Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: Windwitch by Susan Dennard

– Short Review –

The second book in the Witchlands Trilogy – this follows on two weeks after the finale of Truthwitch.  A piece of fantasy fiction involving “witches” who all have individual powers.  As the title suggests, this instalment focuses on the Windwitch, Prince Merik, and his sister Vivia who are battling to save their city.  At it’s heart, it’s a classic tale of good versus evil.

– Longer Review –

Continuing a fortnight after “Truthwitch” ends, this book’s main storyline involves Prince Merik and his sister Vivia.   He has been left horribly disfigured after the battle at the finale of the previous book and believes that he has been betrayed by his sister.  On returning to his home city however be begins to slowly realise that perhaps all is not as it seemed.
In the meantime we also still follow the progress of Thread Sisters Safi and Iseult, who have been separated.  Iseult is trying to find Safi and strikes a deal with Aeduan the Bloodwitch.  These two despise each other on paper yet as their quest progresses they keep each other safe and their relationship deepens.  They rescue a young child, called Owl, and soon Iseult has to make a choice between Safi and Aeduan.
Safi has been captured by a group of Hell-Bards, alongside Empress Vaness, and is just battling to stay alive whilst looking for a means for them to escape.  Her truthwitch powers mean that she can read the lies of those around her and this power may well save their lives.  Their situation takes on a degree of Stockholm syndrome though when she has to trust her captors to save them.
If this sounds like a lot going on at once in all honesty it is!  Although this is a story within it’s own right I definitely wouldn’t suggest reading it as a stand alone book, it would be far too complex.  It is only from gaining an understanding of the characters in the first book that I was able to keep up with all the action in the second.  It is very much a character driven book and, whilst there is quite a lot of description of Merik and Vivia’s homeland, Nubrevna, most of the other landscapes are left to the reader’s imagination.
The joy of the second book is really in seeing the characters develop and their realisations that not everything is black and white.  In fact, in The Witchlands, pretty much everything is a shade of grey.  Alliances form and are torn apart yet enduring friendships remain true.  Over the first two books I have grown to love these characters who have very familiar traits, even though this is a fantasy series.  I look forward to reading the final instalment.
Windwitch is published by Tor and is available here.
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Susan Dennard

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Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. Working in marine biology, she got to travel the world – six out of seven continents (she’ll get to Asia one of these days!) – before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor. She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series, as well as the Witchlands series, which includes the New York Times bestselling Truthwitch and Windwitch. When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, slaying darkspawn on her Xbox, or earning bruises at the dojo.

Reviewed by Angela Paull

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