Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy
Series: The Witchlands #1
Release Date: January 5, 2016
This is the perfect example of a novel that gets better with every chapter.
It’s set in a world in which a fraction of the population has powers. There are Waterwitches, Threadwitches, Windwitches, etc. A Truthwitch is one of the rarest kind (maybe one in a generation) and they have the ability to tell truth from lie. The protagonist, Safi, is a Truthwitch but she’s hidden that from everyone. But after an unfortunate encounter with a Bloodwitch who senses her ability, she and her best friend, Iseult, have to go on the run because there isn’t much people wouldn’t do to get their hands on a Truthwitch, especially when they’re close to war.
Now initially, I wasn’t a huge fan. I mean, I liked the premise but it seemed a bit flimsy. And the prose, the imagery, just wasn’t good. Susan Dennard’s writing came off as amateurish. But I was able to get past it because the writing really improved as the book went on. The scenes got clearer and more cohesive.
And not just that. The plot got stronger and I started to care about the characters as well. Because in the beginning, Safi was annoying. She was an ‘act first, get yourself and your best friend in mortal danger, and then regret your actions’ kind of girl. Lacking in the brain cells department, it felt like. But she changed throughout the novel and, by the end, I actually liked her. Iseult was interesting. She was more closed off but she had a good reason to be. I’d like to get to know her better.
Merik, Safi’s romantic interest and another important character, came off as a prickly hot-head in the beginning. But then I understood why he was a prickly hot-head and it made sense. He just wanted to do the best for his people and his kingdom. Really liked him too. And his relationship with Safi. They had great chemistry and I totally ship them.
The pace of the book was good too, if a bit messy in the beginning. basically, what I’m saying is that the novel didn’t have the best beginning. But by the end, I was very happy with everything. I laughed, I teared up a bit and I really enjoyed reading it.
Though I still can’t any word with the suffix ‘witchery’ seriously. Truthwitchery? Threadwitchery? Bloodwitchery? It just sounds so made-up.
That aside, I’m looking forward to reading the second book, Windwitch. I have no idea where the story is going to go next and I wanna know real bad. And I can’t wait to see how much better Susan Dennard can get because I love seeing authors grow, through their work. In the mean time though, I think you should pick this one up.