Truthwitch Book Review
Every year there are a select number of young adult novels that rise above the rest. What I mean by this is there are those books that are hyped beyond their peers. Because of this, they surge to the top of everyone’s wish lists, becoming the “it” book to read. Truthwitch was one of those novels. This was THE ARC (advanced reader’s copy) everyone wanted to get their hands on and early reviews further fueled readers into a frenzy, several wanting to obtain a copy. Having read this tome of a novel (400+ pages qualifies it as such), I do understand the excitement surrounding its much-anticipated release.
Truthwitch is made up of three empires, three worlds that author Susan Dennard’s new and unusual fantasy world pushes to new boundaries. Within that, there are some born with a kind of magic, a “witchery” that could either be their redemption or prove fatal. Safiya falls into the latter. As a member of the nobility, she must keep her Truthwitch skill (a magic ability many desire to obtain) hidden lest she loses more than her freedom.
Her best friend, Iseult is a Threadwitch who can see the “invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her.” Only it’s her own life she cannot see. When Iseult’s and Safi’s fates lead them to Prince Merik’s ship, a place full of sea foxes, and a Bloodwitch close at their heels, they’ll have to rely on each other to get through their perilous circumstances.
As a fantasy novel, this one is quite enjoyable. The inventive qualities allow the narrative to overshadow the typical fantasy read although I do think there are portions of Truthwitch that might have been more engaging. The opening of the book wasn’t as transfixing as I had anticipated. It took a few chapters and a good number of pages flipped before I was really drawn into the complexities. Once that happened I quickly found myself thoroughly entertained by this world and the characters that live inside it.
The primary relationship of the novel is the friendship between Iz and Safi. Unusual though this is, seeing a strong female friendship was an important reason why this book does work so well. The reader can tell Susan took great care to develop this relationship, developing it into a kind of strong bond that stands the test of much danger. Both of the girls are willing to go to great lengths to see neither one of them is harmed. Then there is Prince Merik. A conflicted character who finds himself bound to deliver a reluctant Safi to her uncle, Merik’s character is one I’m curious to read more about should he feature in any future novels.
Truthwitch is high in excitement with nary a dull moment. Susan keeps her young band of heroines (and heroes!) busy with the various dangerous encounters they run into. The romance is second to the adventure and friendship, but what’s there is all flirty fun. The magic system is different and well developed though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t grow confused a time or two; I’d often find myself having to pause to remember the function of some of the “witch” characters. Those of you who like young adult fantasy (or paranormal) and books that keep adventure swirling on a constant loop will find this book interesting and worth reading. It’s certainly worth the hype.
As I read Truthwitch, I kept circling back to Pirates of the Caribbean. The story isn’t similar, but there is plenty of parallel characteristics right down to an attack involving a fleet of ships. Also, in terms of visualizing the world, I could see similarities to MTV’s new show, The Shannara Chronicles.
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My
feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me
to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
Page Count: 416
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal (Book One)
Add Here: Goodreads
Author Website: Susan Dennard
Buy on Amazon