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BOOK REVIEW: Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard

BOOK REVIEW: Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan DennardWindwitch (The Witchlands #2)
by Susan Dennard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

Review:


“The holiest always have the farthest to fall.”
 

Want to hear something funny? At about 45% of the way through this I was convinced that this was just going to be a four star. I literally texted Chelsea that. It seemed to just be one of those typical middle books that really just had a lot of travelling going on. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just not completely an EPIC thing….Ahhhhahahaha. Boy was I SO VERY WRONG. The entire last half made me eat my words. 

She was broken. She was useless. She was the pointless half of a friendship. The one who would live forever in shadows, no matter what she did. No matter whom she fought.

While each book has featured everyone, each one is more focused around a specific character. Obviously this one is about Merik. At the beginning of the book the Jana is attacked and burned by seafire. Many die and all but one of Merik’s sailors believe he is dead. Basically, he is. He was very severely burned and if hadn’t of been for Cam, I’m not sure what would have happened. 

Honestly Merik’s story was pretty frustrating to read about in this book. After what’s happened with Kullen, with his ship, his burns, Vivia….just everything, really…Merik is pissed. He’s pissed at himself, pissed at the world—just a lot different from the Merik I knew and loved from the first book. And I got it, really I did. But that didn’t make reading about it any easier. I absolutely LOVE the quote that I’m putting below this because it marked a point where he basically started to get his head out of his ass about everything. Realizing Vivia was. Not. The. Enemy. Realizing Cam wanted to identify as a boy (like good lord took him way too long to get that through his thick skull, haha). Realizing that sometimes, you just have to save that one, instead of saving many. THAT PART WAS SO EPIC, TOO, AHHHH.

For weeks he had wanted that evidence, so he could prove once and for all that her approach to leadership was wrong—and Merik’s approach was right. 
That was the truth of it right there, wasn’t it? He’d seen what he’d wanted to see, even though, in the deepest furrows of his mind, he’d known Vivia was not the enemy. He had simply needed someone to blame for his own failings.

Speaking of Viva, I was SOOOOO pleasantly surprised with her character. She’s made out to be HORRIBLE in the first book and even for most of this one it’s easy to see how much of a stubborn ass she is. When she finally dropped that façade for the self that she truly was—she shone. So brightly. I can only hope the siblings can mend more together, later.

And there it was—that was who she was. Split right down the middle, she bore her father’s strength, her father’s drive. She carried her mother’s compassion, her mother’s love for Nubrevna. 
As that certainty settled over Vivia’s heart, she knew exactly what she had to do. It was time to be the person she should have been all along.

Other things that I loved in this book:
-Iseult journeying with Aeduan
-Aeudan interacting with Owl
-Vaness
-Every single thing about Safi (but I’m praying she finds out Merik is still alive ASAP)
-Learning more about Hell Bards 
-The impending doom of the upcoming war?????? Can only lead to epic-ness
-A lot of other things, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers

ALSO, can I just say how AMAZING Dennard’s writing is? There were SEVERAL parts towards the end where I got literal goosebumps reading about certain things happening or certain things being said. I am so happy I still have two more that I have instant access too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Initiate, complete.

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
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

“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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