Windwitch (Witchlands Series #2)

Windwitch (Witchlands Series #2)

by Susan Dennard

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765379313
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Series: Witchlands Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 72,215
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. Working in marine biology, she got to travel the world — six out of seven continents (she'll get to Asia one of these days!) — before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor. She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series, as well as the Witchlands series, which includes the New York Times bestselling Truthwitch and Windwitch. When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, slaying darkspawn on her Xbox, or earning bruises at the dojo.

Read an Excerpt

Windwitch


By Susan Dennard

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2016 Susan Dennard
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-6733-8


CHAPTER 1

There were advantages to being a dead man.

Merik Nihar, prince of Nubrevna and former admiral to the Nubrevnan navy, wished he'd considered dying a long time ago. He got so much more done as a corpse.

Such as right now. He'd come to Judgment Square at the heart of Lovats for a reason, and that reason was tucked inside a low hut, an extension of the prison behind it, where records were kept. There was one prisoner in particular Merik needed information on. A prisoner with no left pinkie, who now resided beyond the final shelf, deep in Noden's watery Hell.

Merik sank into the hood of his tan cloak. True, his face was scarcely recognizable thanks to the burns, and his hair was only just beginning to grow back, but the covering offered safety in the madness of Judgment Square.

Or Goshorn Square, as it was sometimes called, thanks to the enormous goshorn oak at the center.

The pale trunk, as wide as a lighthouse and easily as tall, was dented to high hell-waters, and its branches hadn't seen green in decades. That tree, Merik thought, as he eyed the longest branch, looks like it might soon join me in death.

All day long, tides of traffic poured through the square, driven by curiosity. Who would be forced into public shame? Shackled to the stones without food or reprieve? Who would feel the burning snap of a rope — followed by the cold kiss of Noden's Hagfishes?

Desperation brought people in droves. Families came to beg the Nubrevnan soldiers for mercy on their loved ones, and the homeless came to beg for food, for shelter, for pity of any kind.

But no one had pity or mercy to spare these days. Not even Merik Nihar.

He'd already done all he could — given up all he could for a trade agreement with the Hasstrel estate in Cartorra. He'd almost negotiated one with the Marstoks as well, but ultimately death had come too soon.

A family blocked Merik's way now. A woman and her two boys, each of them shouting at anyone who passed by.

"No crime in being hungry!" they hollered in unison. "Free us and feed us! Free us and feed us!" The older boy, wildly tall and skinny as a brittlestar, rounded on Merik.

"No crime in being hungry!" He heaved in close. "Free us and feed —"

Merik sidestepped the boy before twirling left around his brother and finally shooting past the mother. She was the loudest of the three, with her sun-bleached hair and a face lined with fury.

Merik knew that feeling well, for it was fury that fueled him ever onward. Even as pain cut through his body and blisterings on his chest were scraped open by homespun.

Others in the area picked up the chant. Free us and feed us! No crime in being hungry! Merik found his steps settling into a quick clip to match the rhythm of that cry. So few people in the Witchlands had magic, much less magic of any real use. They survived by the whim of nature — or the whim of witches — and their own unrelenting grit.

Merik reached the gallows at the oak's fat trunk. Six ropes dangled from a middle branch, limp coils in the midmorning heat. Yet as Merik tried to skirt the empty stage, he caught sight of a tall figure, pale-headed and hulkingly framed.

Kullen. The name grazed across Merik's heart, sucking the air from his lungs before his brain could catch up and say, No, not Kullen. Never Kullen.

For Kullen had cleaved in Lejna two weeks ago. He had died in Lejna two weeks ago. He would never be coming back.

Without thinking, Merik's fists shot out. He punched the gallows stage, pain bursting in his knuckles — at once grounding. At once real.

Again he punched. Harder this time, wondering why his insides spun. He had paid his dues to Kullen's ghost. He had bought that shrine on the hillside, using the one remaining gold button from his admiral's coat, and he'd prayed for the Hagfishes to give Kullen quick passage beyond the final shelf.

After that, it was supposed to stop hurting. This was supposed to stop hurting.

