Series: The Witchlands #1
Published by Tor Teen on February 23rd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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.
You know when you’re reading a book and you think it’s the best thing ever but afterwards you struggle to find the words?
That was Truthwitch for me. I absolutely loved so many parts of it, including the descriptions of the magic, the sisterly bond between Safi and Iseult and the setting. But I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was that makes me rave about it, except that it pretty much feels like it was written for me.
Truthwitch contained so many amazing fantasy elements, and I loved how it was all interwoven together into a fun, dynamic action-packed story. The elemental powers was executed wonderfully here, with Safi as a truthwitch who can tell when people are lying, and Iseult as a threadwitch who can see the invisible ties that bind people together. Seeing their powers in motion throughout the novel was so fascinating, particularly where Safi is hunted for her ability, and where Iseult’s vision comes in handy.
The best thing is their sisterly bond with one another as threadsisters. They would do absolutely anything to protect each other and their personalities meshed with each other really well. While Iseult is from a nomadic tribe, Safi is a noble woman who becomes betrothed to royalty. I loved this concept where you’re bound to one another for life, because it means loyalty and never being alone. There are also thread-brothers in the book as well, and it was fantastic seeing the bromance play out between the Prince Merrick and the hilarious Kullen.
We also get a villain’s point of view in the novel, of the Bloodwitch Aeduan who is hunting Safi. The interesting thing about his perspective, is that he gets a lot of character development and we realise he’s not as evil as we think, particularly during his interactions with Iseult. I love seeing this character development ‘behind the scenes’ and Aeduan’s perspective was definitely a welcome part of the novel.
“I’ll strip with you,” Safi offered, grabbing for her shirttails. “If anyone shows up”—the shirt slid over her face, muffled her words—“I’ll dance around and distract them.”
I particularly loved Prince Merik, because of the antagonistic interaction he has with Safi. He’s a typical arrogant Prince, but Safi teaches him a lesson or two about pride. Their banter is fun and filled with sexual tension and develops over the course of the novel. I love books that tease the romance but doesn’t make it the main plot line.
All of this builds into an epic action scene at the end of the book, where all the powers are exhibited as the stakes get higher. I was glued to the final pages as everything that we’ve learnt about the world and the powers explode into action!
With great character interactions, lots of fun banter and most of all, a fantasy world filled with magical powers, Truthwitch is exactly my kind of book. I’m so glad to finally have a book live up to it’s hype and I absolutely loved it!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Thanks Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a review copy.