Title: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!
Generally, I avoid hyped books. I avoid them like the plague because I’ve been burned so many times by fandoms and hype. Truthwitch has possibly one of the most insane book campaigns for a title I’ve seen in awhile, to the point where it’s a bit too crazy for my tastes. However, I get the appeal of this book — a lot.
This is a fantasy novel that is centered around a very dynamic and intense friendship between two woman with magical abilities. They are bonded together by their unique abilities in being able to read truths and see hidden threads, and it makes for a pretty damn exciting tale. There is tons of action in this novel, and it’s very gripping. Safi and Iseult are impeccably developed, delightfully opposite to each other, and yet their friendship was my favourite part of this novel. They have such a rich bond, the kind of best friends that will do anything and everything for each other. Can say anything knowing the other means well, even if they don’t like it. When I say their friendship is intense, I mean that 100%.
I love fantasy that is full of political intrigue as well. This book offers a lot of well developed political shenanigans with some horrific people wanting the power of truth. The stakes are always high, and it feels like Dennard is a huge fangirl, because that’s the sort of connection I made while reading the novel and looking at the stakes for both Iseult and Safi. The choices are so damned if you do and damned if ya don’t.
The romance was the on bit I had some trouble with. I appreciate levels of sexual tension, but this one didn’t really capture me. I was way more into shipping Safi and Iseult’s friendship that I just didn’t find myself caring as much for the romance elements. I wanted to care, but I just, didn’t. I was just way too team Safi and Iseult.
This is a delightful fantasy novel, and I am excited to see where Susan Dennard goes with it as sequels come out. She has a very rich fantasy world with this story, and I’m intrigued to see how things will fair for Safi and Iseult as more books come out. If you love an intensely awesome friendship, kick ass heroines, and some strong political intrigue, then you need to put Truthwitch on your TBR.