Truthwitch (Witchlands Series #1)

Truthwitch (Witchlands Series #1)

4.4 25
by Susan Dennard

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On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

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


On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

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 Safiya’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safiya 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 privateer) 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.

"An instant new classic."--Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author of Throne of Glass, on Susan Dennard's Truthwitch

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/19/2015
Dynamic storytelling and a fully imagined magical world distinguish Dennard’s (the Something Strange and Deadly series) first book in the Witchlands series. Iseult and Safiya are as different as two young women can be—one is noble-born, the other is from a despised people; one has the ability to see the threads of emotions in people, while the other can see truth. Yet their friendship and shared learning create a familial bond between them, making them Threadsisters. On the eve of the renegotiation of the Twenty Year Truce, which has kept peace across the ravaged lands, a single announcement is all it takes to upend their lives, sending them careening across the world, pursued by royalty and evil and spurred by something more powerful than themselves. Their adventures are dashed with a hint of romance and deeply imbued with the concept of loyalty. While this is a dense read with a lot of moving parts, Dennard’s rich descriptions, insightful characterizations, and breathtaking action sequences will keep readers on their toes. Ages 13–up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

“Make room on your all-time favorites shelf: Truthwitch is an instant new classic. It reminded me of why I started reading fantasy in the first place: its fierce and vibrant world, richly-drawn characters, and dazzling intrigue harken to the best of Megan Whalen Turner, Robin Hobb, and Jacqueline Carey. And while it pays homage to the epic fantasies that have come before it, it also lays the foundation for a bright new chapter in the genre. I haven't been so enthralled and inspired by a book since I first read Lloyd Alexander's The Book of Three. Do not miss out!” —Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series

Truthwitch has all of the elements I savor-a richly imagined magical world, ruthless politics, steamy romance, and characters who grab you and won't let go. At its heart, a partnership between two strong young women who might change the world.” —Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Realms series

“Featuring vibrant characters and an innovative system of magic, Susan Dennard's Truthwitch is a fast-paced adventure and a wonderful tribute to the power of the binding ties of friendship.” —Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the Kushiel’s Legacy series

“Sometimes, from not even halfway through a book, you know that you're going to make everyone you know read it. It's a book that, by the time you get to the end you crave the next book as if it were the most addicting chocolate on the planet. Truthwitch is that book for me. Gorgeously written, elegantly built, and perfect for ANY reader-Truthwitch is something you will not want to miss. Seriously.” —Rachel Strolle, Andersons Bookshop

“Full of magic, unbreakable friendships, and purpose, Truthwitch is absolutely everything I look for in a fantasy. Dennard's stunning prose weaves a lush and wonderful adventure tale that has already hooked this reader and will utterly enchant everyone else.” —Gaby Salpeter, Books of Wonder

New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Sarah J. Maas

Make room on your all-time favorites shelf: Truthwitch is an instant new classic. It reminded me of why I started reading fantasy in the first place: its fierce and vibrant world, richly-drawn characters, and dazzling intrigue harken to the best of Megan Whalen Turner, Robin Hobb, and Jacqueline Carey. And while it pays homage to the epic fantasies that have come before it, it also lays the foundation for a bright new chapter in the genre. I haven't been so enthralled and inspired by a book since I first read Lloyd Alexander's The Book of Three. Do not miss out!
New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Rea Cinda Williams Chima

Truthwitch has all of the elements I savor-a richly imagined magical world, ruthless politics, steamy romance, and characters who grab you and won't let go. At its heart, a partnership between two strong young women who might change the world.
New York Times bestselling author of the Kushiel&r Jacqueline Carey

Featuring vibrant characters and an innovative system of magic, Susan Dennard's Truthwitch is a fast-paced adventure and a wonderful tribute to the power of the binding ties of friendship.
VOYA, February 2016 (Vol. 38, No. 6) - Lauren Straub
The fantasy world of The Witchlands begins near the end of a twenty-year peace agreement among the warring nations of Cartorra, Marstok, and Dalmotti. Safiya, a noble-born Truthwitch whose wish is to hide her powers from those who do not know her, and Iseult, a Threadwitch who is shunned by society because of her Nomatsi background, are Threadsisters—bound together by Iseult saving Safi’s life six years earlier. The two secret witches find themselves in trouble after they are caught in the midst of a heist, but realize that the conflict runs deeper than they expect. As war looms, Safi does not want to be a part of her noble blood, especially because her powers of truth could be dangerous and deadly when dealing with fighting countries. Readers who enjoy fantasy worlds of battling empires, magical characters of worthy and wicked causes, and medieval settings of empires will easily delve into this fast-paced first installment of The Witchlands. Within the classroom, inference skills will help readers understand how this fictional world functions. Multiple character motivation plotlines will build the central themes of loyalty, friendship, and the telltale battle of good versus evil. Reviewer: Lauren Straub; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In a land where witches are numerous and their specialties vary enormously, Safiya fon Hasstrel is a rare entity. A reluctant member of the Cartorran Empire's nobility, she is also a Truthwitch who can determine whether someone is telling the truth or lying. Iseult is a Threadwitch who can read the invisible bonds between people but is a societal outcast. As Threadsisters, they are inseparable and only wish to live in peace. But the Twenty Year Truce is about to end, and the rulers of the largest empires are positioning themselves for the oncoming war. Safiya's skill makes her a valuable commodity for those who seek greater power. Chased by a fearsome Bloodwitch mercenary and the military forces of the warring nations, the young women flee on a ship with Prince Merik, a Windwitch and admiral of Nubrevna who will do anything to save his starving empire. The book is told from the alternating points of view of hot-headed Safiya, scheming Iseult, purposeful Merik, and the ruthless Bloodwitch Aeduan, and the motivations of these main characters, as well as many of the secondary ones, are clearly defined. A masterfully told tale loaded with political intrigue, magic, harrowing fight scenes and escapes, mythical creatures, legendary prophesies, breakneck adventure, and even romance, this book will have readers breathlessly awaiting the sequel. Because of the complex plotting and numerous characters, readers may want to peruse this book a second time to catch the early references to important plot elements. VERDICT A great choice for fans of fantasy adventure and strong female characters.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Two devoted friends dreaming of independence contend with unfathomable magic and the schemes of empires in this action-packed series opener. Safiya and Iseult are an unlikely pair. Safi, the hotheaded daughter of an impoverished but noble family, is a Truthwitch, born with the rare ability to tell if someone is telling the truth or lying. Quiet Iseult is a Nomatsi Threadwitch, despised for her ethnic identity but gifted with the ability to perceive the emotions of others as colored threads. When the two friends become fugitives from the law, they decide to flee together, not realizing that Safi's witchery has already made them targets in a larger political struggle. Dennard (Strange and Ever After, 2014, etc.) jumps from alternate history with zombies to epic fantasy with this new series. Her worldbuilding is impressively detailed, though neither the vaguely European setting nor the magic system breaks much new ground. The cinematic action scenes keep the storytelling brisk, and the rotating third-person narration introduces not only Safi and Iseult, but also Merik, the prince of an impoverished small nation, and Aeduan, a mercenary. The overall characterization is uneven, but readers captivated by the intense friendships and burgeoning romances will probably be happy to overlook the novel's flaws. Epic adventure and steamy smooches make for a crowd-pleasing formula. (Fantasy. 13-18)

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Witchlands Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


By Susan Dennard

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2015 Susan Dennard
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-6732-1


Everything had gone horribly wrong.