Eventually, the tall figure was gone and Merik's bleeding knuckles stung more brightly than the past. Merik forced himself onward, elbows out and hood low. For if Safiya fon Hasstrel could reach that pier in Lejna despite Marstoks and Cleaved in her way — if she could do all that for a nation that wasn't even her own, for a trade agreement with her family — then Merik could certainly finish what he'd come here to do.

Curse his mind for going to her, though. Merik had done so well at avoiding memories of Safi since the explosion. Since his old world had ended and this new one had begun. Not because he didn't want to think about her. Noden save him, but that last moment he'd shared with her ...

No, no — Merik would not dwell. There was no point in remembering the taste of Safi's skin against his lips, not when his lips were now broken. Not when his entire body was ruined and wretched to behold.

Besides, dead men weren't supposed to care.

On he charged through filth and body odor. A tide that fought back. A storm with no eye. Each smack of limbs against Merik's shoulders or hands sent pain scuttling through him.

He reached the irons. Fifty prisoners waited here, shackled to the stones and crispy from the sun. A fence surrounded them, indifferent to the people pressing in from the outside.

They begged the guards to give their sons water. Their wives shade. Their fathers release. Yet the two soldiers who waited at the fence's gate — inside, to keep from being trampled — showed no more interest in the hungry of Lovats than they did the prisoners they were meant to guard.

In fact, so bored were these two soldiers that they played taro to while away the time. One wore an iris-blue strip of cloth at his biceps, a mourning band to show respect for his dead prince. The other kept the band draped across a knee.

At the sight of that cloth — just lying there, unused — a fresh, furious wind ignited in Merik's chest. He had given so much for Nubrevna, and this was all it had earned him: a hollow, false grief. Outward shows, like the wreaths and streamers draped across the city, that couldn't truly mask how little anyone cared their prince was dead.

Vivia had seen to that.

Thank Noden, Merik soon arrived at the hut, for he could keep his winds and temper contained for only so long — and the fuse was almost burned up.

The crowds spat him out before orange walls streaked in bird shit, and Merik cut toward a door on the south side. Always locked, but not impenetrable.

"Open up!" Merik bellowed. He knocked once at the door — a mistake. The newly splintered skin on his knuckles sloughed off. "I know you're in there!"

No response. At least none that Merik could hear, but that was all right. He let the heat in his body grow. Strengthen. Gust.

Then he knocked again, feeling the wind curl around him as he did so. "Hurry! It's madness out here!"

The latch jiggled. The door creaked back ... And Merik shoved in. With fists, with force, with wind.

The soldier on the other side stood no chance. He toppled back, the whole hut shuddering from the force of his fall. Before he could rise, Merik had the door closed behind him. He advanced on the man, his winds chasing. Tearing up papers in a cyclone that felt so blighted good.

It had been too long since Merik had let his winds unfurl and his magic stretch wide. Fire built in his belly, a rage that blustered and blew. That had kept his stomach full when food had not. Air billowed around him, sweeping in and out in time to his breaths.

The soldier — middle-aged, sallow-skinned — stayed on the ground with his hands to protect his face. Clearly, he'd decided surrender was his safest option.

Too bad. Merik would've loved a fight. Instead, he forced his eyes to scour the room. He used his winds too, coaxing them outward. Letting the vibrations on the air tell him where other bodies might wait. Where other breaths might curl. Yet no one hid in the dark corners, and the door into the main prison remained firmly shut.

So at last, with careful control, Merik returned his attention to the soldier. His magic softened, dropping papers to the floor before he eased off his hood, fighting the pain that skittered down his scalp.

Then Merik waited, to see if the soldier would recognize him.

Nothing. In fact, the instant the man lowered his hands, he shrank back. "What are you?"

"Angry." Merik advanced a single step. "I seek someone recently released from a second time in the irons."

The man shot a scattered glance around the room. "I'll need more information. Sir. An age or crime or release date —"

"I don't have that." Merik claimed another step forward, and this time the soldier frantically scrambled upright. Away from Merik and grabbing for the nearest papers.

