19 November, 2015


Title: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy,Witches
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: ARC
Pages: 416
Publication: Januray 5th, 2016

Add to GoodReads // Buy on BookDepository

SYNOPSIS: 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 is super hyped on twitter. I mean seriously! People are claiming their witch gangs and all that, at some point I think Truthwitch was in every post on my poor twitter feed! So yes, it got my attention as well. Besides I do love witches! Also, thank you very much publishers for providing me with and ARC of this book!

Firstly let me tell you one thing, the cover is pretty alright but if that cannot be any of the main two girls simply for how many times it is written how they get their skirts up. Just an observation.

Secondly if you are looking for witches than this book is not for you. This, turns out, is what we call Grisha type of book, nothing to do with actual witches as we know them.

And thirdly the names are impossible to pronounce or spell for that matter. Neither of people nor of locations. Just impossible. I miss good old and simple names.

THE WORLD: So the world here is divided into empires which are at 20 years old peace. And that peace is about to end in a few days. In other words, the war is about to start again. In this world there are witches of all kinds, well frankly they are not witches to me. It is just like in Grisha trilogy, people can control elements. You have a windwitch who controls the wind, you have a voicewitch who communicated with other voicewitches (aka mobile phone), bloodwitches who kill other witches and threadwitches who I think can mane things, tho I am still not sure about them. And the list goes on and on. But there are also rare witches such as main character who is a truthwitch as in she can feel if you are saying the truth or a lie (*Sunsummoner cough cough*). However, what got my interest was the fact that apart from all these witches *cough grishas cough* there are also witches who lives in tribes all isolated from the outside world. That wasn't very new or original but still I loved this aspect the most really. Sadly we don't get much of it. Anyways, in one world, just another Grisha type of world.

CHARACTERS: Okay so now I will try to use the names, I am sorry for terrible spelling straight away! So, the main character in the book is Safi who is as I already mentioned a truthwitch in hiding. In other world if she is found she would be used for political purposes. But let me just tell you one thing, Safi is absolutely annoying character and makes me really think about reading this series further. Like she needs to escape and many people are helping her, risking their own lives for her and what she does, she gets mad that nobody told her they will help her so she gets away from the safe place and goes off alone. Yeah because 17 years old girl is so strong and can kill basically immortal hitman. Yeah right. Makes me want to slap Safi really hard. Her sidekick on the other hand is really cool and is the character that actually makes this book interesting. Now her name is....wait for it...Iseult...try to pronounce that! I just call her Izzy for the sake of my tongue. But really, this girl is rather awesome and I can only hope she will not get over-shined by Safi. Would be such a shame! And yes, Izzy is the girl that is involved with the tribe.

Additionally, surely we have more characters but frankly none of them stand out. If not for Izzy I don't think I would bother at all. It feels like Susan Dennard has to work very much on her characters in the future to make them at least interesting (again not Izzy).

PLUS: I really liked the tribe part, it was rather different.

MINUS: So yeah, I have a really hard time following the world in this book. I know it is normal for the first book in the series but still...it is lacking clear explanations. And please, can someone explain to me what are exactly threadwitches???

MINUS II: Whole time reading I just felt like it is a copycat of Grisha world. I don't know, for me it just does not sit right.

OVERALL: Alright, so my conclusion is that I do not understand why this book is so hyped. I am sorry but I just don't. I think it is an alright read and has potential but it is far from great. The choice if you read it or not I leave completely to you.

I believe this was a much expected book right? As Hannah said my Twitter feed was also flooded by tweets about Truthwitch and when a book generates public expectation it also generates HIGH expectations.

THE WORLD: As Hannah already described, Truthwitch immerses the readers in a torn-apart world. A world divided in empires which have been at peace for 20 years, and in this world there are "witches." Not the traditional ones with the broomsticks! These are specialized witches, e.g. there are Windwitches controlling the wind, Voicewitches who can communicate with other Voicewitches no matter the distance, Truthwitches who can discern the truth from lies, and the list goes on and on.
The world is divided in different Empires being the most important ones: Dalmotti, where the main characters are from, Nubrevna where the prince is from, and Arithuania where the bloodwitch is from.
It is an interesting world, I believe it's quite original although I agree with Hannah that it does have a resemblance to the Grishas (by Leigh Bardugo). Nonetheless I appreciate the change in how the witches were viewed, far from the tradition.

CHARACTERS: The main characters are Safiya fon Hasstrel, a Truthwitch who can discern the truth from the lies, and Iseult det Midenzi, a Threadwitch who can see all the threads that connect people to each other. Safi and Iz are Threadsisters since one saved the other and their connection is very strong, they understand each other like nobody else does, they synchronize their movements and they protect each other ferociously. 
I always appreciate friendship. There are not enough books focusing on friendship rather than romance and specially on friends being friends after they both get a love interest. I can't wait to read more about Safi and Iz's journey together and how much they will have to rely on each other to solve all their problems (and stop a war maybe?).
There are also two male characters introduced although I have no idea how their characters are going to develop. The first one is a Bloodwitch called Aeduan whose mission is to hunt Safi and Iz and the second one is Prince Merik, a Windwitch captain of a ship whose kingdom has serious problems... and his ambitious, cruel sister is involved as well. To be honest I liked both, I thought Aeduan was super interesting to read and I sense he's in big trouble and had a tough life. Then Merik was such a princeling xD I rather have him as king than his sister Vivian.

PLUS: In general I really liked the concept of these specialized witches and although it is a bit confusing I also liked how the book already starts with an action-packed scene. Safi and Iz's friendship is a major plus. Like I said there are not enough books about friendship and I loved to read about them because they take care of each other without losing their own individuality and independence... and what about romance? There are a couple possible ships in the horizon.

MINUS: Since the book starts by throwing the reader directly into the world and Safi's and Iz's problems it can get confusing. I had to read everything slowly to make sure I didn't miss any important hint. And also I didn't like Safi's character much... she was a bit too stupid and impulsive but oh well.

OVERALL: 4 stars. Truthwitch has potential. It is action-packed and fast-paced, has two main female characters who care about each other more than anything else (friendship goals), and the best part: they are witches! Honestly, I really liked all the different witches and their powers. I can't wait to know what Voidwitches are and do since they are barely present in this book but I have the feeling they will play a big role. 

What do you guys think about TRUTHWITCH?