None of Safiya fon Hasstrel's hastily laid plans for this holdup were unfolding as they ought.

First, the black carriage with the gleaming gold standard was not the target Safi and Iseult had been waiting for. Worse, this cursed carriage was accompanied by eight rows of city guards blinking midday sun from their eyes.

Second, there was absolutely nowhere for Safi and Iseult to go. Up on their limestone outcropping, the dusty road below was the only path to Veñaza City. And just as this thrust of gray rock overlooked the road, the road overlooked nothing but turquoise sea forever. It was seventy feet of cliff pounded by rough waves and even rougher winds.

And third — the real kick in the kidneys — was that as soon as the guards marched over the girls' buried trap and the firepots within exploded ... Well, then those guards would be scouring every inch of the cliffside.

"Hell-gates, Iz." Safi snapped down her spyglass. "There are four guards in each row. Eight times four makes ..." Her face scrunched up. Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen ...

"It's thirty-two," Iseult said blandly.

"Thirty-two thrice-damned guards with thirty-two thrice-damned crossbows."

Iseult only nodded and eased back the hood of her brown cape. The sun lit up her face. She was the perfect contrast to Safi: midnight hair to Safi's wheat, moon skin to Safi's tan, and hazel eyes to Safi's blue.

Hazel eyes that were now sliding to Safi as Iseult plucked away the spyglass. "I hate to say 'I told you so' —"

"Then don't."

"— but," Iseult finished, "Everything he said to you last night was a lie. He was most certainly not interested in a simple card game." Iseult ticked off two gloved fingers. "He was not leaving town this morning by the northern highway. And I bet" — a third finger unfurled — "his name wasn't even Caden."

Caden. If ... no, when Safi found that Chiseled Cheater, she was going to break every bone in his perfect rutting face.

Safi groaned and banged her head against the rock. She'd lost all of her money to him. Not just some, but all.

Last night had hardly been the first time Safi had bet all of her — and Iseult's — savings on a card game. It wasn't as if she ever lost, for, as the saying went, You can't trick a Truthwitch.

Plus, the winnings off one round alone from the highest-stake taro game in Veñaza City would have bought Safi and Iseult a place of their own. No more living in an attic for Iseult, no more stuffy Guildmaster's guest room for Safi.

But as Lady Fate would have it, Iseult hadn't been able to join Safi at the game — her heritage had banned her from the highbrow inn where the game had taken place. And without her Threadsister beside her, Safi was prone to ... mistakes.

Particularly mistakes of the strong-jawed, snide-tongued variety who plied Safi with compliments that somehow slipped right past her Truthwitchery. In fact, she hadn't sensed a lying bone in Chiseled Cheater's body when she'd collected her winnings from the in-house bank ... Or when Chiseled Cheater had hooked his arm in hers and guided her into the warm night ... Or when he'd leaned in for a chaste yet wildly heady kiss on the cheek.

I will never gamble again, she swore, her heel drumming on the limestone. And I will never flirt again.

"If we're going to run for it," Iseult said, interrupting Safi's thoughts, "then we need to do so before the guards reach our trap."

"You don't say." Safi glared at her Threadsister, who watched the incoming guards through the spyglass. Wind kicked at Iseult's dark hair, lifting the wispy bits that had fallen from her braid. A distant gull cried its obnoxious scree, scr-scree, scr-scree!

Safi hated gulls; they always shit on her head.

"More guards," Iseult murmured, the waves almost drowning out her words. But then louder, she said, "Twenty more guards coming from the north."

For half a moment, Safi's breath choked off. Now, even if she and Iseult could somehow face the thirty-two guards accompanying the carriage, the other twenty guards would be upon them before they could escape.

Safi's lungs burst back to life with a vengeance. Every curse she'd ever learned rolled off her tongue.

"We're down to two options," Iseult cut in, scooting back to Safi's side. "We either turn ourselves in —"

"Over my grandmother's rotting corpse," Safi spat.

"— or we try to reach the guards before they trigger the trap. Then all we have to do is brazen our way through."

Safi glanced at Iseult. As always, her Threadsister's face was impassive. Blank. The only part of her that showed stress was her long nose — it twitched every few seconds.

"Once we're through," Iseult added, drawing her hood back into place and casting her face in darkness, "we'll follow the usual plan. Now hurry."

Safi didn't need to be told to hurry — obviously she would hurry — but she bit back her retort. Iseult was, yet again, saving their hides.

Besides, if Safi had to hear one more I told you so, she'd throttle her Threadsister and leave her carcass to the hermit crabs.

Iseult's feet hit the gritty road, and as Safi descended nimbly beside her, dust plumed around her boots — and inspiration struck.

"Wait, Iz." In a flurry of movement, Safi swung off her cape. Then with a quick slash-rip-slash of her parrying knife, she cut off the hood. "Skirt and kerchief. We'll be less threatening as peasants."

Iseult's eyes narrowed. Then she dropped to the road. "But then our faces will be more obvious. Rub on as much dirt as you can." As Iseult scrubbed her face, turning it a muddy brown, Safi wound the hood over her hair and wrapped the cape around her waist. Once she'd tucked the brown cloak into her belt, careful to hide her scabbards beneath, she too slathered dirt and mud over her cheeks.

In less than a minute, both girls were ready. Safi ran a quick, scrutinizing eye over Iseult ... but the disguise was good. Good enough. Her Threadsister looked like a peasant in desperate need of a bath.

With Iseult just behind, Safi launched into a quick clip around the limestone corner, her breath held tight ... Then she exhaled sharply, her pace never slowing. The guards were still thirty paces from the buried firepots.

Safi flashed a bumbling wave at a mustached guard in the front. He lifted his hand, and the other guards came to an abrupt stop. Then, one by one, each guard's crossbow leveled on the girls.

Safi pretended not to notice, and when she reached the pile of gray pebbles that marked the trap, she cleared it with the slightest hop. Behind her, Iseult made the same, almost imperceptible leap.

Then the mustached man — clearly the leader — raised his own crossbow. "Halt."

Safi complied, letting her feet drag to a stop — while also covering as much ground as she could. "Onga?" she asked, the Arithuanian word for yes. After all, if they were going to be peasants, they might as well be immigrant peasants.

"Do you speak Dalmotti?" the leader asked, looking first at Safi. Then at Iseult.

Iseult came to a clumsy stop beside Safiya. "We spwik. A litttttle." It was easily the worst attempt at an Arithuanian accent that Safiya had ever heard from Iseult's mouth.

"We are ... in trouble?" Safi lifted her hands in a universally submissive gesture. "We only go to Veñaza City."