"I met this prisoner" — I killed this prisoner — "eleven days ago." Merik paused, thinking back to the moonbeam. "He was brown-skinned with long black hair, and he had two stripes tattooed beneath his left eye."

Two stripes. Two times in the Judgment Square irons.

"And ..." Merik lifted his left hand. The skin bore shades of healing red and brown, except where new blood cracked along his knuckles. "The prisoner had no pinkie."

"Garren Leeri!" the soldier cried, nodding. "I remember him, all right. He was part of the Nines, back before we cracked down on the Skulks' gangs. Though the second time we arrested him, it was for petty theft."

"Indeed. And what exactly happened to Garren after his time was served?"

"He was sold, sir."

Merik's nostrils flared. Sold was not something he'd known could happen to prisoners, and with that thought, disgusted heat awoke in his lungs. Merik didn't fight it — he simply let it kick out to rattle the papers near his feet.

One such paper flipped up, slapping against the soldier's shin. In an instant, the man was trembling again. "It doesn't happen often. Sir. Selling people, I mean. Just when we've no room in the prison — and we only sell people convicted for petty crimes. They work off their time instead."

"And to whom" — Merik dipped his head sideways — "did you sell this man named Garren?"

"To Pin's Keep, sir. They regularly buy prisoners to work the clinic. Give them second chances."

"Ah." Merik could barely bite back a smile. Pin's Keep was a shelter for the poorest of Lovats. It had been a project of Merik's mother, and upon the queen's death, it had passed directly to Vivia.

How easy. Just like that, Merik had the found the sinew binding Garren to Vivia. All he lacked was tangible proof — something physical that he could hand to the High Council showing, beyond any doubt, that his sister was a murderer. That she was not fit to rule.

Now he had a lead. A good one.

Before Merik could loose a smile, the sound of metal scraping on wood filled the room.

Merik turned as the outside door swung in and met the eyes of a startled young guard.

Well, this was unfortunate.

For the guard.

Out snapped Merik's winds, grabbing the guard like a doll. Then in they whipped, and he was flung straight for Merik.

Whose fist was ready.

Merik's torn knuckles connected with the guard's jaw. Full speed. A hurricane against a mountain. The guard was out in an instant, and as his limp form crumpled, Merik threw a glance at the first soldier.

But the older man was at the door to the prison now, fumbling with a lock to escape and muttering, "Too old for this. Too old for this."

Hell-waters. A flash of guilt hit Merik's chest. He had what he'd come for, and hanging around was simply asking for more trouble. So he left the soldier to his escape and slung toward the hut's open door.

Only to stop halfway as a screeching woman tumbled inside. "There's no crime in being hungry! Free us and feed us!"

It was that woman, and her two sons straggled in behind. Noden hang him, but hadn't Merik had enough interruptions for one day?

The answer was no, apparently he had not.

Upon spotting the unconscious guard and then Merik's unhooded face, the woman fell completely silent. Totally still. There was something in her bloodshot eyes, something hopeful.

"You," she breathed. Then she stumbled forward, arms outstretched. "Please, Fury, we've done nothing wrong."

Merik yanked up his hood, the pain briefly louder than any sounds. Brighter too, even as the woman and her sons closed in.

Her hands grabbed Merik's hand. "Please, Fury!" she repeated, and inwardly Merik winced at that title. Was he truly so grotesque? "Please, sir! We've been good and given our respects to your shrine! We don't deserve your wrath — we just want to feed our families!"

Merik tore himself free. Skin split beneath her fingernails. Any moment now, soldiers would be pouring in from the records office, and though Merik could fight these boys and their mother, that would only draw attention.

"Free us and feed us, you said?" Merik scooped a ring of keys from the unconscious guard's belt. "Take these."

The cursed woman cowered back from Merik's outstretched hand.

And now he was out of time. The familiar sound of a wind-drum was booming outside. Soldiers needed, said the beat, in Judgment Square.

So Merik flung the keys at the nearest son, who caught them clumsily. "Free the prisoners if you want, but be quick about it. Because now would be a good time for all of us to run."

Then Merik thrust into the crowds, bobbing low and moving fast. For though the woman and her sons lacked the good sense to flee, Merik Nihar did not.

