Book Review: Windwitch by Susan Dennard (The Witchlands #2)

29939390Windwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands #2
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the sequel to Truthwitch, which you can find my review here. This review will have minor spoilers for the series.

I came into Windwitch with big expectations after loving Truthwitch and was disappointed by all fronts. I never got to see the wonderful friendship and connection of Iseult and Safi. The romantic tensions were pretty much not there at all between any of the ships (in fact, I’m hesitant to even call them ships at this point). Some of the characters were just extremely frustrating to read from, and the alternating third person limited POV’s between five people just bogged down the story. Let’s just say that for a fantasy with an expansive world and lots of traveling between characters, I just really couldn’t get into Windwitch.

I’ll break this review into the different POV’s that are happening, saving Merik for last because obviously, this book was mostly about him.

“She will try to kill the prince again, if she learns this attempt has failed. Then his people, his crew will be at risk once more. Why is why, as he sinks to the ground, he decides these sailors must never learn he still lives. They must think him dead, and Vivia must think him dead too.

One for the sake of many.”

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Vivia

Merik’s sister is an interesting add to the story, and I ended up really liking her! Everybody thinks that Merik is dead, so she assumes the throne. At first, I was wary of her because of her animosity towards Merik. However, it comes with good cause because of the family dynamics and how they grew up. I loved being in her mind and seeing the other side of her: the one that wants to save her kingdom and give the best to her people. She’s super resilient, powerful, and cunning. At first, I didn’t think I would get into her POV but I ended up really looking forward to her chapters. There is a small, shy romance between her and another close woman friend in the kingdom that I also really look forward to reading more about.

Safiya

Urghh Safi.

Sorry girl, but you were the most boring POV to read from in this story. In Truthwitch, I admired her recklessness, obstinacy, and tenacity to do the right thing. In the sequel, all of her spunky traits are dimmed down because she’s currently imprisoned by Hell-Bards, who take her and Vaness to Saldonica. Not just boring, but all the changes in POV mean that readers only get a couple of events and dialogue before the perspective changes to another character. That means that in the midst of all the other plot lines going on, whenever Safi’s comes up it just drags the book a whole lot more with the mundanity of what’s happening to her. Also, both Safi and Merik think the other is dead so there goes that ship. I do think that this book focuses more on setting the story for the other books, especially with more action and plans from all the characters, but I just wish it didn’t drag so much.

Iseult

Iseult was my favorite POV to read in Truthwitch and did not change in this one. She’s currently traveling with Aeduan in a very wary alliance as she searches for Safi. Throughout the book, Aeduan and Iseult are the ones who are together out of all the POV’s. Everyone else has their own plot and conflict going on. Iseult remains a quick thinker as she runs for her life and eventually settles on a deal with Aeduan. I love how they start to understand each other better as they travel together. There’s a lot to uncover about each character still, but it was a solid start for Iseult and Aeduan.

(I would also like to point out that Iseult has East Asian features, which is even shown through the author’s Pinterest board of the series. I’m tired of seeing white-washed fan art of her.)

Aeduan

Also known as Baeduan because he’s such a bae, his and Iseult’s interactions took the spotlight for this book. I know it’s about the windwitch, Merik, but seeing their relationship progress from enemies to hesitant trust was really satisfying. I definitely want to learn more about him and his past, especially with all his secrets and terrifying abilities.

Merik

For a book named after him, Merik was the most disappointing character for me to read about. In this book he’s scarred and disfigured, everyone thinks he’s dead, and he’s determined to set out for his sister. People think of him as The Fury, although in the end I never really empathized with him. Reading about his struggle was definitely sad, but he pretty much moped and connived for the majority of the book. His POV was less about action and more about the feelings that galvanizes specific actions. However, more than halfway through the book, I began to get really frustrated with his self-deprecation and moping. We’ve given 200+ pages of POV switching to see his feelings stay filled with self-loathing. Although he does have some character development at the very latter area of the book, I was so tired of his complaining that I couldn’t even appreciate it. I’m very glad it was there in the first place, however. I was also disgruntled at the way he constantly misgendered an ally of his, which went on throughout almost the WHOLE BOOK. With that kind of frustrating behavior, how could I not be tired of his POV? Let’s just say his actions towards the end made up for a bit of it, but not everything.

“For although the holiest might fall – and Merik had fallen far, indeed – they could also claw their way back up again.”

