Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is the first book in a new series called The Witchlands. In The Witchlands, there are many different types of witchery that one may be born with. There are Threadwitches, Airwitches, Waterwitches, Firewitches, and many more. Safiya is a Truthwitch; her witchery informs her when people are being dishonest. Her best friend Iseult is a Threadwitch who can see the emotions of others as well as the bonds they share with people. Safiya and Iseult are Threadsisters, sharing one of these special bonds. Safi’s witchery is something that is desired by the most powerful people in each of the three empires, making it a secret known to only a few. Her witchery would allow one to have more power over the others. She and Iseult must protect her secret while keeping the truce between the three empires intact.
I read Truthwitch for The Story Squad, a bi-monthly book club on Goodreads that consists of several YouTubers. This book was one of the most hyped books at the start of 2016. For me, it mostly lived up to the hype.
I like the idea behind this novel and new book series. It’s a complicated and intriguing world. Two women that are sisters by bond, who are usually caught up in some heist or another, find themselves in the middle of an impending war. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but I like how they did this. It wasn’t the typical “female character must save the whole world just like she does in every other YA book ever” kind of way. The girls’ goals were much different than expected.
Plot Development: 4/5
The plot development was done fantastically. The pacing was appropriate; it was fast when it needed to be and slowed down when we needed to pay more attention to the goings on around the characters. There is a very small, slow-burn romance plot which I think was done very well. No insta-love and no romance that overpowers the rest of the novel. Good on you, Dennard.
My only issue with the plot was that the reader is literally thrown into the action with no background knowledge. While Dennard didn’t info-dump on us, I felt that sometimes I didn’t have enough information to gain the most understanding of scenes early in the book. After a while, I was assimilated enough into the world and culture to comprehend what I was reading, but it was a struggle at first.
I loved each character in this novel and the growth each of them saw throughout the story. They had believable emotions and reactions when things went down. I find myself wanting to learn much more about their histories and relationships with others.
Writing Style: 4/5
The point of view changes every couple of chapters or so. This was done in a way that readers can identify the change in voice with each point of view. The point of view usually changed in the middle of some pretty intense action, but it always switched to another character that was somehow involved. Dennard flawlessly weaved so many separate stories into one.
Again, my only issue with the writing style was the lack of background information provided to the reader. It’s hard to become invested in a book confuses you for a large portion of the beginning.
Other than the confusing beginning, this book was really easy to read. I found myself sucked in and wanted to read past my bedtime. I think it is absolutely appropriate for the YA audience. There is a slight romance plot, but it’s a slow-burn and not at all steamy. There are some conversations that are sexual in nature but not overtly graphic.
Total Score: 23/25, avg. 4.6/5
I’m rounding up and giving this book 5 stars! I was hooked on this story and I didn’t want it to be over. Can I have book two now, please?
I read this book for the #sixsquaredchallenge hosted by bookstacksamber! – 2016 Releases (New to Me Authors)
Have you read Truthwitch yet? Let me know what you think!
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