Susan Dennard

Published January 2016

Witchlands #1


I recall reading someone else’s review of Truthwitch, that stated that this book was boring and they had to give up on it.  I just want to reach out and ask this unknown individual if by chance we read the same book?  Because: HOLY MOLY this book was awesome.

My sister and I had the opportunity to meet Susan Dennard at BookCon this year, and because we were still riding an autographing high from meeting Sarah J. Maas, we each promptly bought a copy of Truthwitch, and hopped in the autographing line.  Susan was so personable and funny, and even though we only got to talk to her for a minute, I knew that I was going to move Truthwitch up on my never ending TBR list because I liked her so much.

Before I tell you about how much I enjoyed this book, I do want to admit that I read and reread the summary probably eight times during the first quarter of the book.  Not a lot is explained in the first 100 pages, and Dennard just leaves it up to the readers to figure it out.  So whenever I was confused about something, I would go read the summary again.

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

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 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.

The beginning of this book is a bit confusing, which is why this book doesn’t earn 5 stars from me, but the moment I hit page 97 (yes, it was this exact page), everything just clicked.  I was totally enthralled by all of the different witcheries that I couldn’t stop reading.  And there were soooooo many different powers to discover and learn about, and they are all fascinating.

  • Truthwitch
  • Theadwitch
  • Windwitch
  • Waterwitch
  • Firewitch
  • Poisonwitch
  • Bloodwitch

Once I started to grasp the lingo of the world, I was immensely curious in learning more, and found myself truly getting lost in the pages.

The main characters were all so unique and I couldn’t help but love them all. Although there is a particular emphasis on Safi’s story line, I found that the book was broken up pretty evenly between the four main characters.  With four different points of view, the reader is opened up to a broader world, highlighting different powers, places, and perspectives.  It also made for exceptional fun when the character arcs started to converge together.  My favorite aspect of Truthwitch though, is the relationship between these characters, most importantly Iseult and Safi.  Dennard definitely stresses the ups, downs, and joys of friendship.  It is always refreshing to have a book build up relationships between characters that are not solely romantic, and Safi and Iseult’s bond is nothing short of amazing.

Truthwitch-UK-coverAgain, I think there are some conflicting views on whether or not the love story here was necessary or fell into the category of “insta-love”, but I thought it worked.  In YA fiction, I enjoy some sexual tension, and some romantic heart eyes.  I thought that the way Dennard crafted the relationship between Merik and Safi, viewed through Iseult’s eyes, was not only creative, but would quiet the haters of insta-love.  Iseult could see their threads right!? That’s got to mean something people!

I finished this book about two weeks ago, and sitting her writing my review makes me think about how much I really enjoyed it.  I love the world and the characters, and I cannot wait to see more of this tumultuous empire in the future.  I am sure the plot is going to get a whole lot larger and more complex before we are through with the series, and in short, I CANNOT wait for Windwitch.


7 thoughts on “Truthwitch

  1. Great review! I’ve seen this book floating around Instagram, but yeah didn’t know anything about it. I will have to check it out. I like that the primary relationship in the book seems to be a friendship.


      1. I did convince him to finish it. Over all he liked it, but had some issues, like the first 100 pages not having the right info and the romance feeling forced.


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