Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Review: Truthwitch

THE WITCHLANDS #1
AUTHOR: SUSAN DENNARD
RATING: 4 STARS
I've had people tell me on and off to pick this one up for a while but I've been hesitant because there have been several mixed reviews and after reading Something Strange and Deadly I wasn't sure how Dennard's writing style would translate to epic fantasy. Well, thanks to a twitter poll (and special thanks to Brittany Jackson for being the tie breaker) I finally picked it up and I don't regret it at all.

Truthwitch follows several characters, most notably thread-sisters Safi and Iseult, as they become enmeshed in the center of a political mission that will lead to either war or peace.

First off, what I didn't like: the beginning. I thought it felt rushed, it took me a little to get my footing, and the motivations for the characters made little to no sense. I almost DNFd it because I really didn't like anyone, nor did I think the world was anything special, and it in fact felt messy. It was probably somewhere near the 100 page mark where I realized that I hadn't been able to put it down in sometime and no longer had any of the problems I'd had early on. I will say that even towards the end I had some questions about motivations and what exactly got certain balls rolling, and I'm not too sure if the logic worked out all the time, but it didn't end up being a big deal and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of things are answered later in the series.

Because I had a hard time with the motivations early on I had a hard time with the characters early on. I also never really wrapped my head around all the anger Safi and Merik held onto; I couldn't see exactly where their tempers were coming from all the time, but in the end it didn't bother me too much because their characters grew throughout the story. Overall I liked all of the characters, and most of the ones who didn't get narration chapters have left me incredibly curious as to what's next. I particularly liked the relationship between Safi and Iseult, because they were seriously best friends and the way their friendship was depicted was not something I have seen between two female characters in a fantasy book before. Normally two men will have that relationship, or a man and a woman, and this was so refreshing and well done. I also adored how badass they were and the fact that they could easily take on other men and women and their gender was never brought up as a problem.

At first both the magic system and the world building was hard to grasp, but as soon as I started getting a grip I really enjoyed them both. The magic is interesting and fun, but I agree with many of the reviews I've seen which have said they wished there was some sort of chart to keep track. There are so many facets of witcheries that I often got lost when it came to non-important characters or passing references. I also want to know a lot more about the Origin Wells, because I'm not too sure how those work (but it also wasn't a distracting problem and I'm something I'm sure will come up later). As for the world, it was complicated but not unduly so. I liked the politics of it and I liked that it was easy to follow the relationships between most of the kingdoms and that those relationships felt real and mature, as if they had been around for a while. The map is a godsend, though, because without it I would have no idea where and how people were traveling across this world.

Overall, it's definitely a fantasy to pick up. It's got badass characters (particularly badass women) and a fighting style that's super cinematic. The fantasy elements are well done, even if it does lead on the wrong foot with some info dumping. If you've been debating this one like I was it's time you pick it up.

6 comments:

  1. Good review, Sam! I definitely want to try this one sometime. :)

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it's definitely up your alley!

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  2. I loved this one. It was all about Safi and Iseult for me. I enjoyed the second book, but not as much, because Safi and Iseult are apart, and I loved those two together. Great review!

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    1. Safi and Iseult were such awesome badasses. Hmm I'm a little worried about book two because I've heard that a lot. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Definitely adding this one to my to-read list. :)

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  4. This one really grew on me as I read on. I completely agree that the world building could be really messy at the beginning and it wasn't really until the end that I felt like I understood this world. I reread this one at the beginning of the year and found I enjoyed it more. I hope you get a chance to pick up Windwitch soon. I loved that one even more than the first. Great review!

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