Review #210 // Truthwitch (Witchlands #1) – Susan Dennard

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

Safiya is a Truthwitch, and that fact alone could make her the target of more than a few different empires. Hiding her Truthwitchery is just as likely to get her killed as well. Instead she hides with her Threadsister, Iseult–until one mistakes sends them running, from a mythical Bloodwitch, from empires, and from their past.

Why this book?: I was sent copies of the entire series through Bookish First, including the upcoming third novel, Bloodwitch. I want to read the entire series before the third comes out.

I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews of this series, so I was a little apprehensive going into this one. I got the entire series from Bookish First, including an ARC of Bloodwitch, so I also knew that if I didn’t enjoy the first book, then the rest of the series being in my possession would go to a total waste. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this book, and am actually looking forward to reading Windwitch.

At first, I wasn’t really sure about TruthwitchThe writing was dense yet fast-paced at the same time, and I wasn’t the biggest fan of that. So much was happening at once that it was hard to follow, but at the same time I couldn’t stop reading because what would happen next? Due to the writing style, I ended up reading this book as an audiobook, and I felt like that went much better than if I read it physically. Dennard’s style was brief yet intense, and while the reader didn’t really get full descriptions, you still got ones that would interest you to want to know more.

The character development kind of suffered due to Dennard’s writing, but I still found them to be fascinating. I especially enjoyed Safiya and Iseult’s relationship, how they’re just close friends, sisters almost, and it was just beautiful to read. I also really enjoyed Merik’s character, and his role in everything, but I was not the biggest fan of the romance. It felt slightly forced, and while I loved the “hate-to-love” aspect of it, I was also kind of ‘meh’ about it. I feel like more could have gone into the romance and developing it up rather them just being mean to each other while liking some of each other’s qualities. 

I also felt that the plot itself was loosely based–there was no really explanation as to how certain information got out, and caused the whole series of events to happen. Somehow, everyone all of a sudden knew the secret, and that caused the story to happen. I enjoyed the idea of a Bloodwitch, and his role in everything, but his motives were also slightly confusing. However, as you read more and more, pieces start falling together, and in the end I have to say that I overall enjoyed the story and where Dennard took the characters.

Final Rating: ★★★★☆


While I have complicated feelings about this novel, I still feel like it was a solid novel, and that it can lead into an amazing series. I’ve heard that the second and prequel are written differently than Truthwitch, so I’m excited to see exactly how different they are. Either way, Susan Dennard created an interesting fantasy world with a fascinating magic system, and I feel like, with some work, this series could be something amazing.

Would I Recommend?

If you’re interested! Like I said, this one was a little difficult to get into, and there were a few things that I was personally iffy about. I’m still interested in continuing the series, so we’ll see how that goes and I’ll get back to you about this question.

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

Additional Information:

Published: January 5th, 2016

Publisher: Tor Teen

Page Count: 430

Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult

Synopsis: via Goodreads

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.

- Avery (2)Thanks for stopping by!

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3 thoughts on “Review #210 // Truthwitch (Witchlands #1) – Susan Dennard

  1. It’s been quite a bit of time since I read Truthwitch and although at first, I had a bit of slightly negative reaction like you in some aspects, I really enjoyed this book. (Couldn’t agree more on the romance part). I had really high hopes for Windwitch after this one, but I thought it was slightly disappointing even though I ended up enjoying it. I hope you enjoy it, though! I can’t wait for Bloodwitch!

    • Although my review for Windwitch isn’t up yet, I agree with you! I liked it about the same as Truthwitch, but there were a few things that just knocked it down a few. I’m currently reading Bloodwitch, and it’s pretty good so far!!