After all, even dead men could have lives they didn't want to lose.

CHAPTER 2

This was not Azmir.

Safiya fon Hasstrel might have been a poor geography student, but even she knew this crescent-moon bay was not the capital of Marstok. Though weasels piss on her, she wished it were.

Anything would be more interesting than staring at the same turquoise waves she'd been staring at for the past week, so at odds with the dark, dense jungle beyond. For here, on the easternmost edge of the Contested Lands — a long peninsula of no-man's-land that didn't quite belong to the pirate factions in Saldonica and didn't quite belong to the empires either — there was absolutely nothing of interest to do.

Paper whispered behind Safi, almost in time to the sea's swell, and overtop it sang the infinitely calm voice of the Empress of Marstok. All day long, she worked through missives and messages on a low table at the center of her cabin, stopping only to update Safi on some complicated political alliance or recent shift in her empire's southern borders.

It was excruciatingly dull, and the simple truth was, at least in Safi's opinion, that pretty people should not be allowed to lecture. Nothing negated beauty faster than boredom.

"Are you listening, Domna?"

"Of course I am, Your Majesty!" Safi twirled around, her white gown billowing. She batted her eyelashes for an extra dose of innocence.

Vaness wasn't buying it. Her heart-shaped face had hardened, and Safi didn't think she was imagining how the empress's iron belt rippled and grooved like two snakes sliding past each other.

Vaness was, according to scholars, the youngest, most powerful empress in all of the Witchlands history. She was also, according to legend, the strongest, most vicious Ironwitch who had ever lived, having felled an entire mountain when she was only seven years old. And, of course, according to Safi, Vaness was the most beautiful, most elegant woman who had ever graced the world with her presence.

Yet none of that mattered because gods below, Vaness was tedious.

No card games, no jokes, no exciting stories by Firewitch flame — nothing at all to make this wait more bearable. They'd dropped anchor here a week before, hiding first from a Cartorran cutter. Then from a Cartorran armada. Everyone had been braced for a naval battle ...

That had never come. And while Safi knew this to be a good thing — war was senseless, as Habim always said — she'd also learned that waiting all day long was her own form of private hell.

Especially since her entire life had been upended two and a half weeks ago. A surprise betrothal to the Emperor of Cartorra had pulled her into a cyclone of conspiracy and escape. She'd learned her uncle, a man she'd spent her whole life loathing, was behind some massive, wide-scale plan to bring peace to the Witchlands.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Windwitch by Susan Dennard. Copyright © 2016 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.

