Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: The Witchlands #1
Release Date: January 5th 2016
For months before its release, I kept on hearing about Truthwitch all over Twitter. All this hype brought my hopes up and I was expecting to read a great book full of magic and friendship.
Now, after reading it, I feel like I missed out on something. Is it just me? Did what I read just fly over my head? Actually, a lot of this book's lore flew over my head because I really did not know what was going on, and would have liked an in-depth explanation on a lot of the magic and the history. I went through the novel basically connecting the lines for myself and guessing what certain witches did or why did happened or the like. Cahr Arwen, I'm going to go on a leap here, and assume those are the sacred duo, the ying-to-the-yang, that the Carawen monks are looking for. Aether is the element opposite of Void, and one is all life giving while the other is life sucking. And it took me a whole book, but I'm going to wholeheartedly assume threadwitches see emotions and connections and feelings between people. I hope that I'm right. I'm not really sure if I'm right with any of this, so can someone correct me?
Before I start talking about the lore any longer, let's talk about the characters. Safiya and Iseult are two friends, threadsisters basically - Safi is a Truthwitch, who can see the difference between a truth and a lie (not all the time) and Iseult is a Threadwitch. They're partners in crime, with Iseult often being roped into Safiya's schemes. Prince Merik is a Prince of Nubrevna and captain of the ship Safiya and Iseult have to take to escape capture. Aeduan is a Bloodwitch with questionable motives and a goal of capturing the Truthwitch. And everyone is after Safiya's abilities, even though they aren't exactly the greatest...?
Safiya started off as funny and endearing, but at certain points, I can totally sympathize with Iseult and Merik for having to deal with her. She was annoying, but her devotion to Iseult went far and made her redeemable in the end. Her romance with Merik had a lot of tension and attraction that I found amusing, and Merik himself was adorable. He reminded me of a certain Prince Zuko, looking to reclaim his honor.
The minor characters like Evrane and Leopold were among my favorites, as well. This keeps on happening, me liking minor or less featured characters!
Ignoring the magic schematics that confused the hell out of me and some other confusing plot points, the story itself was intricate. The scheme that Safiya's uncle and friend Leopold had constructed to save Safiya and Iseult was clever. The fight scenes, especially the one between Iseult and Aeduan, were fun to read. I particularly was happy that there was so many badass female representation, in how the ruling class works in Nubrevna and how Vaness is a badass Ironwitch from Marstok.
I would have liked to have a stronger, better explained foundation on the lore of this world Susan Dennard has crafted, but I'll check out the sequel and hopefully I'll finally understand more of the magic then.