Windwitch definitely had the action of its predecessor, but it clearly seems like a disappointing sequel that just prepares for the following books. Many of the characters still remain a mystery, which will be fun figuring out in later books, but the ones that get a POV could be extremely frustrating at times (or, mostly Merik). If I wasn’t torn between boredom or the sad hope that a character will do something big for once, I was contemplating not finishing the book. I’m glad I finished it though, because I still want to finish the series and see what happens to the rest of the characters. Let’s just say this book made me forget why I even loved Truthwitch in the first place, and hope that the following books will help me recover that love.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-3star

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15 thoughts on “Book Review: Windwitch by Susan Dennard (The Witchlands #2)

  1. kozbisa says:

    You nailed what was missing for me in this book – Iseult and Safi together. I loved their dynamic in the first book, and was sad that they spent most of the second book apart. I did think the story moved along well, still tons of action and adventure, and we got to know a lot more about Aeduan, but I just wanted Iseult and Safi on page together again. Great review!

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      Iseult and Safi was the biggest miss in this book! 😥 Safi’s POV was soo boring imo, and ugh I just wanted to see the characters come together.
      Yay for Iseult and Aeduan though! Still doesn’t make up for the other characters’ POV’s… 😛

  2. Nick says:

    I have avoided reading this one exactly for the reasons you mentioned. I loved the first book because of Iseult and Safi, so it sucks that they hardly interact here. And Safi sounds like she’s really annoying. And ugh I don’t know if I can take any of Merrick’s whininess either. I feel bad for the guy, but come on, you were a badass in the first book.
    BUT I really do want to also read this book for Iseult and Aeduan. I loved the hints we got of those two in the first one. So now I’m all conflicted! What should I do?!?!

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      OKAY MERRICK THOUGH. He was my biggest problem in this book! Like, even if he does develops a bit towards the end… those actions in the middle and beginning were just a big, fat NO. 😡

      Omg omg Iseult and Aeduan get so much development in this book. 😀 I think you should only read this if you have extra time for now. Maybe see how book 3 pans out to see if you should follow the rest of the series (as it is now, there’s one that’s a hit and one book that’s a miss).

  3. Book Swoon says:

    I really want to read this series, as book one sounds like something I would really enjoy. Iseult and Aeduan definitely have me curious. Too bad this one was a disappointment overall and felt a bit like filler. There are five books scheduled in this series right? Hopefully, the next one brings back more Iseult and Safi together.

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      I hope the next book is worth the wait Kim. Perhaps wait until the whole series is out to read this one? Or you can at least check it out at the library – my vast disappointment with this book made half of the books so far iffy. :’)

  4. Shanti says:

    I read Truthwitch last year and I don’t really remember it except a coffee shop and some drama at the end? I don’t know if I’ll ever end up reading this one, but thanks all the same for the review!

  5. Zoe says:

    I’ve heard so much about this series, so I’m sorry to hear you felt so meh about this installment. 😦 I can definitely see what you mean though – bad pacing would definitely annoy me as well. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

  6. Faith @ Cozy Sweater Reads says:

    I love Susan and this series with all of my heart but I can definitely see where you’re coming from. For me, Merik and Safi had pretty boring parts in the story and their povs took up about 85% of the the book (ugh) I’m so hoping we get that friendship dynamic back in book two!
    For a majority of the book all I wanted to read about was Iseult/Aeduan/or Vivian (who had a very minor part) which is what always happens with me and multi-pov books xD
    Great review, as always, Aila =D

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      Yess Iseult/Vivian/Aeduan were my favorite POV’s for this book as well. I really don’t like how the author handled the multiple POV’s in this book: I think there’s a difference between heightening suspense and overdoing it to the extent that it gets annoying rather than climactic. :\ Hopefully the next book will be a hit for me. I’m glad you love it though!

  7. The Writing Duo says:

    I remember you really liked Truthwitch (which we didn’t love) so it’s interesting to see your thoughts here on Windwitch! I’m actually reading it right now and loving it. It’s not the fastest read, that’s for sure, but it’s getting me back into reading after nearly a whole week of no reading (gasp!).

    I loved your character-by-character breakdown in this review! Really solid! Have you seen the Sightwitch news? I think it’ll be an exciting installment before Bloodwitch!

    Sasha @ The Writing Duo
    thependanttrilogy.wordpress.com

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