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Windwitch 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
VentureswithBooks less than 1 minute ago
I could not be more entranced by this series. The world building is absolutely incredible and I loved that the books contain a map so that I can follow the different characters journey. Sooz is a mastermind when it comes to storyline. How she creates such intricate story lines that weave this way and then includes this small detail from the first book is beyond me. Her writing is just beautiful and I love everything about this series! I have no idea how I'm going to wait for the next book!!
eclecticbookwrm 2 days ago
Windwitch went in surprising directions that I did not see coming. As far as sequels go, I think it did dial back a bit in terms of pacing and action, but I still loved it. Our fearless heroes have separated flung across the world on various quests. More POVs and characters are introduced. Very interesting character development for Merik. Cannot wait to see where this series goes with Bloodwitch!!
Scarls17 6 months ago
This series is SO good. The characters are amazing and the action is so good. It's also the type of series you will WANT to read more than once. Jump on board with this one...you don't want to miss out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot wait for their story to continue!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was nice to see all characters have a voice. The adventures they were set on just aligns the many different paths the series can go
Melissa04 More than 1 year ago
**Review originally posted on Live Love Read blog** To me the book as a whole is the perfect sequel to Truthwitch! Our knowledge of The Witchlands grows as we explore new places and we’re introduced to new characters who will entice you. Windwitch is unputdownable and unforgettable it’ll leave you wanting more. It is the perfect blend of action, suspense, heartbreak, shocking and swoon worthy moments. It’ll keep you coming back for more. The world building is made up of so many little nuances adding up to the larger picture. It may seem like info dumping or over building, yet I know each time Susan drops a hint or introduces something new, it has a purpose. I find a thrill in making those small connections and start wondering what role they’ll play later on. I like it when a book keeps me guessing and discovering if my predictions are right or wrong. I love how vast the world is and how everything is being revealed at an even steady pace. I could not read this book fast enough!! I found Windwitch to be more of a character-driven book compared to Truthwitch. Since mostly everyone is separated, we get to know each of the main characters in depth. So many events have affected our beloved main characters, that Susan does a fantastic job developing and describing the changes everyone undergoes through the course the book. We discover how complex they are as we see more of their personalities, mannerisms, and history. I also enjoyed the new characters that Susan introduces, one whom I loved right off the bat and the other grew on me. Windwitch is a whirlwind of a book, full of many emotions that had me laughing, squealing, and screaming. There was actually one moment where I had to put the book down to process the crucial moment where I screamed. BRACE YOURSELVES!! If you thought you LOVED Truthwitch, just wait until you read Windwitch. With its mesmerizing and thrilling plot and vivid writing, Susan catapults you into a world you don’t want to leave.
Melissa04 More than 1 year ago
**Review originally posted on Live Love Read blog** To me the book as a whole is the perfect sequel to Truthwitch! Our knowledge of The Witchlands grows as we explore new places and we’re introduced to new characters who will entice you. Windwitch is unputdownable and unforgettable it’ll leave you wanting more. It is the perfect blend of action, suspense, heartbreak, shocking and swoon worthy moments. It’ll keep you coming back for more. The world building is made up of so many little nuances adding up to the larger picture. It may seem like info dumping or over building, yet I know each time Susan drops a hint or introduces something new, it has a purpose. I find a thrill in making those small connections and start wondering what role they’ll play later on. I like it when a book keeps me guessing and discovering if my predictions are right or wrong. I love how vast the world is and how everything is being revealed at an even steady pace. I could not read this book fast enough!! I found Windwitch to be more of a character-driven book compared to Truthwitch. Since mostly everyone is separated, we get to know each of the main characters in depth. So many events have affected our beloved main characters, that Susan does a fantastic job developing and describing the changes everyone undergoes through the course the book. We discover how complex they are as we see more of their personalities, mannerisms, and history. I also enjoyed the new characters that Susan introduces, one whom I loved right off the bat and the other grew on me. Windwitch is a whirlwind of a book, full of many emotions that had me laughing, squealing, and screaming. There was actually one moment where I had to put the book down to process the crucial moment where I screamed. BRACE YOURSELVES!! If you thought you LOVED Truthwitch, just wait until you read Windwitch. With its mesmerizing and thrilling plot and vivid writing, Susan catapults you into a world you don’t want to leave.
Amy_Jo More than 1 year ago
