Series: The Witchlands #2
Published by Tor on January 12th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…
After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.
This review contains minor spoilers for Truthwitch. Check out my review for Truthwitch here.
Witty banter, elemental powers and a strong sibling bond were things that I loved about Truthwitch, and things that I was looking forward to in Windwitch.
However with a super slow pace, barely there banter and no scenes between Safi and Isseult, Windwitch barely resembled what I loved about the first book.
I knew Windwitch was going to mostly feature Merik, with his elemental powers and his claim to royalty. However, given the events from the past book, Merik is a shell of his former self and I missed his trademark arrogance and antagonistic banter. He’s scarred in more ways than one and determined to prove his sister’s guilt in this book, and he’s definitely more darker and sombre in comparison. I loved the bond he developed with Cam, a trans character who is a girl who prefers to dress as a boy.
Despite everything we’ve heard about Vivia, the spoilt Princess and rightful heir to her father’s throne, actually meeting her in the book was a welcome event. I loved seeing her make the tough decisions, as a Commander who harnesses her temper and rage into a magical frenzy. She makes all the tough decisions, but she’s also vulnerable enough to be relatable. It was fantastic seeing her as an LGBT character who has feelings for her second in command, who is also a woman. I loved how the diversity and feminism is woven naturally into the story without making a big deal about it.
Safi’s perspective was probably the dullest one for me, as she runs into danger travelling with the Empress Vaness. She gets captured by Hell-Bards, and forms an unlikely friend with someone who she thought was her enemy. A romance develops (love triangle alert), as she grows closer to this person and they share blood debts. However, I wanted more truthwitchery, more thoughts about Isseult and her sisterly bond rather than her apparent helplessness.
Safi was the rose in the sunshine, and Iseult was the shadow behind. Without her, Iseult was just a bumbling collection of thoughts that constantly lead her astray,.
Thankfully, Aeduan and Isseult were the saving grace of the story and I was glad they travelled together. From antagonistic banter, to a tentative bond forming and finally trust forming between them, it’s a slow burn romance that I shipped A LOT. You could definitely feel the chemistry between them.
Much of the book moves at a snail’s pace, with plenty of world building around the characters. I felt the interchanging perspectives were quite awkward; with over 5 characters, sometimes their perspectives would merge and overlap with one another in the middle of the chapter. This made it quite slow and hard to follow at times, especially with the slow-moving plot. I thought there would be a build up and action in the novel but unfortunately, the ending to Windwitch was quite lacklustre.
While I loved the elemental powers, fun banter and the sibling relationships in Truthwitch, the sequel felt very much like a filler book and a shade of its former self. If it wasn’t for the new diverse characters, and Isseult and Aeduan’s perspective, I would’ve considered DNFing the book because of how slow it was. Thankfully, I still enjoyed the setting and the deeper world building in the novel, along with the elemental powers, so I’m definitely looking forward to continuing onto Bloodwitch. Also, AEDUAN’S PERSPECTIVE, yes please.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Thanks Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a review copy!