Iseult gave a dramatic cough, and Safi wanted to throttle her. No wonder Iz was always the cutpurse and Safi the distraction. Her Threadsister was awful at acting.

"We want a city healer," Safi rushed to say before Iseult could muster another unbelievable cough. "In case she has the plague. Our mother died from it, you see, and ohhhh, how she coughed in those final days. There was so much blood —"

"Plague?" the guard interrupted.

"Oh, yes." Safi nodded knowingly. "My sister is very ill."

Iseult heaved another cough — but this one was so convincing, Safi actually flinched ... and then hobbled to her. "Oh, you need a healer. Come, come. Let your sister help you."

The guard turned back to his men, already dismissing the girls, already bellowing orders: "Back in formation! Resume march!"

Gravel crunched; footsteps drummed. The girls trudged onward, passing guards with wrinkled noses. No one wanted Iseult's "plague" it would seem.

Safi was just towing Iseult past the black carriage when its door popped wide. A saggy old man leaned his scarlet-clad torso outside. His wrinkles shook in the wind.

It was the leader of the Gold Guild, a man named Yotiluzzi, whom Safi had seen from afar — at last night's establishment, no less.

The old Guildmaster clearly didn't recognize Safi, though, and after a cursory glance, he lifted his reedy voice. "Aeduan! Get this foreign filth away from me!"

A figure in white stalked around the carriage's back wheel. His cape billowed, and though a hood shaded his face, there was no hiding the knife baldric across his chest or the sword at his waist.

He was a Carawen monk — a mercenary trained to kill since childhood.

Safi froze, and without thinking, she eased her arm away from Iseult, who twisted silently behind her. The guards would reach the girls' trap at any moment, and this was their ready position: Initiate. Complete.

"Arithuanians," the monk said. His voice was rough, but not with age — with underuse. "From what village?" He strolled a single step toward Safi.

She had to fight the urge not to cower back. Her Truthwitchery was suddenly bursting with discomfort — a grating sensation, as if skin were being scratched off the back of her neck.

And it wasn't his words that set Safi's magic to flaring. It was his presence. This monk was young, yet there was something off about him. Something too ruthless — too dangerous — to ever be trusted.

He pulled back his hood, revealing a pale face and close-cropped brown hair. Then, as the monk sniffed the air near Safi's head, red swirled around his pupils.

Safi's stomach turned to stone.


This monk was a rutting Bloodwitch. A creature from the myths, a being who could smell a person's blood — smell their very witchery — and track it across entire continents. If he latched onto Safi's or Iseult's scent, then they were in deep, deep


Gunpowder burst inside firepots. The guards had hit the trap.

Safi acted instantly — as did the monk. His sword swished from its scabbard; her knife came up. She clipped the edge of his blade, parrying it aside.

He recovered and lunged. Safi lurched back. Her calves hit Iseult, yet in a single fluid movement, Iseult kneeled — and Safi rolled sideways over her back.

Initiate. Complete. It was how the girls fought. How they lived.

Safi unfurled from her flip and withdrew her sword just as Iseult's moon scythes clinked free. Far behind them, more explosions thundered out. Shouts rose up, the horses kicked and whinnied.

Iseult spun for the monk's chest. He jumped backward and skipped onto the carriage wheel. Yet where Safi had expected a moment of distraction, she only got the monk diving at her from above.

He was good. The best fighter she'd ever faced.

But Safi and Iseult were better.

Safi swooped out of reach just as Iseult wheeled into the monk's path. In a blur of spinning steel, her scythes sliced into his arms, his chest, his gut — and then, like a tornado, she was past.

And Safi was waiting. Watching for what couldn't be real and yet clearly was: every cut on the monk's body was healing before her eyes.

There was no doubt now — this monk was a thrice-damned Bloodwitch straight from Safi's darkest nightmares. So she did the only thing she could conjure: she threw her parrying knife directly at the monk's chest.

It thunked through his rib cage and embedded deep in his heart. He stumbled forward, hitting his knees — and his red eyes locked on Safi's. His lips curled back. With a snarl, he wrenched the knife from his chest. The wound spurted ...

And began to heal over.

But Safi didn't have time for another strike. The guards were doubling back. The Guildmaster was screaming from within his carriage, and the horses were charging into a frantic gallop.

Iseult darted in front of Safi, scythes flying fast and beating two arrows from the air. Then, for a brief moment, the carriage blocked the girls from the guards. Only the Bloodwitch could see them, and though he reached for his knives, he was too slow. Too drained from the magic of healing.

Yet he was smiling — smiling — as if he knew something that Safi didn't. As if he could and would hunt her down to make her pay for this.

"Come on!" Iseult yanked at Safi's arm, pulling her into a sprint toward the cliffside.

At least this was part of their plan. At least this they had practiced so often they could do it with their eyes closed.

Just as the first crossbow bolts pounded the road behind them, the girls reached a waist-high boulder on the ocean side of the road.

They plunked their blades back into scabbards. Then in two leaps, Safi was over the rock — and Iseult too. On the other side, the cliff ran straight down to thundering white waves.

Two ropes waited, affixed to a stake pounded deep into the earth. With far more speed and force than was ever intended for this escape, Safi snatched up her rope, hooked her foot in a loop at the end, gripped a knot at head level ...

And jumped.


Air whizzed past Safi's ears and up her nose as she sprang out ... down toward white waves ... away from the seventy-foot cliff ...

Until Safi reached the rope's end. With a sharp yank that shattered through her body and tore into her gripping hands, she flew at the barnacle-covered cliffside.

This was about to hurt.

She hit with a crash, teeth ramming her tongue. Pain sizzled through her body. Limestone cut her arms, her face, her legs. She snapped out her hands to grip the cliff — just as Iseult slammed into the rocks beside her.

"Ignite," Safi grunted. The word that triggered the rope's magic was lost in the roar of ocean waves — but the command hit its mark. In a flash of white flame that shot up faster than eyes could travel, their ropes ignited ...

And disintegrated. A fine ash kicked away on the wind. A few specks settled on the girls' kerchiefs, their shoulders.

"Arrows!" Iseult roared, flattening herself against the rock as bolts zipped past. Some skittered off the rocks, some sank into waves.

One sliced through Safi's skirt. Then she'd managed to dig her toes in cracks, grab for handholds, and scramble sideways. Her muscles trembled and strained until at last, she and Iseult had ducked beneath a slight overhang. Until at last, they could pause and let the arrows fall harmlessly around them.

The rocks were wet, the barnacles vicious, and water swept at the girls' ankles. Salty drops battered over and over. Until eventually the arrows stopped falling.

"Are they coming?" Safi rasped at Iseult.

Iseult shook her head. "They're still there. I can feel their Threads waiting."

Safi blinked, trying to get the salt from her eyes. "We're going to have to swim, aren't we?" She rubbed her face on her shoulder; it didn't help. "Think you can make it to the lighthouse?" Both girls were strong swimmers — but strong didn't matter in waves that could pummel a dolphin.