Thank God two main characters were together during this book because I hate hate hate when everyone is too spread out in fantasy books. I greatly enjoy the enemies to friends to possibly more trope. I feel bad for Marek, I hope he gets a break soon. And bring Safiya back, she's too far from everyone else.
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
“After all, pain was her lesson for dreaming big.” In short, though I had a rocky start to this book, it turned out to be THE BEST THING EVER! My heart is currently aching for the beautiful, dark souls of Iseult and Aeduan because they are my new OTP and I LOVE THEM TO THE VOID AND BACK. I’m SO EXCITED that the third book is called Bloodwitch because that just means that Aeudan will still be in it and also, did I mention HOW MUCH I LOVE THESE TWO? I picked up my copy of Windwitch the MINUTE after I closed my review document of book one, Truthwitch (THANK YOU PAN MACMILLAN INDIA FOR MY COPY!) and the first thing that hit me was: a) That the entirety of Truthwitch had taken place in days b) It was two weeks later and well, EVERYTHING HAD CHANGED. Going into Windwitch right after Truthwitch felt… different. What I LOVED: 1. ISEULT AND AEUDAN: Everytime I saw their names on the pages I did a tiny happy dance because Windwitch told the story from BOTH their perspectives and it was FREAKING ADORABLE. AND BRUTAL. AND AMAZING. I loved how they saw each other, how the fact the Aeduan had no threads freaked out a generally stoic witch and the fact that Iseult had no blood scent got to Aeduan. I LOVED READING about how they saw each other, and how they dealt with the feelings of wrongness when they were apart. IT WAS F**KING BEAUTIFUL. Truth be told, THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE TRADITIONAL ROMANTIC THING THAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THEM, but HOLY GOD Susan Dennard made me fall for them anyway. 2. The Storyline: The Story went SO MUCH DEEPER in this instalment, showing you more secondary characters, most inevitable betrayals, more DARK/ VOID MAGIC and well, I LOVED IT. Even though Safi and Iseult and Merik and Safi remained separated through the book, there wasn’t pining of the dreadful sort and that was definitely a plus point too. 3. THE ENDING: While it wasn’t a cliffhanger, I closed the book DESPERATE FOR MORE. I NEED MORE Iseult and Aeduan in my life, also maybe Safi and Vaness (who SERIOUSLY reminds me of Manon from Throne of Glass) and the rest of the cast. Oh, and Owl and the Mountain Bat. (READ IT.) 4. AEDUAN: HE. IS. FREAKING. AWESOME. AND RUTHLESS. AND POWERFUL. AND CARING. AND HE RESCUED A GIRL FROM PIRATES. AND HE HAS A TORTURED PAST. And he was easily my favourite part of the book. What I didn’t LOVE: I couldn’t shake the feeling that it had missed something more than the time – that it was a very abrupt beginning and I didn’t know what to do with it. For a while. So for about the first third of the book, the ONLY SCENES I was looking forward to were those that contained my lovely Iseult and Aeduan. Merik felt like he was LITERLLY stomping around the place, claiming he was a forgotten God and DID NOTHING. Although I did like Safi and him in book one, I really didn’t like what his character did in this ENTIRE book – which was NOTHING. It did take me a while to get into this book, and I put it down for a while to read Frostblood, but when I picked it back it, I FELL IN LOVE. A dark, BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL Fantasy with characters that make you feel all wrapped up in one of my favourite fantasies since A Court Of Mist and Fury. 4.5 stars.
Adriyanna More than 1 year ago
WINDWITCH by Susan Dennard was incredible from start to finish. Filled with action, heartache and some of the greatest moments of character development I’ve ever read, this book is sure to become a favourite of 2017. The world-building is so rich, it practically leaps off the page. Enemies become allies and allies become enemies in this stunning sequel to TRUTHWITCH. I want to take a moment to talk about the writing. It was so beautiful that I’d take the time to analyze every paragraph, every sentence, and every word. I feel like, in a way, Dennard’s writing can be compared to the gorgeous, imagery-like writing of Laini Taylor. I’ve never really considered this before, but the world-building and character development is so complex, so rich, it’s reached that level. This is the best Dennard book to date. Like in TRUTHWITCH, this novel is told in 3rd person, multiple POV’s. We have characters already familiar to us: Merik, Safi, Iseult, and Aeduan. However, Dennard adds a 5th voice: Vivia Nihar, Merik’s older sister. Having this many voices in one book can go really wrong, but Dennard is flawless. In fact, WINDWITCH is one of the best examples of a book told in multiple POV’s. The transitions were so smooth, that when character A’s POV ended, even though I wanted to know more about character A, I was satisfied enough to continue on with character B. There have been times when I’m reading a book with only two different POV’s and the voices weren’t different enough. I understood that these two characters had different personalities, traits and ambitions, but the voices sounded too similar; as if I were reading a book with 1.5 POV’s rather than 2. I’m really astounded at how flawlessly Dennard pulls this off. Like I said, this is one of the best books with multiple POV’s and if you’re writing a book like this or planning to, I’d recommend you study Dennard’s style. I think it’d be really