Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands | Book 1
Pages: 416 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (January 5, 2016)
Rating: 4 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)
The novel, Truthwitch, by Susan Dennard describes a richly imagined world of witchery.
Hot headed and impulsive domna Safiya (Safi) fon Hasstrel is a Truthwitch and heiress to the Hasstrel lands. Although witchery is prevalent in the Truthlands, Safi must keep her witchery a secret lest she become a political pawn with her ability to discern truth from lie. Despite being a domna, Safi is far from proper and regards her title as a restraint to her freedom.
Isuelt Midenzi, a Threadwitch is scorned by many because of her Nomatsi heritage. After leaving the Midenzi settlement, she and Safi cross paths and become Threadsisters: a bond developed through a shared life-or-death experience.
But with the end of the treaty that keeps the several empires of the Witchlands from fighting approaching, Safi and Iseult’s peaceful lives will dissipate as they are both forced to run to stop Safi from becoming a political pawn.
With the help of Safi’s uncle’s arrangements, Safi and Iseult manage to make a wild escape and ride a ship to Nubrevna captined by Prince Merik, a Windwitch. However with secret political deals and a vengeful Bloodwitch on their trail, their fight for freedom to live their own lives will not end when they reach Nubrevna.
I found Truthwitch to be similar to Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass, but in a good way. In fact, Maas actually did the cover blurb and Dennard dedicated the book to her. Here’s a list of the similarities I found:
- Two courageous heroines who both know how to use a sword (very well)
- There are witches, except in Truthwitch, witches can actually use magic
- Both authors use similar words for emphasis when their characters are frustrated
- There’s political schemes
- The main, main character Safi has a title like Aelin. Safi rejects her title in Truthwitch, much like Aelin did, but I wonder if she’ll have to reclaim her title, if for instance, her uncle dies
Okay, now that I’ve listed the similarities I’m going to discuss the aspects I liked about Truthwitch that are unique to it:
- Two compelling female protagonists with a strong friendship and magical bond as well. Incidentally their connection kind of reminds me of the parabati connection in The Mortal Instruments. Of the two protagonists, I think I liked Iseult more since she used her head more than Safi, although I have to admire Safi for what she did at the end of the book.
- Some interesting side characters. Even though Aeudan the Bloodwitch was rather messed up and creepy, I found his character’s agenda to be interesting since it appeared that he had conflicting loyalties. I’m interested in seeing how this will be played out in the sequel.
- Smooth writing for the most part
- Well developed characters
- A fascinating high fantasy world, although I did think the book was a little prone to info-dumping
- An intriguing story
- An interesting premise that followed through
Overall I enjoyed Truthwitch, although I did have a few problems with it. For one, there was no coherent plot that I could sum up in a few words compared to Throne of Glass, for instance, which was for Celaena to win her freedom in a dangerous competition. However there were many subplots (such as Iseult’s mysterious dreams) which I hope will be explored in the sequel, although I’m not sure what the sequel will look like after book 1’s ending.
At times, Safi irritated me since she didn’t really think things through, but I guess that’s how the plot moved and Safi managed to get herself out of some problems. Another thing I didn’t like too much was the romance between Safi and Merik: one minute they’re hating each other and fighting each other on the ship and the next they’re in love, which I found rather unrealistic. I also found Merik to be kind of similar to Dorian from Throne of Glass and Safi and Merik’s romance to be like that of Celaena and Dorian’s.
For the most part, I liked Truthwitch and would recommend it to anyone who just wants a fast paced YA high fantasy book to read and enjoy.
What are your thoughts on Truthwitch? How did you think it was similar to Throne of Glass? How was it different? What did you think of Safi and Iseult? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. 🙂