"We don't have a choice," Iseult said. She glanced at Safi with a fierceness that always made Safi feel stronger. "We can toss our skirts left, and while the guards shoot those, we dive right."

Safi nodded, and with a grimace, she angled her body so she could remove her skirt. Once both girls had their brown skirts free, Iseult's arm reared back.

"Ready?" she asked.

"Ready." Safi heaved. The skirt flew out from beneath the overhang — Iseult's right behind it.

And then both girls stepped away from the rock face and sank beneath the waves.

* * *

As Iseult det Midenzi wriggled free from her sea-soaked tunic, boots, pants, and finally underclothes, everything hurt. Every peeled-off layer revealed ten new slices from the limestone and barnacles, and each burst of spindrift made her aware of ten more.

This ancient, crumbling lighthouse was effective for hiding, but it was inescapable until the tide went out. For now, the water outside was well above Iseult's chest, and hopefully that depth — as well as the crashing waves between here and the marshy shoreline — would deter the Bloodwitch from following.

The interior of the lighthouse was no larger than Iseult's attic bedroom over Mathew's coffee shop. Sunlight beamed in through algae-slimed windows, and wind tugged sea foam through the arched door.


Excerpted from Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. Copyright © 2015 Susan Dennard. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor, Susan Dennard traveled the world as marine biologist. She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series as well as the forthcoming Witchlands series, and when not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, exploring tidal pools, or practicing her tap dance shuffles.

