“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.”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard was such a wild ride. This book came to me highly recommend by several other readers. As it happens, I have owned this book for quite some time but simply hadn’t had a chance to read it until now.
Truthwitch is unlike any book I have ever read. This might be because I haven’t delved into the adventure/fantasy genre too much in recent years, but I have to say that everything about this story felt entirely unique and original. I simply can’t compare this book to any others.
With that being said, it took me a little while to get into the story, for the following two reasons. First, I don’t feel that there was enough explained in the beginning for me to be able to follow along as closely as I would have liked. The concept behind Threadsisters, for example, was not really explained until halfway into the book; nor was the reasoning beyond the empires being at war, or the history of each empire.
This is information that I want to know before the story kicks off because, for one, it would have made all of the conflicts between Safi/Iseult and Merick/Aeudan make more sense. Nonetheless, these characters are strong and kept the plot moving forward, so I kept reading even though I was more than a little confused at certain points.
Finally, what really held me back from loving this book wholeheartedly was the writing itself. There were a number of times in which the language was incredibly crass. While reading, I would be so pulled into the world of the Witchlands with the descriptive language and world building, and suddenly a character would be cursing and it would pull me right back out. I am not a fan of this writing style, especially in this context, and I don’t think that it did this particular story any favors. It was a major distraction for me and kept me from fully embracing and enjoying the world of the Witchlands.
I loved the idea behind the Witchlands but the execution was a total miss for me. As we know, that can be a major let down. Right now, I’m not sure if I’ll continue reading the series.
Have you read any of the Witchlands books? What did you think about them?