Book Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (The Witchlands #1)

Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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.


The hype was quite real for this book, ever since during BEA many people waited hours in line to get an ARC. I was lucky enough to borrow one from Nichol at Stacks Waiting, who is an amazing blogger and person. Right off the bat we’re sucked into a descriptive world of witchery and action when we see Safiya and Iseult escaping from their latest escapade. The book is told in limited third person POV, so each section we get a little bit of one of the main character’s thoughts. I really enjoy this choice of style because this way we can learn a little more about characters who I believe will play a larger role later in the story.


I absolutely adored both Iseult and Safiya, who were a perfect foil for each other. While Safiya is quite voltaile in her emotions and feelings, Iseult hides them behind an “unfeeling” exterior. My first Fanart Friday post showcased these two heroines in kickass poses, which you should totally check out. Their trust and acceptance of each other is beautiful and really made me want a threadsister. Both girls have each other’s backs throughout the book, no matter if they were running away from pirates or entering a new and foreign country.

Speaking of exciting events like I listed above, the plot in Truthwitch is never slow and truly keeps you on your toes. I pretty much binge-read this for hours straight and didn’t stop until 1 am. (Even then, I perused Susan’s Pinterest for an hour to keep myself in the wonderful world.) It wasn’t only because of the magnificent world Susan creates or the diverse range of characters, but also because of the plot that never stops. Every time I told myself “Okay Aila, one more chapter!” I had to keep on going because I just needed to know what happened next! Yeah, this says loads about my self control haha.

In addition to Safiya and Iseult are characters that made me only curioser and curioser. Merik: Windwitch, prince, and captain. Sounds pretty cool right? The Bloodwitch Aeduan who is probably my favorite character thus far (I’m pretty sure I’m in the minorities for this one) and is so mysterious. We have kings, empresses, and a sect of people devoted to a particular being that all spice up the story and leave me wanting more.

Although this book is titled Truthwitch, Safiya’s magical abilities are a little on the mundane side. She can tell fact from fiction, if the person truly believes it. Not really much to see there, huh? Notice how I said her magical abilities though – she’s still strong and compassionate and courageous and a character that doesn’t need her magic to survive. The same goes with Iseult. I love how although magic is pretty central to the story, it’s not central for the characters to survive. The magic doesn’t define the characters – their actions do.

The romance in this story was sizzling hot! Raise the roof at the absence of a love triangle and a slow-burn romance (or two?) that made it all the more satisfying to read. I ship couples SO HARD and even now am experiencing many feels while typing. The romance does not dominate in the book and adds  a subtle flavor into the story that only enhances the reader’s appetite.

Okay so if you’re a fan of YA fantasy, I’m surprised you haven’t preordered or thought of reading this book yet; literally everything you’d want in a fantasy is present here and more. If you’re not a big fan of fantasy, I’d still recommend for you to check this one out! You might find yourself falling in love with the exciting plot, adorable ships, engaging world, and characters that stay true to themselves.


19 thoughts on “Book Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (The Witchlands #1)

  1. OMG AILAAA! I really envy your country for these ARCs! I hope they reach ny country too. Haha!

    Anyway, I’m totally adding Truthwitch on my 2016 line up. I trust yout review *wink* It just absolutely entices me to read this. I’m a fan of switching POVs. Yay!

    1. Ahhh wish your country had ARCs! 😉 Glad you trust my review and I hope it doesn’t steer you wrong. Seriously IT’S SO GOOD. NO WORDS CAN FULLY EXPRESS MY FEELINGS.
      Luckily you don’t have to wait too long – less than a month to go!

  2. Waaaah You are so lucky!!! I’ve been DYING to read this book since I heard of it! I read 40% of it from NetGalley and it stopped just when things got interesting! I agree about what you said about the characters (they are so different and impossible to hate) and the non-stop action (the pace is insane), I loved it from the first word! 😀

      1. I know right? Whose idea was that? They need to stop doing it, seriosly.

        I got my best friend to gift me a copy for Christmas! I’m hyperventilating from the excitement 😀

  3. I have only read the first 15 chapters from an excerpt and think it’s very well-paced. Good to know the rest of the book is as exciting!
    Aeduan is also my favorite character so far. I enjoy seeing things from his perspective.
    (I have suspicion about the second slow-burn romance. I hope I’m right because I ship them so hard).
    Thanks for posting this review. I cannot wait to get my hand on the actual book.

    1. Omg Windie aren’t those excerpts so good yet cause so much suffering?? Can’t wait for you to read the rest of the book!
      Oh gosh YES to the second romance, ALL THE YES. Nothing is confirmed *ahem* butttt WE ALL KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON.
      It’s just non-stop fun – less than a month to go for this exciting book!!

      1. YES. I was so upset when I realized that was the last page and I would not know what happen next until January. That’s the risk of reading a preview I guess. xD
        OHMYGOD I KNEW IT. All that signs could only lead to romance. *board the ship*

  4. This book has been floating in the blogosphere, I have seen it mainly on Twitter. I was still unconvinced but your review was the push that I needed, now I’m definitely going to read this book! Great review btw! 🙂

  5. I am so happy that this book lives up to the hype. I wasn’t sure what to think of the book at first but with all these glowing reviews I am so excited to get my hands on a copy. I’m also so relived to know that there is no love triangle. This sounds like my kind of book. 😀

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