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Truthwitch (Witchlands Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in a day and I wish I would have slowed down because I missed reading it right after I finished! I can't wait for more in the series and to see what happens to all the loveable characters. I really fell In love with the world the author created and the people living within it. The action in this book is constant and makes you never want to put it down. If you're thinking of buying you definitely should!!
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Magic is as common as breathing in the Witchlands. But not all witcheries are created equal as two Thread Sisters know all too well. Safiya is a Truthwitch able to use her magic to tell when someone is lying to her while Iseult is a Threadwitch able to see the threads that bind everyone together--except for her own. Together, they have spent years keeping Safi's witchery a secret, knowing that it could be seen as a valuable tool or a dangerous weapon. Safi and Iseult are used to getting into trouble as they prepare for the life they'd like to lead together free of societal obligations and pressures. When a Bloodwitch catches Safi's scent, both girls are forced into hiding as fugitives. With the help of their witcheries and unlikely allies including a Nubrevnan captain (and Windwitch) named Merik, Safi and Iseult might be able to survive the storm that is coming. But only if they can manage to stay together in Truthwitch (2016) by Susan Dennard. Truthwitch is the start of Dennard's new Witchlands series. This book is written in alternating close third-person perspectives. The majority of the story follows Safiya and Iseult although Merik and Aeduan (the Bloodwitch) also carry key parts of the narrative. In any ensemble book, there is the risk that one character will be more appealing than others. That risk is compounded when the character is decidedly not the center of the narrative. Given the strong theme of friendship and camaraderie, it's easy to argue that Safi and Iseult are equally important to the story. On the other hand, in a book called Truthwitch, perhaps it isn't surprising that the story revolves around the decidedly less interesting Safi instead of Iseult. Many novels are based on the idea that the main character is unique or important. Safi, as a rare Truthwitch, is both. She is also, like many of these same unique and important characters, essentially the worst at what she does. Safi tries to keep her witchery a secret. She fools no one. Safi tries to save her friend. She almost gets that friend killed. In other words, Safi is reckless and thoughtless and shows almost no growth by the end of Truthwitch. Breakneck pacing and a shoe-horned romance (plus fairly clear foreshadowing of future "ships") flesh out the story without much nuance. While Dennard has created a complex world with well-researched details, Truthwitch never lingers long enough on any one piece to let readers appreciate these details. Truthwitch is an interesting start to a new series sure to appeal to readers looking for new lighter fantasy fare. Ideal for readers seeking an action-heavy, plot-driven story.
Chelsea016 17 days ago
So I think I did myself a favor by waiting to read this book. It's been on my TBR for a while, probably from back when it was in the initial stages of the book press and the hype was still fairly new. I did feel like this one got very over-hyped and as such, even though it's a book that's right up my alley, I was both excited to get it and wary of reading it. However, Susan delivers a wonderful story! Whether or not waiting was the right thing to do (regardless of all the other books I needed to finish reading...), this book was fantastic! The world-building, magic, characters, the romance (UH-MAZING!!), all of it, was just so, wonderful! The beginning felt like it was a little slow, and it did take me a little bit to get actually into the story, but once it started rolling, it didn't stop. There were so many surprises, twists, secrets and reveals that had me occasionally wanting to scream. I really liked that while this is definitely a fantasy novel, and there were hints of romance and all that stuff thrown in, it really focused on the friendship between Safi and Iseult. The two of them each had their own wonderful personalities, quirks, strengths/weaknesses and they played off of each other beautifully. I really would love to have some sort of something that shows more of how they met and became the Threadsisters that we know in the book. The romance in this book though! OH. MY. GOD!!! Not only were there a couple of established romances (Habim/Mathew, Kullen/Ryber (view spoiler)), but there were hints at some others (Merik/Safi (If these two aren't Heart-Threads, I'm going to be very suprised) and also maybe (view spoiler). But yeah, getting back to Merik and Safi. The tension between them was done so well, especially when they met at the ball and danced their dance...oh man! And then you have their little interactions throughout the journey to Lejna and of course the kissing! Good lord! I wanted more of that, let's be honest. I needed them to continue! And then when Safi made the comment about (view spoiler), I wanted to have a heart attack. Then there's Leopold. He's clearly kind of got a secondary agenda going on here, and something tells me that there's more to whatever Witchery he's got than meets the eye. Like Eron, I wonder how much of Leopold's personality is a mask that he's developed for whatever reason. Hmm...then you've got the fact that he completely vanished from Noden's Gift and after his conversation with Aeduan, I wonder where he's going. The ending was sort of a cliffhanger, but not in the way that you would think. There's not really much worry that anyone is alive/dead, it's mostly worry that one person or another feels like they've failed. So YAY! for no unknown fates, BOO! for having to wait for Windwitch...
AReadingRedSox 6 months ago
The first novel in a new fantasy series, TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard follows best friends and witches Safi and Iseult as they trek across the dangerous Witchlands. Both running from things they cannot control, the friends fight against rival leaders, treacherous futures, and the high seas in search of their freedom. Along the way, Safi and Iseult encounter Merik, a prince fighting desperately to safe his people, and Aeduan, a Bloodwitch trying to decide where his loyalties lie. TRUTHWITCH is a fantastic novel, and is perfect for fans of epic adventures, great friendships, and sizzling romance.
Anonymous 7 months ago
thelonereader 8 months ago
Truthwitch was extremely hyped by the end of last year; in fact, it was hyped so much that I, unfortunately enough, unconsciously began believing that there was no way the book would live up to its hype. There were promises of immersive world-building, shippy ships, and exquisite relationships (platonic, thank you very much), and much to my surprise, this book delivered. Mostly. It definitely took a while to get into, but it was pretty satisfying when everything was said and done. Of course, I had to stew in the world for a couple of weeks, and it took me more than half of the book to become legitimately invested in the characters and interested in their outcomes, but in the end, I'm glad I stuck with this one despite the struggles I faced with it. Readers are immediately thrown into the world of the Witchlands, with not even a crash course, historical recap, or character introduction to settle readers into the plot. Instead, we meet Safiya and Iseult right in the thick of things as they are attempting to get revenge on a man that wronged Safi - Safi's brilliant idea, of course. Needless to say, things go on from there, and this book doesn't slow its pace there. This abrupt landing into the novel made it a bit difficult for me to find my balance with this book and understand who and what went where in the world, and because this isn't the smooth ride most books present, it seems to weed out readers, in a way - only people genuinely interested in what the story has to offer will continue with it. Or, let's be honest, a person who has nothing better to do. I found it extremely difficult to connect with any part of this story for a very long time, and was not at all even vaguely interested until I was nearing the end of the novel. However, once near the end, everything that happened from the beginning began to fix together and form a marvelous mosaic of intrigue, betrayal, friendship, and doubt that I was finally able to begin to appreciate. After all this time spent watching the characters from a rather distant perspective and experiencing some rather intense scenes between characters that I may not have fully admired, after all the unique bleh expressions I used to describe this book whenever someone asked me how I was liking this one so far, the story finally made me feel something. More specifically, some of the things in the novel that made me feel other, wonderful things were: Iseult and the Bloodwitch: Though I was pretty sure that shipping Merik and Safi were supposed to be my priority, the crazy thick tension/incomprehensible relationship/connection between Iseult and the Bloodwitch was what kept my attention. And did I mention he's a very scary man who is intent on ruthlessly killing Safi (and Iseult as well, just 'cause)? Merik and Safi: Okay, despite the predictability of the relationship, Merik and Safi being idiots around each other was pretty fun to watch too. ISEULT AND SAFI'S FRIENDSHIP AND BOND. THEY ARE GOALS. The fictional world: When looking back, the book is reminiscent of ADSOM in terms of the style of the world, as well as the genre and feel/tone of the book in general. In all honestly, I feel like this book would have been perfection if only I had gone into it with the right mindset. Perhaps since I'd expected this to disappoint me, for most of the book I was convinced that it did.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I read this book in one day. It was amazing, wonderful, and exciting. I loved the two main characters and their amazing friendship. I cannot wait for the next book. I highly recommend this one. Great read.
ashleyann120 More than 1 year ago
This book definitely deserves the hype around it. I really love books that delve deep into the characters and develop them fully. Truthwitch did just that with the two main characters. I love the relationship between them, and you can really see how they ALWAYS have each others backs, no matter what. I can't wait to see what happens in book 2!
erinlee20 More than 1 year ago
