Sneak Peek: Truthwitch

This is a review for the preview excerpt that contains the first 15 chapters.

Sneak Peek: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Book title Truthwitch
Series The Witchland #1
Author Susan Dennard
Pages 416
Expected Publication January 5th 2016
Publisher Tor Teen

Official Summary

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.

Disclaimer: I received a preview excerpt from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review (for Preview Excerpt)

Truthwitch told the story of two young witches, Safiya and Iseult. They live in The Witchlands, in a small city called Venaza City, with their mentors. Until one day, a heist gone wrong leaving Safiya, who is part of a very rare breed called Truthwitch, hunted by a Bloodwitch. Safiya and her Threadsister, Iseult, went on the run to escape the Bloodwitch.

Okay. Before your eyes glaze over after reading so many unfamiliar terms, I’ll let you know that the first few pages of Truthwitch contains many of those. Dennard using so many strange words and throwing them at us without explaining what each term means. It could be daunting at first but soon enough I understood them. In fact, that’s the beauty of Truthwitch. We’ll come to understand what these terms mean, Threadsister, Heart-Thread, and more, without a character come in and explicitly explained them to you ala game tutorial. (note: I don’t know if the complete book has a glossary)

Safiya and Iseult are likeable main characters even though I found that it took me some time to warm up to Safi. There are moments when I feel they’re being childish and whiny, but I like that Dennard doesn’t make them perfect. Before I continue, I have to mention that there are two other main POVs in this book apart from Safi and Iseult. They are Merrik and to a lesser extent, we get the view from the Bloodwitch, Aeduan. I honestly love to see the story from Aeduan’s POV because he offers a unique perspective to the story. Merrik, a prince from Nubreva, came to Venaza City for a summit to discuss truce between the empires in Withclands but somehow became tangled in Safi and Isseult’s trouble. The interaction between these characters is Truthwitch’s biggest appeal.

There are multiple layers of stories in Truthwich. Although it was mainly Safi’s story, Iseult and Merrik bring their own problem to the table. I suspect their problems will interlink with each other, but since I only read the first fifteen chapters, I wouldn’t know (translation: GIVE ME THE BOOK NOW).

Since Truthwitch is a high fantasy, world building is very critical. Dennard succesfully differentiate the busy Venaza City with the small settlement of the Nomatsi. The diverse races, including—unavoidably—discrimination, also take a somewhat center role in how the plot was weaved. Culture, belief, and tradition also play important parts in this book.

The fifteen chapters I read are action-packed and never boring. I hope that the rest of the book is at least as interesting.


Although limited by the amount of chapters available to me, so far I am enjoying Dennard’s writing. I cannot wait to explore The Witchlands in Truthwitch and its planned sequels. If magic, witches, and fantasy are something you enjoy, I think you’ll want to give Truthwitch a try.

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