Book Review – Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

truthwitchIn 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.

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My rating: Cyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Half starNo-Star

I feel I would have enjoyed this slightly more if I’d read the physical book – the audio book narrator was excellent but I started listening when I was pretty tired and the beginning jumps around quite a bit so it was hard to keep track of everything since I couldn’t just flick back a few pages! However, I did still enjoy this!

I really loved the female friendship between Safi and Iseult. Safi was fiery but sometimes a little wishy washy. Though I liked that she realised she was being self centred. But Iseult was bad ass and awesome, and the concept of the thread witch stuff was really intriguing to me! Especially as her gift was slightly different and, as we learn near the end, has other implications. I also liked how her being different was handled – Safi being a rare truth witch was pretty meh standard YA for me, but Iseult had so much more nuance to her.

The magic system was intriguing too, and I want to find out more. The overall world was interesting but we didn’t get enough history – why was there a truce, why does everyone want to break it, what are all the politics?? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

I was less convinced by the men in the series as I didn’t really understand any of their motivations. Merik was interesting; but I didn’t understand why he had to be so harsh with his crew. And his potential romance with Safi didn’t do much for me. Aeduan felt like such a two dimensional bad guy in places, but he also was really interesting in others – he obviously feels strongly about life deaths, and we need to know what exactly is going on with his father and his loyalties. Yet more questions! I think he’ll be an interesting one in the next book.

Overall a really enjoyable read, with just a lot of unanswered questions. Though done in a way where I just want to keep reading to the next book, and not too frustrating! 3.5 stars.

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Buy Truthwitch from Amazon UK.

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