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Review: Truthwitch

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Author:Susan Dennard

Series:Book 1

Rating★ ★ ★ ★ 


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.

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Safi was really headstrong and impulsive, but also very loyal to those she cared about.

Iseult was more coolheaded and really thought things out. She was less confident in herself than Safi, but she was also very loyal and pushed herself when necessary.

Merik was very driven and dedicated. He was passionate but also kind.

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If you wanted to, Safiya, you could bend and shape the world.” 

I know I’m a little late, but I’m finally starting this series! Honestly, I was really excited to start it because I’ve heard some great things, but it didn’t really blow me away the way I expected. Not to say that it was terrible, but I think I just wanted more from it and with it being the start of the series it ran into some bumps.

One thing that immediately jumped out at me when I started Truthwitch was the amount of information being thrown my way. Although it was spread out, it was still a lot. We were fed facts about the world, history, witcheries, etc.

Actually, the witcheries were probably the biggest issue for me. I felt like we were told these terms (threadsister, truthwitch, voidwitch) and not given enough information about them. Some of them were better covered than others. To be fair, the further into the book I read, the better I understood it. I got clues as to what it meant and what the witcheries could do. What I think would’ve helped was having a glossary in the back going into detail so that I didn’t spend so much time confused.

The first half of the book seemed to move a little slow to me, but there were parts I enjoyed. The first half really focused on the relationship between Iseult and Safiya, as well as Merik’s attempts to help his country. It was definitely more geared toward character development and establishing backstory/motivation for the characters—which isn’t bad, but I really wanted some action. Things did pick up once they were on the sea and running from Aeduan, and that’s when I started enjoying it more.

 Those who win wars are those who write history. 

Despite it taking some time to really get into the book I loved how Truthwitch set itself apart from other young adult series I read recently. It feels like many YA series these days put a big focus on romance and while I love romance in my novels as much as the next person—sometimes you want to explore other types of relationships. Truthwitch does an excellent job of this by putting the emphasis on friendship.

Strong, non-romantic bonds between characters are the driving force in Truthwitch. The first relationship we’re introduced to is between threadsisters Iseult and Safiya. Theirs is a friendship that is more like sisterhood; they would do anything for each other and their personalities are so opposite but complementary. However, each of them has something holding them back. For Safiya, it’s her magic. It puts a target on her back and sets in motion a series of events that could lead to war. In Iseult’s case, it’s her strange dreams and inability to create the threadstones. Then there are also threadbrothers Merik, a prince trying to prove himself a capable leader, and Kullen, his best friend who is sickly but more than willing to push his magic to the limits to ensure Merik succeeds and takes the throne.

Overall, I think the plot was slow to progress, but it was interesting enough to get me to push on. The characters were likable and had room for growth. I’m looking forward to reading Windwitch and seeing where the story goes next.



What did you think of this book?


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