Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had initially started writing this review as just a standard review. But then I saw a post on Ms. Susan Dennard’s Instagram advertising for a Witchlander run blog tour. I’ve never participated in before so I decided to sign up! So first, some information. This blog tour is for the Witchlands Boxed Set which comes out October 8th, 2019. So in 7 days!
This boxed set includes the first three full length novels in the Witchlands series. For Truthwitch and Windwitch it also contains brand new dust jacket covers that are made to match the original cover of Bloodwitch. Unfortunately, the boxed set does not include a copy of Sightwitch, the Witchlands novella. This however, can be purchased separately in hardcover at any general retailer. (It’s also available as an ebook on all the retailers’ sites).
Now if you’ve never heard of the Witchlands series or Susan Dennard you’re probably very confused. But hopefully by the end you won’t be. If you really are new I would definitely say that this boxed set is the best way to get into the series because I promise you are going to want the sequels immediately if not sooner.
This series kicks off with Truthwitch which is the best hook you could ever hope for. You are immediately thrown into an action scene and are just swooped into a world and an adventure that keeps you captivated and curious. There are so many pieces and puzzles, lore and love, fights and flights. You get to see how lives weave together and plots twist and turn. It’s really a wonderful book.
It reads like a D&D campaign and that’s wholly unsurprising because it is one of her interests. There are certain authors who are good at weaving a tale together and drawing you into it and Susan Dennard is definitely one of them. She can world build without it being overbearing. Keeping you focused on the plot but also describing what the world looks like and making it real. It’s one of those books that can build a universe with out being over 1000 pages. And it is definitely a beautiful world. It is the reason that I fell so head over heels for the series.
It’s a good, quick read that sweeps you up and keeps you entertained but doesn’t take a whole year to finish. It was just the book I needed to keep me reading while I geared up to start taking classes again for the first time in a few years. And if you’re someone who is already taking classes and needs something to break a reading slump I highly recommend these books. It’s very hard to give you a summary without spoiling some aspect that you want to be surprised by so if you’re on my blog reading this I would recommend skipping the end of this post and heading over to Goodreads to read their synopsis because they are much better at it than I am. But if you don’t mind a quick play by play that uses that initial hook to bring you into the story keep reading below the bold-faced potential spoiler warning below. I personally think that the hook is one of the best I’ve read in a very long time and I would just jump right in with it if it were me.
Potential Spoiler Warning (hook, and story structure)
This story starts out following Safiya fon Hasstrel and Iseult det Midenzi running a heist against “Chiseled Cheater”, a guy Safi had met in a bar/gambling den sort of place where Safi ended up losing all of her money. This plan had been Safi’s idea from the start, she had assured Iseult that she could win big at this place and that they would be living large by the end of it. But it didn’t quite work out that way and now Safi had made it even worse. How? Because this was not Chiseled Cheater’s caravan of wagons approaching the ambush they had set up. No, this was the head of the Dalmoti Gold Guild, and he had a tracker with him.
Now, this was not some regular tracker, no this was a Bloodwitch. Because in the Witchlands people had power. There are different types of power, each tied to one of the Origin Wells. The Bloodwitch held power over blood. He could smell it, identify you by it, track you by it and control it. As soon as he has your smell you’re pretty much doomed to be caught. And Safi and Iseult could not get caught.
Here enters the master plot. They run. They get away from the Bloodwitch, but not in a way that they cannot be tracked. No one can run far enough for that. But they run to the docks to try and sail away because a Bloodwitch, while powerful, cannot outrun a ship. They were going to escape the city and come back when it was safer, when maybe it was all forgotten. But Safi’s Uncle had other plans and they were not to be ruined by Safi.
So Safi is whisked away by Habim to the peace summit she is supposed to be attending, and Iseult is sent off alone to escape the city. But plans always fail, and one marriage proposal, a “kidnapping”, and a high speed chase later and Safi and Iseult are on the run. They are not quite sure who they are running from or where they are running to. All they have is a Wordwitched contract that is nearly impossible to keep and a prince turned sailor to help them along the way as plots unfold, war breaks out, and mysteries become unveiled slowly.
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- Links to pre-order:
- Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/witchlands-hc-boxed-set-susan-dennard/1130769033?ean=9781250257796#/
- ChaptersIndigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/witchlands-hc-boxed-set-truthwitch/9781250257796-item.html?ikwsec=Books&ikwidx=0
- Fountain Bookstore: https://www.fountainbookstore.com/book/9781250257796
- The Open Door Bookstore: https://www.opendoor-bookstore.com/book/9781250257796
The cover featured above is NOT the cover of the boxed set Truthwitch.