Friday, 8 January 2016 / 8 Comments

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Title: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Macmillan/Tor
Date of Publication: 5th January 2016
Source: Purchased by reviewer


On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.


There has been a lot of hype about this book, with street teams and clans representing the different types of witches, and the first 15 chapters available to read on Netgalley for the past couple of months. Apart from being aware it was out there, I managed to avoid most of the hype, so other than the fact is was YA fantasy featuring witches, I didn't actually know a lot about this going in.

The world is divided into empires, with at least one independent state struggling to survive. A treaty is in place, which has held for almost twenty years. When it comes to an end, either a new peace will be brokered, or the world will return to war. In this world some are born with a witchery, a power that gives them some advantage or control over the world. Waterwitches can control and gain power from water, Earthwitches have an affinity for plants or minerals, etc.

As the story starts, Safiya and Iseult are attempting to hold up a coach leaving the city. Safi has lost a great deal of money at cards, something she's not happy about, and is trying to reclaim it. The heist goes wrong and the girls end up with a Bloodwitch on their tale. Thought to exist only in myth, a Bloodwitch can control their own blood and that of others, and can also act a bit like a bloodhound, tracing the scent of someone's blood. Obviously this is bad news for the girls, doubly so because Safi is secretly a Truthwitch, able to tell truth from lie - a valuable skill in such a politically unstable world.

Iseult is a Threadwitch, able to read the threads of emotion that people around her give off. She can also see the threads that link people together.

There are four different POVs in this book, Safiya and Iseult as well as Aeduan, the Bloodwitch, and Merick, prince of a nation brought low by the way. These are handled really well, with each character having a distinct voice and adding complexity to the story.

Even the non-POV characters are well rounded. There are a few I want to know more about (Leopold and Eron in particular!) and others that don't do much in this book, but I think we'll hear more about as the series continues.

There is a hint of romance, and what is there is swoon-worth, but primarily this is a book about friendship, how the families we choose can mean more than those we're born into, and the sacrifices we're willing to make for them. 

I thorougly enjoyed this book. A lot of YA fantasy feels like you've read it before. Truthwitch doesn't. It's original and exciting and I can't wait for more.

My only gripe is that I found it hard to keep track of the different witch clans and their powers. A Wheel of Time style glossary (with pronunciation guide) would be a worthwhile addition!

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  1. OMG ORIGINAL AND EXCITING?!? I need it. xD I've seen ti everything too and it's kind of overwhelmed me? Like I feel like it's been "in my face" which makes me annoyed. BUT. If it's worth it, then I need to read it. ;D And this is the first review I've seen and squee!! It sounds amazing!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. I purposely kept away from too much information. I liked that it was a new magic system and romance took a backseat to friendship. That alone makes it different to a lot of what's out there! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

  2. I've been hearing about this book EVERYWHERE, but much like you I have missed most of the hype during December as I've been busy and away from Internet for a while. Sooo good to hear that you LOVED this book Nicole, it sounds absolutely amazing and right up my alley. <3

    1. I look forward to hearing what you think of it when you get to it. Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. There has been so much hype around this, so I am so glad to hear you liked it too Nicole! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

  4. This book has such an innovative storyline that I was almost hesitant to pick it up for fear of a lackluster reaction. I'm so glad to hear though that you loved it. Great review!

  5. This book was one of my absolute favs this year!!! LOVED IT TO BITS!!! And I must say that I like this cover than the US one :)


Have you read this book or any other good books lately? If so let me know what you think...



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