Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

“I guard the light-bringer,
And protect the dark-giver.
I live for the world-starte,
And die for the shadow-ender.
My blood, I offer freely.
My Threads, I offer wholly.
My eternal soul belongs to no one else.
Claim my Aether.
Guide my blade.
From now until the end.”

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Commentary: I’ve been meaning to post my review of Truthwitch for a couple of days now, but I’ve been really busy lately, that I hardly had any time to be my blog. I hope I can have a much better schedule, and learn how to improve my time management skills.

Anyways, I’ll start off with what I didn’t like about Truthwitch. There will be minor spoilers in my review. First off, I did not like the world building, which plays a major role in this book. There is a lack of world building, and it was very confusing in the beginning of the story. I would have loved the book a bit more if there was a glossary at the end of the book. There was none. It would have been very helpful for readers. There were many ideas that were put into this book, but not well executed. For example the Origin Wells or the myth of Cahr Awen. Then there is also cleaving…I don’t know how to quite describe it myself. It’s more like overexerting your power limit and destroying yourself physically and mentally…Well, there’s a lot of cleaving in this book. The cleaving reminded me a lot of Shin Sekai Yori (From The New World; an amazing anime that you should totally watch). Also, I would have loved it if there was an explanation of the different types of witches in that world. The powers did remind me of another book series: The Grisha Trilogy.

In addition, this book was very political. If only the world building was better executed, well then I would have liked it more. The book had bits and pieces of what the world was like before the Twenty Year Truce. I would have liked if the book elaborated to what had caused the nations to go against each other, and also what caused the war. Safi plays a crucial role, since she is a Truthwitch. She is wanted by almost every country in the world because her power is very rare. There are several hints here and there about the upcoming war, and Safi will play a much larger role when it comes to the fight. Hopefully, these issues can get resolved in the sequel.

Now, what I liked about Truthwitch was the friendship between Safi and Iseult. Safi is the loudmouth and emotional one, while Iseult is emotionless, and very tactical. Safi is usually the one to get them both into trouble. Though Safi manages to mess up a lot, Iseult never abandons her dear friend.

“Where’s your hair?” she shouted. “And what happened to your arm?”
“Cut my hair and got shot with an arrow!”
“Gods below, Iseult! A few hours away and your whole life tumbles through the hell-gates!”
“I might say the same to you,” Iseult shouted back—though it was getting hard to scream and ride. “Four opponents on your tail and a ruined dress!”

Initially, I didn’t like Safi at all, but by the end of the book I ended up loving her. She has a lot of character development and learns what she has to do for the people she loves even if it means sacrificing her freedom. I also like that there different povs in this book. Iseult has her own storyline, and I would like for it to get explored more. I want to know why her race is hated so much and why the leader of her clan wants her dead. I really liked reading her perspective a lot more than Safi’s. Also, I want to know how the Puppeteer is able to get in Iseult’s mind, which was really creepy.

Now as for the love interest, I really liked Prince Merik. He won my heart once I read that he was a pirate. Very swoon-worthy, but not as much as my precious Prince Nikolai Lanstov. I really liked his relationship with Safi. Lots of sexual tension between those two. One of my favorite moments had to be the dance off. I loved how cocky Merik was. Another character that I really liked was Aeduan, he’s a villain that you’re bound to love.

“Oh, the Bloodwitch named Aeduan was no longer bored. No longer bored at all. And now he had work to do.”

I want to know more about his family’s history and how he ended up at the monastery. He is going to play a major role in the later books. He is one of the most interesting characters from this series. I also want to see how his relationship develops with Iseult as well. I didn’t really think of them as a couple because I was shipping Aeduan with Prince Leopald, since I really liked their misadventures together.

I really enjoyed reading Truthwitch, and it’s a bit diffucult to get into. Don’t give up on it, it’s really good! It’s very hyped up right now, but it wasn’t one of my favorite. I will love to continue reading the series!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


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