Truthwitch by Susan Dennard – Book Review.

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.

My Review.

This series is actually a re-read for me. I realised how long it had been since I read the previous books and wanted to get back into the story and world before I read Witchshadow later this month. I loved this series the first time round and that love hasn’t diminished in my re-read. Safi and Iseult are two of my all time favourite characters and Dennard’s worldbuilding is truly immense.

In the world of the Witchlands, two witches Safiya Fon Hasstrel and Iseult det Midenzi find themselves in trouble yet again. Forced to flee their home the pair find themselves aboard a Nubrevnan ship in the care of Prince Merrick trying to escape both the Emperor of Cartorra & a Bloodwitch who has their scent. As usual nothing ever goes their way and both Safi and Iseult have to put their faith as well as their lives in the hands of the unlikeliest of people. War is coming to the Witchlands, a war in which Safi and Iseult will have both a part to play, they just need to make it out alive first.

I cannot tell you how much I love this series! It’s fun and fast paced with an incredible cast of characters I adore. Truthwitch is written from four different POV’s:

Safiya Fon Hasstrel is a Truthwitch, an extremely rare type of Witch who can tell when people are lying or telling the truth. She has had to keep her magic secret her whole life for fear of what people would do, or make her do if they ever found out, but the one person she has always been able to trust, the one person who knows her truth is her Threadsister Iseult.

Iseult det Midenzi is a Threadwitch, she can see the threads that build, the threads that bind and the threads that break. She can never see her own threads, but she doesnt need to see them to know that her and Safi are threadsisters. Her Nomasti heritage makes her an outcast nearly everywhere but with Safi by her side, Iseult feels like she could take on the world.

Merik is the Prince of Nubrevna & a Windwitch, someone able to control the air around them. In Cartorra to set up trade lines for his starving people, he jumps at the chance for a trade agreement, even if it means transporting the insufferable Safi safely across the sea. Only Safi doesn’t make it easy on him, and before long he may have to choose between the fate of his people and that of the strong and exasperating Truthwitch.

Aeduan is a Bloodwitch, his powers come from the Void something rare and dangerous, he can control the blood of others as well as using his own to accelerate his speed as well as healing himself from otherwise fatal wounds. Tasked with hunting down the Truthwitch he will do everything within his power to capture her & the Threadwitch she travels with who carries no scent.

Each character has their own distinct voice and personality making it easy to work out who’s POV you are reading from. Dennards writing style brings them all to life and I defy you to not fall a little in love with them all.

Though their is a romance arc, the main relationships that Dennard chooses to focus on are familial, be in biological or chosen. Safi and Iseult are both *different* from their families, somewhat of an outcast, but together, together they make the perfect pair. They are the Yin to the others Yang, Safi the irresponsible, more likely to jump into danger than think things through kind of girl, whereas Iseult is more likely to stand back, appraise the enemy and come up with a plan before doing anything drastic. I really loved the scenes where they worked/fought together, they make such a strong pair, but they also at times have to work out how to survive apart from each other, something that doesn’t always come easy.

With the Witchlands Dennard creates a world like no other. Everything from her magic system to her worldbuilding is off the charts, each book letting you travel to a different part of the continent, meeting a different race of people, learning about that cultures mythology and folklore. It really is an epic series, and Truthwitch is a great series opener. Dennard gives you an in depth introduction to the world, the history as well as an introduction to the different types of magic and how they are used.

Truthwitch is an incredibly fast paced story, I think the events of the book only span two weeks, but Dennard manages to pack a lot of action into those 14 days. This series is perfect for lovers of high fantasy, especially those who like a little humour alongside their near death experiences. I’m loving re-reading this series and if possible I’m loving it even more the second time around.


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