BOOK REVIEW: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

BOOK REVIEW: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan DennardTruthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
by Susan Dennard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.


“It wasn’t freedom she wanted. It was belief in something—a prize big enough to run for and to fight for and to keep on reaching toward no matter what.” 

AaaaaahhhHHHHH. <–this is a telltale sign that I loved a book if you haven’t noticed. I don’t even want to know how many reviews I’ve started like that ahahaha. Anyway, what the hell? Why didn’t I read this book YEARS ago?! I am obsessed right now. I went on a Tumblr stalking spree last night and kind of regret it, just like I always do because I’ve already spoiled a few things for myself. I can’t help it. It’s really a problem. So yeah, I am FIRMLY in the camp of people that LOVE this book and while it saddens me to know that a lot of people just felt “meh” about it, I think I get why.

“I’ll be fine, Safi. You forget that I taught you the art of evisceration.”
Safi scoffed, but her Threads flared with with amused pink. “Is that so, dear Threadsister? Have you already forgotten that it was me they called The Great Eviscerator back in Veñaza City?”Safi flung a dramatic hand high as she twirled toward Ryber. 
Now Iseult didn’t have to fake a grin. “Is that what you thought they said?” she called. “It was actually The Great Vociferator, Safi, because that mouth of yours is so big.”

It’s no secret that this series is super heavy on complex world building and even has a complex magic structure. In YA, when a lot of the books are read for quick pleasure, that can obviously throw people off guard. For me, though, I grew up reading high fantasy and happen to love those complex worlds. I mean, I don’t know how you can love those same aspects of LOTR if you don’t love this series. Tolkien even created an ENTIRELY new language based on the world of LOTR. If that isn’t intense and complex, I don’t know what is. Normally as long as there is a map that I can use to visualize the different places, I’m good to go. Did it take me a few chapters to get to know the characters and their powers and try to figure out which country they kept mentioning? Yes. Did that bother me or take away from the story? No. I was much too entranced by the story line and the characters and in the back of my mind I knew that eventually my questions would be answered.

Speaking of characters, I also really need to talk about how much I love both Safi and Iseult..and Merrik, and Ryber, and Aeduan, and literally everyone else. But ESP my gals. Safi was freakin hilarious. Not only was she a BA fighter, she cares about the people she loves so deeply AND she has hilarious sayings, usually reserved for when she’s in trouble (I might have to steal goat tits for myself, lol). Iseult is obviously also a BA fighter too and had some pretty great dry humor. The main thing I loved about them was how they loved each other. This is best friend GOALS. They would literally die for one another and I just loved the concept of them being Threadsisters because I have always thought that family doesn’t just have to be those who are blood related to you but those you choose to have as your family.   Neither one of them were perfect and they both recognized that and also knew that being together made both of them better.

And the ships! Oh the ships! I mean I guess I should technically only say ship for now but you better believe I know what’s coming for Iseult and a certain someone. SAFI AND MERRIK FOR LIFE THO. Like wtf wow. I don’t know if you’d exactly say there is a hate-to-love kind of a situation but..kind of? Basically they had no trouble butting heads throughout the entire book and still Safi came through for him in the end, BIG TIME. Oh my heart. And then when Iseult was witnessing their threads interact. I loved every second.

The ending was so intriguing and intense and I am SO GLAD I had the foresight to snatch up the entire rest of the series while they were all miraculously checked in at my library. I will be starting Windwitch ASAP and I cannot wait to see where the rest of this series goes!

“Yes,” Safi breathed, swaying into one of the men holding her up. She flashed a grin at him and said, “I’m Safiya fon Hasstrel, and I can do anything.”

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  1. Sophie

    I am so happy you loved it too Arielle! And yes the ships LOL. What I found really remarkable was that we were “dropped” right into an action scene and had to “learn” everything about that world while running, jumping, fighting etc etc LOL

    • Arielle

      Right?! Like it definitely took me a little bit but overall I didn’t think it took all that much to catch on! I’m actually currently on Bloodwitch and a just dyingggg over all the reveals and EVERYTHING!!!

  2. Sam@wlabb

    I read this one a while back, but I must say, it was all about the amazing female friendship for me. It’s one of the things I missed in book 2 (which was still good).
    Sam@wlabb recently posted…Discussion: Great ExpectationsMy Profile

    • Arielle

      Yesssss. I feel like it’s so rare to see a book with that good of a girl friendship in it in YA which is kind of annoying. I LOVED their friendship and am just waiting a little impatiently until they are reunited haha.

  3. Raven

    Great review! I loved this book! I haven’t read rest of the series yet but i’m planning to get back into this world soon. I hope you enjoy Bloodwitch! Happy reading! 🙂
    Raven recently posted…The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) By Helen Hoang [Review]My Profile

    • Arielle

      The seem to just keep getting better and better! Probably about 25% through Bloodwitch and super good so far!

  4. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Yet another book that’s been calling to me from my bookshelves. Sigh. One of these days I will read them ALL!!! (Oh, who am I kidding, I’ll just keep buying more, so I can’t possibly read them all.)
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord: A Dual Review with Danielle HammelefMy Profile

    • Arielle

      No kidding. I try not to think about it too much because then I will start to go crazy over all of the books I own and haven’t read/ books I want to re-read/ ARCs I keep requesting/ books I add to my TBR shelf and the little amount of time I have to get through them all lol

  5. Reese

    You had me at complex worldbuilding and female friendships! I like High Fantasy and YA both, but it’s hard sometimes to find authors that give the necessary importance and care to the world AND the characters (why?! it’s not like they’re opposites!), so I’m adding this series to my TBR right now 🙂

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