP!

A lot of people become tied to Safi and Iseult’s destinies. Aeduan is probably the most important one. He is a bloodwitch (a voidwitch) and he discovers pretty early on what Safi truly is. He’s a hunter out for blood and the girls have to bring everything in their power to outrun him. He’s so important he gets his own POV and I obviously loved him. He’s the kind of dark character with serious issues you can’t help but fall for. sorryi’mnotsorry;

Sometimes justice is all about the small victories.

The last POV is reserved for prince Merik. It is mostly by accident that he gets involved with Safi and Iseult. He is the prince of a small kingdom with a lot of visions for the future, but he lacks the actual power to change anything. He is not in line for the throne and his older sister has very different ideas on how to rule a country. So he tries, and tries and fails. Aren’t you just loving the tragedy already?

So basically the characters are the reason I loved this book so much. They were all so different and unique. Both good and dark and twisted and grey in the way I like it most. Every POV was interesting and I found it easy to connect to all of them. Iseult is my favourite, because I could best relate to her. Of all the characters she is the most like me, I think.

SO YES, I really loved this one and the series has the potential to become even better, so you should definitely read this if you like YA fantasy! The characters, the storyline – EVERYTHING. Beware though… you have to wait A ***** YEAR for the next book to release. God help me.

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