Friday, 25 March 2016

Truthwitch (A Witchlands Novel book #1) by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) Title: Truthwitch 
                                                                   Author: Susan Dennard
                                                                   Published: January 5th 2016 by, Tor Teen 
                                                                   Series: A Witchlands Novel book #1
                                                                   Genre: Fantasy, YA 
                                                                   Stars: 3.5/5  

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

In short, ‘Truthwitch’ is a book about the friendship between Safiya and Iseult and this was something that was very refreshing. Normally, we have the lone strong female character overcoming whatever obstacles she has to face, but this book offered a different take on the female empowerment. Both characters definitely feed off from one another and actively put each other first before anything else.

It was a fantasy book enriched with elemental magic, politics and of course war. An empire of some sort merged with different lands all trying to live in peace. However, as you get with books like this, a lot of the sectors (or one in this particular case) suffer at the hands of the greedy and rich and then there is some sort of revolt or a desire for a change that takes place.

Nevertheless, I must admit that it took some time for me to actually get into the book and start liking it. The author tends to name drop a lot of things, and miss a few plot holes, especially in the beginning, when as a reader, who has been opened up to delve into this new world where nothing will make sense initially, a little background information would of been nice. It took me until 40% of the book to actually start liking and understanding it which is a very long time.

However, once I did start to like the book, I enjoyed reading more about the four main characters; Safiya, Iseult, Merik and Aeduan.

Safiya is a very firey character who acts before she thinks. She’s the muscle between the two girls, despite the fact that both of them have been trained in the arts of fighting. Safiya is the person that everyone wants, once they find out who she is and its her life on the line that shapes the story.
Iseult, as you can probably imagine, is the antithesis of Safiya. She is much calmer and is the brains of the duo. She sees threads from people, which is basically what people are feeling.

Merik is the Prince of the land that has been suffering, Nubrevna. He is a humble man who is trying to find ever possible solution to help alleviate the claimant that his people are in. He engages in a deal with Safiya’s uncle, which places him in the very heart of the story of romance between the two. He has a few issues with his manipulative, strong sister as well as controlling his own wind witch powers which sometimes has a mind of its own.

Now, it’s Aeduan that I found the most interesting character. His a blood witch, which basically means he can control people’s blood and something that makes him very dangerous and scary. Ever since he first laid his eyes on the girls (from problem that the girls encountered at the beginning of the story which I still don’t know what was of those plot holes) he has been trying to find them and possible kill them. His motive changes on various occasions and his morals are quite questionable on several other occasions but what I found intriguing is his slow relationship build up with Iseult. There’s definitely some connection between the two and whilst Safiya and Merik’s relationship is quick and uncontrollable, Iseult’s and Aeudan’s relationship is a slow sizzle. Something to watch out for I’m sure.

All in all, it was a good book. Not one of the best and not original, but it was good. There’s something there which I am sure the author can build up on. We just have to see where it goes. 

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