The minute I knew that Susan Dennard was going to be writing another book it was on my to be read shelf. First, I loved her Something Strange and Deadly series. Second, she writes fantastic stories. Third, this book has elemental magic with a wide variety of characters. If I had to guess, this was the most wanted book at BEA and I happened to be one of the lucky ones who got my hands on a copy. I forced myself to hold off on reading it for a few months because I am an impatient reader by which I mean, the second I finished this, I knew I was going to want book two in my hands. I’m fairly positive my review will not do this book justice so if you take one thing from the details below, let it be the fact that you NEED to read it. Truthwitch opens immediately with action and Dennard carries that throughout the entire book. From the very first page I was pulled into Safiya and Iseult’s story. I loved that both of these character’s points of views were covered and they are equally main characters to this book even though we do get more of one than the other, I thought they were set up to be equally important…if that makes sense. It is easy to see why these two get along as they truly do balance each other out. Where Safiya tends to act rashly and figure things out when she realizes she’s in trouble, Iseult is the cool headed one that tries to think things through and ultimately helps Safiya get out of tight situations. The friendship between these two is fantastic and it was great to see how these two were willing to do whatever they needed to in order to keep each other safe. I found the magic in this book interesting. You have a threadwitch, a truthwitch, a windwitch, a bloodwitch…and so many more I am sure. I loved learning about the structure of the world that Dennard has built out here and centered around the magic. The world itself is structured well and the segmentation that Dennard has built out between the types of magic and people made it interesting. Whether the characters were running through a city, floating on a boat, or trekking through unfamiliar territory, the descriptions and world building was fantastic. There are a number of other characters in this series and I don’t want to say so much but I’m excited to learn more about how all of them will connect. Already in book one there are some paths crossing that I didn’t see coming and some characters that were introduced had limited page time and I can’t wait to learn more about them. It would be remiss of me to not mention the boys in this book…especially Prince Merik. I thought he was fantastic. His introduction to Safiya was perfect and then as the story continued to progress, I couldn’t wait for more of the interactions between them. He is also more than just a potential love interest as he has a motivation and story which I loved. So I don’t want to say too much about the actual story because I don’t want to give anything away. I think from the first few chapters you will start to see what is going on. I am so excited that Dennard has created another amazing series and I can’t wait to read what she writes next. Take my word for it, this book has something for everyone. There is magic, action, fantastic characters, an intriguing story, and some romantic tension…and, and, and. I could probably go on and on here but I won’t. Instead I will encourage you to get a copy of this book when you can.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm no great authority on writing skills. I just thought this was a great read, and can't wait for the next book in the series.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Truthwitch lived up to the hype. However I am a person who isn't influenced or really care about the hype but I'm glad it lived up to it, nonetheless. I was so completely immersed in the fantasy world and would look forward to picking up and continuing my journey with Safi and Iseult whenever I put the book down. Truthwich is unique in that the main relationship is the friendship between Safi and Iseult. They care for each like sisters, and would sacrifice themselves for the other. It was just so refreshing to have a storyline centred around friendship instead of romance. Both Safi and Iseult complete each other. Safi is the more adventurous and wild one while Iseult is the more reserved yet the one who plans things. Safi is a truthwitch, but that's something only few people know since Truthwitches have been hunted down for as far as anyone knows. Iseult is a threadwitch but she's not really that.. and you get to unravel her story as you read more. Truthwitch is definitely an adventure book. The girls are always running from something whether it is a bloodwitch an entire army of an opposing kingdom. On horseback, on foot, on ships.. basically the girls do a crap load of running away with a crap load of exciting fighting and adrenaline pumping scenes. One thing I enjoyed about Truthwitch is its unpredictability.. they didn't really have an overall goal they must reach. You didn't know where the book is going or the fate of the characters. I know this uncertainty confused people but I'm glad this was how it was written because let's be real, a ton of books I end up reading I can already predict the ending. Lastly, I love the world that Dennard built. We get to see a glimpse of it during Truthwitch, where a 20 year peace treaty is about to end and all the different kingdoms are shaking each other's hands while preparing for war behind closed doors. A last thing is that I appreciated that these two girls weren't really "chosen ones".. and if they are, no one really knows that, including themselves. Yes, they will play important roles in this world and story, but everything is unclear and I like that. I can't wait to pick up the sequel and continue the journey of Safi and Iseult.
BooksAndKatie More than 1 year ago
Short and Sweet: I enjoyed the writing- the characters and the magic, not so much. The world needs more explanation of how things work, and the characters could use more depth. Otherwise decent, and would read the next.
Stephanie_Kaye More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK. This book was spectacular! It was so hyped up and it so lived up to all the hype! I love Susan Dennard and her writing. And this book is top notch! One of my all time favorites for sure! I need Windwitch right now! I can't believe I have to wait another year for the second installment! Truthwitch is about a lot of things: freedom, war, survival, romance, but most of all this is about friendship. And not just friendship but female friendship. It is so rare that I read a book and the majority of the book is catered towards friendships, but this one is. Safiya and Iseult would die for each other. They complement each other so well and they are the kinds of friends that everyone should strive to be like. Truthwitch is so epic-ly awesome. So well written. So breathtaking. So, so, so many things. Sooz has blown me away with this book and I look up to her even more than I already had before. She has created a story that will live with me forever. Characters that I will never forget. And she has given me more inspiration and will with my writing than ever before. All with THIS BOOK. If you like epic fantasies, witches, romance, but most of all, if you love reading about friendships and the stakes that friends should and will go for one another. Then this book needs to be at the top of your list to read. Hype can ruin a lot of things, but do not let hype ruin this for you, because I assure you it is worth all the hype that it has received. There is a reason for all the hype surrounding Truthwitch. It's because it is so beautifully rendered that it's hard to not want to tell everyone you know to read it. If you haven't read this yet. What are you waiting for? Go read it and then let me know how you felt about it. And give it more than the first 60 pages. The first few chapters are getting you into the world, but once you get past that, I promise you it is worth it! This review was first published on In Wonderland:
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
I'm always a bit hesitant going into a book with so much hype, especially when it's YA fantasy, which is not my usual, comfortable genre. I struggle with fantasy books in general, so I'm always a little leery about starting one that everyone is loving. And I mean EVERYONE. But when I was sent this audiobook from the publisher (Listening Library) I knew I had to at least give it a try. Honestly, I thought about DNF'ing it a few times in the beginning... but I stuck with it and overall found it pretty enjoyable. Safiya and Iseut, our two main ladies, are complete opposites in every way. Safiya is an act-now-think-later type of girl, jumping into everything at first glance. Iseut is much more calm, cool and collected, thinking things through before acting aggressively. The secondary characters that were added in throughout the first half I had quite a problem connecting with, in all honesty. But as the story progressed, I got to know them better, and thus enjoy them quite a bit as well. I think my main issue with this novel was the world building... or lack thereof? I felt as though there was too much going on, too many countries with issues, and not enough explanation. This complaint is primarily regarding the first half of the book, where I felt a bit lost, and therefore didn't enjoy it as much as I normally would have. The second half of the story, I have to admit, did get better... which explains my 3.5 rating for this. Again, I have to reiterate that I OFTEN struggle with fantasy books for this exact reason, so others may not find this true for them. For me though, I felt as though the lack of world building severely took away from the story. Overall, my first Susan Dennard book was a success. I did enjoy it, though maybe not quite as much as others. Still, I would recommend this to fans of the YA fantasy genre as I think many will find this book worthy of all of its hype. And seriously... look at that gorgeous cover! How can you not want that beauty on your shelf! ♥ Audiobook Impressions: Cassandra Campbell is an experienced narrator, and that was evident in this book. The only other audiobook that I've heard narrated by her was City Love, which I enjoyed as well. I find that with books like this, I struggle with audiobooks in general. First, because I get easily distracted, and fantasy books can't afford missing a word or two here and there. Also, when there are so many characters with unique names, it's hard to keep them all straight. I thought Cassandra did a pretty good job of giving each character a unique voice which helped with keeping them all distinguishable. A great narrating choice for this book! (Thanks to Listening Library for the review copy!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such an engaging and enticing world! It took a few chapters to familiarize with all of the new lingo and sort out the nouns of the Witchworld language, but before you know it the characters will completely entrance you. You'll slip right into their world and you won't be able to claw yourself out of the pages-- or at least I couldn't! If you're a fan of The Young Elites or The Red Queen, you will LOVE this book!
