Monday, February 1, 2016

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Summary from Goodreads:
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 book crossed my radar a long time ago. There was a lot of hype for this one at BEA last year.  I’ve never read a book by Dennard, but I’ve read so much of her praises and I do follow her on social media. This book just sounded so awesome. Basically it sounded a bit like a giant YA Avatar type fantasy that centered on friendship. How can that be bad?
For the most part, I did really enjoy this one. It did read like a giant YA Avatar type fantasy that centered on friendship. I love YA that has good friendships in it. It’s kind of my experience that if there are no good friends, too much emphasis is on the romance. And I love romance, really I do. I just like a few side dishes with my main course and my main course doesn’t always have to be the same. So, for that aspect of the book I’m so grateful.
I loved this world too. I found the different kinds of magic to be fascinating. I want to know so much more about it. I want to see more of the fire magic and iron magic and the bloodwitch. There’s just so much I don’t know yet, in regards to this world and the magic that I know I will have to continue reading the series to learn about it. This author is great at never info-dumping. She builds her world as she goes along. And while sometimes this can be frustrating, at other times I really respect her for it. She started right in the middle of an action sequence, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I like the idea of political powers going on crazy missions and risking it all to get their hands on the truthwitch. I do kind of want to know how everyone seems to know of her abilities despite the fact she’s lived with that secret her whole life. Was everyone knowing about her, part of her uncle’s plan? And how far did his plan reach exactly? So much I need to know!
There were two things that bothered me a little, while reading. One, I’m not sure I believed Safiya and Iseault’s friendship. And two, I really hated the romantic interest. So, I just said how much I loved that it was about friendship, and I did. I just wish there was more to go on than a past life-saving event that was quickly summarized and not ever shown. I wanted to see their friendship more than I did. They were always risking each other’s lives for the other and putting their friendship first above all else, which is great. But why? Why are they friends? Maybe if I saw them interact in any way that wasn’t running for their lives or fighting bad guys, I’d see it more. I guess their friendship felt kind of insta-love like, with no real development. I get that it might not make sense to see their history or how they first became friends in the story, but I did need to see more of their interactions/connections.
And the leading love interest was such a jerk. I’m not sure I could ever fall for a guy who chains up the main character (twice). Seriously, he has to punish his crew for disobeying and he can’t look like he’s treating her any differently, but really? How am I supposed to fall for a guy who practically tortures the main character on some weird/twisted type of principal? I though he was supposed to be different from his sister. Couldn’t part of that difference be a sense of compassion and humility?
All in all, this book was fun. I loved the idea of a fantasy based on two girl friends. I wish I could see more of that friendship than I did. I love the world the author created and all the unanswered questions I have are seriously making me need the next book already. There was a lot of action, which I love. I’m not a fan of the romantic interest. But, it’s only book 1. Maybe someone else will enter the picture later? I give it an 7.5/10.

1 comment:

  1. Aw, too bad the friendship aspect wasn't developed more - though kudos to the author for making it a focus, I agree. Overall, this one does sound pretty good though so I'll definitely be checking it out for myself sometime.