Series: Witchlands #1
Publisher: Tor Teen (2016)
Hardcover (412 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016
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.
Truthwitch is a book that was hyped a lot. It seems like so many people were raving about Truthwitch before it was released. And I understand this, I really do.
The synopsis is intriguing. The concept is interesting. The continent is home to many different witches. Safi is a Truthwitch, able to discern a truth from a lie. Iseult is a Threadwitch, able to see relationships and emotions.
All of the hype does not change the fact that I was super-confused the entire time. There is so much that is unexplained. Who gets magic and how? Why do some magics seem hereditary (Threadwitchery) and others completely random (Truthwitchery)? Why does there have to be a war? Who is fighting who? Why are some of the Wells dying while others aren’t? What on Earth is cleaving?
Then there is the actual magic part. I still have no idea what Truthwitches really do. It seemed like everyone wanted Safi for her powers, but she never does anything. The Threadwitches are similar. They didn’t do all that much, but at least Iseult did more than Safi. The Windwitches at least used their magic to actually do things.
And then the plot… What do I even say? Everyone is chasing Safi. Safi is trying to escape everyone because she wants “freedom.” She seemed pretty free to me at the beginning of the story. She was doing whatever she wanted in the city with Iseult. I just don’t get the whole point.
Despite all of this, I did like the book. I enjoyed the we-hate-each-other-or-maybe-we-don’t romance. Prince Merrick and Aeudon were my favorite characters. Yes, I cared more about prince-trying-to-save-everyone-and-everything and evil-Bloodwitch-intent-on-own-motives than the actual main characters.
Anyway, Truthwitch seemed like a sequel. I felt like I was missing a lot. Even by the end of the book, I was still confused. I wanted more or was expecting more after all the hype.