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
With the amount of hype and promo this book got, readers can only really fall into two categories: to hate it or love it. But of course, I had to fall smack dab in the middle. I loved it, but was it really all that it was hyped up to be? Safi and Iseult are Threadsisters and their lives are tangled up in each other. Their friendship runs deeper than most family ties. They know they will do anything for each other. So when all that is threatened, they know what they must do... Look out for each other. As this happens they go on an epic adventure and run into many problems that they never would've thought they'd see. They meet some amazing people along the way as well... Some who they never thought would mean so much. Ok, to be honest, this didn't really live up to the hype for me.... I'm sorry! I was expecting EVERY page to have a cliff hanger and to have them being just shy of death on every page. But in all actuality, there were just too many things missing for me to have fully enjoyed it. For instance, it seemed like EVERYONE was originally trying to kill them, but it was never explained why. Even Iseult questioned this in the book, so I'm thinking I have a theory, but it would have been nice to know. Especially since it seemed to be such a huge part of the plot. Then there's the magic. I was SO ON BOARD for the way the magic was done. I loved how every little aspect had it's own magic (Ex. Word witches, Tide witches, etc.) but I wasn't a fan of how the entire world wasn't explained. I would have even gone for a glossary and picture book in the back to show what sign was what. It was just a lot to keep track of. (And I'm someone that writes notes while I read... I can only imagine someone who doesn't!) And even though they were introduced, some magic wasn't really described after that. It just seemed like there was so much going on and not enough explanation. But, even still, this is definitely a page turner. I fell in love with the action from the very first chapter. Them running through the streets and doing hold-ups and sword fighting was just so cool. I was so happy to see that continued throughout the book. I'm not a huge fantasy fan, but between the sword fights and sea foxes in this one, I was HOOKED. I also loved the characters. I have to say I spent the whole time picturing Safi and Iseult as Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard.... I can't be the only one lol They were so bad ass and I'm so happy there is another story that talks about bad ass ladies and their womance more than a relationship. I can't wait to see what adventures they go on next. I also loved the setting. As someone that doesn't travel much, the setting and world-building is why I love reading. I love to see how the author describes the world around the characters. In this one, although the magic was a little confusing, the descriptions of every place they went were amazing. I had a clear picture of everything described and found myself wishing I could visit the Witchlands. This book definitely surprised me, but in a completely good way. I will definitely be looking for the next book in the seri
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good! So much adventure and the characters are all so awesome! The magic system could've been a little more fleshed out in the beginning but it was pretty self explanatory. I LOVED all of the characters and this story was unlike any other YA fantasy I have read! If you are thinking about buying this just do it, you won't regret it!
lindsaycummings More than 1 year ago
Truly an excellent read! Well fleshed-out characters, a believable fantasy world, and lots of action and adventure---and romance!
alexalovesbooks More than 1 year ago
I don't even know where to begin when I try to convince you to read Truthwitch, because there are so many wonderful things I could mention. In the vein of many classic fantasies, for instance, Susan tells a story with multiple plot threads. In unskilled hands, this method of storytelling could fall flat or become too convoluted. Susan, however, is quite capable of properly fitting all the pieces of her tale together. Truthwitch is a woven tapestry of character arcs and bigger picture plot points. It's a true masterpiece in storytelling, one that combines action, emotion and revelation beautifully. It does all this, mind you, against the backdrop of a world caught up in the turmoil of politics and warfare, magic and legends, prejudice and fear. Setting is always an important aspect of a fantasy novel, and Susan kills it. She incorporates unique details that make the various countries and cultures stand apart from one another. She also established a magical system that can be understood easily, but also has the potential to become ever more complex in the books to come. I'm seriously in awe of how completely immersive it is, and look forward to further future forays into it. Susan also possesses a knack for bringing her characters to life. These beautiful, complex, wonderful characters who are growing and changing, even as the world around them does. The nuance and care that Susan has poured into developing the perspectives of her four main narrators is undeniable. Safi, protective, undeniably impulsive, a girl who is learning that she can shape the world. Iseult, strategist, the most loyal of friends, a girl still searching for her place in the world. Merik, the prince who bleeds for his kingdom, who will do anything to help his people. Aeduan, the lost one, the tracker, the hunter. Each one comes alive, flawed and fierce, and it's not at all difficult to form a solid reader-character connection with them. Heck, readers will even love a lot of the secondary characters that crop up at various points. (I know I did.) It's not even just the individual characters that make Truthwitch as phenomenal as it is. It's also their relationships, the ties that bind them together, as Iseult might say. Whether it's friendship or enmity, romance or family, these relationships add even more dimension to an already detailed story. Of them all, it is Safi & Iseult's friendship that is most central to this plot. All their choices and the consequences that follow are influenced by their deep love and devotion to one another. It's an enviable connection, having a Threadsister, as it's a trust that supersedes definition, a loyalty that cannot be broken, a heart that will always love. Susan's portrayal of female friendship is stunning, masterful and, most of all, it's an ideal many will relate to or aspire to have in their own life. Truthwitch is such a vibrant, rich tale, and you'd do well to get your hands on a copy today! Susan has, once again, displayed an impressive command of the written word. Though I love her debut series to pieces, Truthwitch feels like the book she was meant to write; Safiya would sense the certainty that echoes behind Susan's every word in telling this story. Susan has certainly mastered the art of telling a story you won't want to stop reading, and I cannot wait for more of this series. (Why must Windwitch be another year away?)
LazyLibra More than 1 year ago
AMAZING female BFFs are trying to avoid trouble, only to discover that those they trust have plans for them that will influence the coming war. It's impossible to properly articulate how connected with this book--I was totally and completely in love. Brilliant magic system, globe-spanning adventure, slow burning romances, and a phenomenally fleshed out cast of characters make this book shatter expectations. The first chapters throw a lot at you--alternating POVs, characters on the run, high stakes you don't immediately attach yourself too--but Safi and Iseult's friendship and sense of humor kept me grounded. And once Iseult made it back to her old house? Well, I'm not gonna spoil anything, but it was a very drop-the-mic moment. From that moment the novel FLEW past. I think it's because it grounded both girls more solidly in their pasts, and showed them as strong people in their own right. Safi's character arc was by far the best, and I hope hope hope she continues to develop in this vein in the next book. Iseult is more grown up, because as a Nomasti--a second-class citizen in most empires, and a race hated by all--she's had to grow up. She's dealt with discrimination and hatred every time she goes outside. So Iseult is the cool, logical one--a Threadwitch who can see everyone's emotions and bonds, but isn't a good enough liar to manipulate htem--while Safi is the hot-headed Truthwitch, impulsive and daring and always getting them into scrapes they barely get out of. It isn't until she and Iseult are separated that the reader really appreciates how close they are and how well they work together. I haven't read a lot of YA with strong, established female friendships. Dennard pulls in their backstory effortlessly, and their friendship is my favorite relationship in the entire book. They make each other better people, even as they accept each other's flaws. Our two other POVs are: Prince Merik, who's only goal is to get a trade agreement and food to his island nation, which war has left desecrated and starving. He has a ship filled with wonderful secondary characters--some of whom we'll meet in novellas!--and relationships. Aeduan, a Bloodwitch monk who sells his skills as a mercenary to the highest bidder. Because of shenanigans the girls get up to in the beginning of the book, the Bloodwitch is after them--and when a bounty is put on their heads, he's only more eager to hunt them across the sea. This book has a LOT of characters, and a LOT LOT LOT going on. There's an epic ancient prophecy (of course), a war on the horizon (of course), and tons of witcheries to complicated everything. It's also packed with great action scenes, sword fighting, monsters (of the human and creature variety), and some of the best settings I've ever read.
WordsWithSarah More than 1 year ago