helpful for writers to see why this style worked for Dennard and whether or not it could work for you. The character development is so amazing, along with the sort of relationships we see between different characters. This book is Merik’s arc and the focus is mostly on him. He has so much rage and grief and regrets, that it’s funnelled into a new identity: the Fury. There’s also a focus on Vivia, and Merik & Vivia’s relationship as siblings/rivals. This relationship was the most prominent and I loved every moment of it! Iseult/Aeduan fans will be very happy with this book. These two create a temporary alliance and start traveling together in the Contested Lands. Their chapters ended up being my favourite, mainly because Aeduan is my all-time favourite character! There was the makings of a slow burn romance and I mean slowww, but this book starts them off as could-be-friends and allies, which is something I’m really happy about. Some readers might be a bit disappointed because, in a way, that strong friendship between Safi and Iseult, the one that drew readers to TRUTHWITCH isn’t as prominent. Safi and Iseult are definitely fighting to reach each other in WINDWITCH but it ends up more about how these two fight for survival without the other. These two characters are so strong together, but how do they fare without the other to lean on? Some very tough and heartbreaking decisions are made in this book. The reader ends up seeing a different side of the relationship we first encountered in TRUTHWITCH and I really liked that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grand, sweeping, satisfying ending and lovely, real, motivating characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good sequel, full of adventure and continually evolving relationships and alliances! Masterfully strung together with a balance of jokes and emotional punches that had me finish this in 2 days! Fully lives up to the original while expanding it in every way. Very excited for the next one!
paisleypikachu More than 1 year ago
I honestly don’t know where to even start with this review. I can say that I loved Windwitch, but that doesn’t even begin to cover it. I adored this book. I am so incredibly proud of Susan for writing this book. Windwitch will always be one of my favorites. If you follow Susan Dennard at all on social media or through her newsletter, you’ll know that this book was hard for her to write. With that in mind, I went into Windwitch a little anxious. I’ve loved all of her previous books, but I saw her struggle with this book and it honestly had me a little scared. Truthwitch was a really strong first installment, I mean really strong. My expectations for book two were pretty high. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Windwitch starts off with, not just a band, but an explosion and continues to build from there. It takes characters I had already fallen in love with, a world that had already engrossed me, and adds to all of that exponentially. The plot went in directions that I never expected and I am so glad that it did. It just goes to show that, contrary to any misgivings she might voice, Dennard is fully in charge of this story and is taking it in exactly the direction it needs to go. The world of the Witchlands seems so much fuller and grander after reading Windwitch. Every country and race were obviously thought through. The scale of this world feels more adult fantasy to me; the sprawling nations and many-faceted cultures are equal parts refreshing and exciting. I couldn’t wait to see new places in this installment, and can’t wait for the next book to explore even more places that were teased. The first thing that I loved back when I read Truthwitch was the characters. I instantly fell in love with both Safi and Merik and could not wait to see where Windwitch would take them. The first thing that stood out to me while reading Windwitch was again the characters, but in a very different way than in book one. I can’t even begin to say how much I appreciated Merik’s relationship with his sister, Vivia, who might very well be my new favorite character. Both have POVs in Windwitch, and both were wonderful to read. After years and years of reading about cookie-cutter, perfect, best friend-level sibling relationships, it was so great to read about siblings who didn’t get along, who didn’t like each other, who needed to reevaluate how they viewed each other. That’s the relationship I experienced, and it has always been absent from the books I’ve read. Dennard portrayed it perfectly with Merik and Vivia, and I will forever be grateful. As far as characters go, another pleasant surprise was Aeduan. I hate to admit it, but in Truthwitch I just wasn’t as drawn to him as many other readers were. He was fine, but I definitely needed to see more of his character before I was ready to pass any sort of judgement. Windwitch gave me more. His character growth, while by no means being the only instance of growth in this book, was by far the most impactful for me. It was amazing to see deeper into Aeduan’s character, even if it was still relatively small glimpses. Now knowing that book three will be titled Bloodwitch and will be Aeduan’s book, it feels even more fitting that his character was one I was newly drawn to in Windwitch. Even though Windwitch is Merik’s book, the ladies totally dominated its pages. Like I said before, Vivia is a new favorite and she is incredible at every stop. Safi is her delightful self, as usual. Iseult had a
Asteria55 More than 1 year ago
