Truthwitch. Susan Dennard.Young Adult/Fantasy. Published on January 5, 2016 by Tor Teen. 416 pages. [Source: Purchased at Barnes and Noble]
“I hate this. Both the storm and the plan. Why does it have to be ‘we’? Why not just me?”
“Because ‘just me’ isn’t who we are,” Iseult hollered back. “I’ll always follow you, Safi, and you’ll always follow me. Threadsisters to the end.”
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.
This beautiful book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2016 and boy, did it deliver. This is one epic tale of friendship, trust, and loyalty.
What sets Truthwitch off from most YA fantasy books is that it is primarily focused on a female friendship. It’s about 2 best friends trying to survive and stay hidden in the Witchlands. That’s pretty much the essence of the story.
However, there is so much more to this book. The characterisation is fantastic. Safi is one of my favourite protagonists now because of her flaws. She’s written to be this rash girl who’s reliant upon the people around her and makes several mistakes, which to me is very relatable. She wasn’t written to be your average “perfect” YA heroine, which I love. Then we have Iseult, who is the perfect compliment to Safi. She is what Safi isn’t and vise versa. Safi and Iseult’s friendship is goals to be honest.
Next to Safi and Iseult we have characters like Merik, who you can’t help but sympathise for, Aeduan, who seems to be a morally ambiguous character, Evrane, a great companion, Leopold, who so happens to be my favourite side character, Kullen and Ryber, who are just great, and so much more. We have such an amazing cast of characters!
The book is written in third person, and it was very easy to read. Normally, I prefer the first person POV because it’s just easier to read, but here, it took me a chapter to realise that it was actually written in third person because it was a breeze to read! There was also some pretty great dialogue between the characters, which is always a plus.
“Where’s your hair?” she shouted. “And what happened to your arm?”
“Cut my hair and got shot with an arrow!”
“Gods below, Iseult! A few hours away and your whole life tumbles through the hell-gates!”
“I might say the same to you,” Iseult shouted back—though it was getting hard to scream and ride. “Four opponents on your tail and a ruined dress!”
― Susan Dennard, Truthwitch
There is a romance in this book, but I find that it has taken the back seat, which I don’t mind because I find that those kind of romances are the best ones. In fact, I think that Truthwitch can survive without the romance! I am grateful for this romance though because it’s soooo good. I obviously ship it.
While I thought that the characters and the writing were great, I just thought that some of the terms weren’t explained properly. What is cleaving? How does one become part of someone’s Threadfamily? What makes a Threadsister/brother bond so special? I’m hoping for those to be explained in book 2.
Nonetheless, I still loved this book for it’s action-packed ending, characters, and funny dialogue. I highly recommend this book! You need to pick it up. Do it do it do it do it.
I give this book
Safe harbors, my friends!