Review: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.
Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.
Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.
In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
5 Out Of 5 Stars
Genre: Another-World, Royal-Court, Supernatural, Survival, Suspense, Teen, Witches--
Iseult and Safi are thread sisters who would do anything for each other, even if it meant risking their lives. When a bad plan goes awry, they are on the run from a Blood Witch who can destroy them in every sense of the word. Prince Merik, who has been trying desperately to get a way to feed his starving people gets roped into helping the girls, even though it may cost him more than he could ever know. A storm is brewing, with the Puppet Master at it's center, and the world is about to be at war.
Sea Foxes. The story had me at sea foxes. And sure, that was like half way through, and I was already invested in the characters and the amazing world the author created, but I was 100% sold when the sea foxes showed up. I mean, how could I not be? They were so cool with their furry faces and evil ways. It was like a nightmare imaginary creature come to life, and I loved every minute of it. Is it sad that I hope they show up again in the next book?
I have so many questions about a ton of things for this book! What will Aeduan (aka the evil blood witch who I loved!) do now that he is torn between his father and his monk duties? And can I just say I want him and Isult to hook up because they compliment each other so well. And the whole Merik/Safi dynamic??? Ok, I feel like me saying anymore will lead into me fangirling tons of spoilers, so you will just have to suffer through my vague rambling review as is.
As a side note, I listened to this as an audiobook and I did not like the audio version at all. The narrator made up accents for all the characters so half the things they said were hard for me to understand. I had the physical book as well, so at times I would reference the book to see what was actually going on. The best thing about the audiobook was the fact I learned how to pronounce all the complicated names, which I know I would have butchered left to my own devices (and now I can say them, just not spell them to save my life). I think this is a testament to how good the author is that even though I did not like the narrator I still very much so enjoyed the book (which is unusual for me- If I don't like the audio, I don't like the book).
I have no idea how things will play out, and I know that there will be a LOT of books to come in this world, so do not expect anything to be wrapped up- things are just getting started. If you are looking for a teen fantasy book with in depth world building, awesome female characters and multiple perspectives, where friendship is valued over almost everything else, then this is the book for you.