The adventures that began in Truthwitch continue in Windwitch, and they are even more elaborate than before. New characters make their debut, new locations emerge on the horizons, and new questions are raised. I thoroughly enjoyed Windwitch, and just like with Truthwitch, I could not set the book down for even one second. While the plot often left me guessing as to what would happen next, the development of the characters was absolutely excellent. The turmoils and triumphs of the characters were fervent and heartfelt. I cannot wait to see where they go in the third installment of the Witchlands series.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Windwitch by Susan Dennard Book Two of The Witchlands series Publisher: Tor Teen Publication Date: January 10, 2017 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies… After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak―which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed. When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her―yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first? After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge―especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands. What I Liked: One-line summary of my review: Windwitch is a good, non-sequel-slump novel, but not as strong as its predecessor Truthwitch, and seriously lacking in the romance department. This sequel novel picks up some time after the insane ending of Truthwitch (how much time passes is not specified). Merik is burned and badly injured beyond recognition, and haunts Nubrevna as The Fury, fighting for the weak and trying to help the city. Safi and Vaness barely escape the explosion of the ship they were on, and are captured by legendary Hell-Bards. Aeduan seeks his silver talers, but he is also tasked with finding the Threadwitch, Iseult. And Iseult... Iseult is desperate to find Safi, so much so that when she comes across a badly injured Aeduan, she strikes a deal with him: help her track Safi, and she'll return his silver talers to him (which she found and hide). All four of the protagonists are so close yet so far away from each other. Meanwhile, a fifth protagonist emerges, and proves to be an extremely important player in the political game. All the while the Puppeteer's power is growing, and something strange is happening to dead men, and a war that will sweep across the Witchlands is about to unfold. This book is told in third-person, limited to five protagonists. It's a lot, but so many narrators actually really works for this series. We know four of them - Merik, Safi, Aeduan, and Iseult. The fifth is Vivia, Merik's sister. Of the five, I liked Aeduan and Iseult's narratives the best, and probably Safi's the least. Her part of the story was the most boring. But I'll get to that. This book is titled Windwitch and so you expect it to be mostly about Merik - and you'd mostly be correct. It starts with him and ends with him. He is badly burned and his facial features are utterly disfigured. He has adopted the title of The Fury, which is actually a figure in legend. Merik is somewhat aimless, though he doesn't realize it. When he learns that the ship that Safi was on exploded, he loses it (he thinks she's dead). Merik's narrative is the most heartbreaking, and the most cruel. My heart broke every time... Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
JenLBW More than 1 year ago
I didn’t think I could love a book more than Truthwitch but Windwitch does it. It manages to top the first book which is such a fantastic thing because you often have that sophomore slump. If you follow Susan on social media outlets you know that the she struggled with writing this story but I saw none of that as a I read. Windwitch is executed beautifully and is an absolute perfect second book for the Witchlands series. One of my favorite things about Windwitch is that it takes all the things you know about the characters and shows you the other side of the coin. Every story has two sides or even more depending on the how many people are involved. You find yourself feeling for characters you didn’t expect and look at characters you love with a side eye. I love love when a story gives me that. Audean and Iseult were my two favorite characters in Truthwitch and continue to be so in Windwitch. I loved every scene they were in, it didn’t matter if they were alone or with other people. They just play off one another so well! I need more! More!! I felt like Safi was sidelined a little bit so we could really get Merik’s story. Not that she didn’t have big parts because she did. I also loved the introduction of Vaness. I hope to see some of the story told in her perspective in future books but Merik needed to grow. Which meant he needed space to grow. He changes so much in this book, some for the better some for the worse. We really see how is relationships with other people have influenced and of course that other side of the coin scenario again. We do get to see Vivia’s perspective and I was ready to hate her. Seeing their story play out I am more intrigued with everyone now instead of hating them. I want to know both “good” guys and “villains” better. The plot pacing was perfect, the world was perfect and the story was addicting. I’m still waiting for the awesome amazing video games and manga based off this series because their needs to be video games and comics for it. Maybe some action figures, legos, funkos…….Oh yes so back to the back. It has my heart as does this series. I can not wait to see what happens next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Th first one was excusite