Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
416 pages, hardcover
Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.
Shout out to the wonderful Clara at Lemuria Books in Jackson, MS who let me borrow her ARC. Definitely check them out if you’re ever in the area – everyone who works there is lovely!
Curse the hype monster, man. I went into this one with some – unfairly – HIGH expectations because it seems like everyone and their mother loved Truthwitch. And in the end, I did like it and I enjoyed several things about it. But I also had some issues.
What I loved:
- The magic – The idea of different “witcheries” was SO cool. People can have different powers – air, water, essentially a lie detector (this is what Safi is – a Truthwitch), or the ability to see people’s “Threads” (their emotions) – which were all really fascinating. I think I was most intrigued by Iseult’s “Threadwitchery”. I also liked the idea of Threadfamilies. You become connected to someone by saving them, etc.
- Aeduan – The “villain”. I don’t know if you’re really meant to love him as much as I did, but I just loved I always go for the misunderstood villain. All of my favorite scenes had Aeduan in them. He just kicked up the pace a bit. And my heartbeat. Looking forward to learning more about him in the next one.
- The dialogue – snarky, witty, intelligent, and just fun. Especially the dialogue between Safi/Iseult and Safi/Merick – so. much. sarcasm.
What I didn’t like:
- Four POVs – A little farther down I talk about Safi and Iseult, which really explains this issue, but I’ll just say that there were times when I struggled to figure out whose POV it was.
- “The Big Reveal” – I guessed this WAY early on in the book. The narrative surrounding the reveal was way too easy to figure out and not at all subtle. At least for me.
- Some of the middle section – I feel like the middle section dragged a bit. It’s possibly because I already figured out the reveal and I was just bored while everyone in the story got there. But the last 1/4 of the book really made up for it.
What I was iffy on:
- Safi & Iseult: Okay, I really LOVED both of them. I liked Safi’s sarcasm and Iseult’s spunk. I loved their friendship and their passion. But sometimes, they seemed like the same character. Their voices aren’t as distinct in the beginning as I’d like, especially when there were scenes of them together. Made for difficult reading.
- The world: This book starts off rather confusing because you are thrust right into the middle of the world and the middle of some action and you (at least I) felt like you’re scrabbling to gain purchase in the world. The first 1/4 of the book or so is like this. But, on the other hand, the world is absolutely fascinating, and I felt like I was standing in the middle of it gazing around with my mouth open because the world was so vast and just cool. So…confusing AND intriguing.
The bottom line: In the end I still really liked Truthwitch, and I definitely want to read the next one, especially because the world should be more settled by then. There won’t need to be so much time spent on establishing the world. I would still recommend this one to fantasy lovers, but would caution people – it takes a little while to get into the book and understand the world.
Rating: 6 – Good, but not great