TODAY IS THE DAY! THE DAY IS TODAY! I can finally post my review of Truthwitch! I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to review this book. Ever since I read Truthwitch back in May. I even made a post back in July all about why you needed Truthwitch in your life because I just couldn't wait to talk about it. I apologize in advance if this review turns into an incoherent rambling mess. Cause that is usually the state I am in when I talk about this book. Truthwitch is the first installment in an epic four book long high fantasy series following best friends Safi and Iseult. Iseult is a Threadwitch, she can literally see the bonds that tie people together while Safi is a Truthwitch, a very rare and highly sought out type of magic that she has to keep hidden, or else she would potentially be made into a weapon. These best friends are the OTP of friendships. They are like sisters, they are family, constantly supporting each other and always looking out for the other's well being. BUT Safi and Iseult aren't the only stars of this book. The leading men, Merick and Aeduan. Merick is a sexy prince who commands a ship! Aeduan is a Bloodwitch, super dangerous, super scary, and super scary. THEY ARE BOTH JUST SO BADASS IN THEIR OWN WAYS! Actually, ALL FOUR OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS ARE BADASS. There is just so much badass in this book, but in unique, nontraditional YA ways. Truthwitch isn't just a breath of fresh air in the fantasy genre, but also in YA. There are so many unique and new elements I hadn't seen in YA (granted I hadn't been reading a whole lot of said genre at the time) and these elements helped craft the book into the epicness that it truly is. This book, at its heart, is about friendship. Which is great, something I was in love with from page one, but holy crap you guys, there is SO MUCH sexual tension between certain characters within these pages. LIKE I JUST WANTED TO SMASH THEIR FACES TOGETHER! You know how I mentioned Six of Crows had all the ships? Well, so does Truthwitch! SO MANY SHIPS SO MUCH TENSION SO MANY HOT MEN! I have already fallen down the rabbit hole into a rambly fangirl, and I am trying to regain control of this review. I'm just trying hard not to go into the plot because the world building is amazing, the world and dynamics are so complex, and I know I won't be able to do it any justice. Somethings are better left for surprises anyway. Just know that if you love magic, there is a lot of fantastic magic elements that will have you saying "what?" and "did that really just happen?" and "holy crap Merick take off your shirt already!" Okay, well maybe Merick's magic skills won't make you say the last bit, but the thought will cross your mind at some point during the story. Truthwitch is a book I had been excited for ever since it was announced and I am ecstatic to say that not only did it live up to the expectations I had in my head but surpassed it in spades. This epic fantasy will leave you in a ball of feels and clawing your way into Tor's offices, looking for the sequel. Just make sure you call me because I'm in desperate need of book two as well. I know that everyone and their mother are talking about this book and sometimes that hype can be scary but trust me when I say that if you love fantasy, Susan Dennard (because who doesn't?), or if you're looking for something new, something you've been hearing a lot of hype about and are scared it will not live up to the unworldly expectations that every
brittanysbookrambles More than 1 year ago
2.5/5 Stars ARC Review It took me a while to get into this book, I think my expectations of it were unfairly high. The beginning really confused me because the reader is thrust into this chaotic world as if we should already understand how it all works. Truthwitch reads more like a sequel than it does a first book in a trilogy in this way. It is told from four POVs and three of them sound very similar which contributed a lot to my confusion. I found it difficult to figure out whose head I was in. In addition, the big reveal could be spotted in the beginning of the book so I didn't feel any suspense leading up to it. That being said, I did end up liking it. It had unique fantastical concepts and creatures, the plot consists of a lot action and adventure, and the dialogue was witty. It has made me curious about Dennard's other books that are popular among YA readers. I can't say I'm in love with Truthwitch but I am intrigued. If you liked the The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows, I would definitely recommend this book to you. Not because the plots are similar but because they have similar plot devices and relationships. Full Review:
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Truthwitch by Susan Dennard Book One of The Witchlands series Publisher: Tor Teen Publication Date: January 5, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others. 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. What I Liked: I'm going to tell you right now, I am not going to do this book justice, with this review. I don't even know how to begin this review. This book was so epic and so amazing and so totally worth the hype (which I find rare, to be honest) - and it will be worth the wait, for those still waiting. I feel your pain - I am honored that Tor would send me a review copy! Here goes my attempt at reviewing this... Safiya and Iseult are Threadsisters, who are constantly up to no good. Both are highly trained in defense, combat, and academics. Safiya is a Donma of Cartorra, and Iseult is of the Nomatsi, so they stick out a bit. Safiya also happens to be a Truthwitch, which is a super rare type of witch. Iseult is a Threadwitch, which means she can see the emotions and ties that bind of others via colors (I'm doing a terrible job of explaining this). Both girls want to be free of their lives - Safiya, of her court life, and Iseult, of the prejudice that she's lived through. War and chaos descends upon Cartorra as a Twenty Year Truce ends, and the girls are forced to flee Cartorra via the Jana, captained by Prince Merik, Admiral of Nobrevna, who is not happy at all with having to ferry them away. The trio, along with a powerful Monk witch and the crew, must outrun a Bloodwitch, the Emperor of Cartorra, and the whole host armies of the empires in order to keep Safiya safe. When I said I don't know where to begin, I really don't. The easiest place would be with the characters. I loved Safiya - she is impulsive and reckless and hot-tempered, and so very unique in YA literature. Her personality shines through everything. I love seeing her grow and mature as the book goes on. She is probably my second favorite character. Iseult is not a noblewoman like Safiya, but she's Safiya's best friend and Threadsister. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was SO excited to get my hands on TRUTHWITCH! As I sat down to open the first page, I took a deep breath and thought to myself, "Wow, there's a lot of hype and pressure here. Will it live up to the expectations?" By the 100 page mark, my question was answered. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! I loved the action, the friendships, and of course the swoonworthy romantic moments! From the best friend moments of Safi and Iseult to the bromance moments of Prince Merik and Kullen to the romantic banter of Safi and Merik, I loved TRUTHWITCH and can't wait for the sequel. It took me a while to write this review. The review may have been a rambling mess if I had written immediately. Tears were rolling down my face by the end as I had to let the characters go and as I felt an overwhelming sense of pride and happiness for Susan Dennard. I actually starting taking notes and categorizing my favorite moments on my phone. I actually think that I need to create a whole new shelf now JUST for this book. It's MAGICAL!!! It's AMAZING!!! It' EPIC!!! Order NOW!!! MUST READ! Thank you, Susan for creating and sharing such a phenomenal world for your readers!!! :-)
jhodge13 More than 1 year ago
Check out this and other reviews on my blog, Truthwitch is the highly anticipated fantasy series by Susan Dennard. While my love for this book knows no bounds, I hope that you can look beyond the hype to what I think is a fantastic book and start to a series. I haven't read Susan' other series and I wasn't sure if the writing style in Truthwitch, despite a genre and story that sounded right up by alley, would stop me from really enjoying this book. DON'T WORRY GUYS, I WAS WRONG. Honestly, I read the first chapter of Truthwitch and then set the book down, not touching it for weeks, because it didn't grab me immediately. I know what you're thinking - how Jasmine? HOW? But in my first dip, I got the characters confused with one another, didn't really know how the world worked, and didn't really know where the story was going to go. Not to mention I was in a MAJOR book hangover from Queen of Shadows (coincidentally by Susan's BFF Sarah J. Maas) and just couldn't really get into anything at all. However, once I revisited Truthwitch, it was the. perfect. remedy for my hangover - and I read it in 7 hours. There are a lot of thing I love about Truthwitch. The world is interesting and original, broad enough to welcome lots of adventure and depth without being too overwhelming. The magic system is presented well, slowly unfolding so that you understand how it all works by the end but aren't info-dumped in the beginning. The history and lore is developed wonderfully and revealed at good times. The pacing of the book, which is something I don't usually notice unless it's really bad or really good, is spot on, lingering in the perfect spots while having lots of action and details to move it forward. I think that the shining points of Susan's newest novel, though, are the characters. The confict, while threatening wide-spread destruction, is really brought to focus by the threat it has on Iseult and Safiya, as if they are this kind of sun in the entire Truthwitch universe and the rest of the story revolves around them (even if they don't realize it). They are believable and authentic, their friendship reading true and proving that being completely different people doesn't have to hinder a strong, healthy relationship. Susan makes a lot of wonderful points in this novel, introducing characters of multiple social backgrounds, ethnicities, and moralities without ever hitting the reader over the head. She explores these dynamics by just having them all interact with one another and the world and it's a joy to read. It's hard to explain how engrossing this story is without literally reading it - it grips you immediately and yet pulls you deeper in every chapter, revealing more about Safi and Iseult, about all the people they encounter on their adventure, about the world and the magic and all the pieces that are moving without the characters or the readers knowledge. While there are romantic elements, I see Truthwitch, really, as a novel about sisterhood, about friendship and boundless faith and trust, not only in each other but in one's self. The earnestness and heart that Susan Dennard has put into this novel is the same feeling I got reading Queen of Shadows (a compliment I think both Sarah and Susan would appreciate), this contagious unraveling of the heart that weaves throughout a well-written, well-developed plot.