Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Genre: Young Adult, high fantasy

The synopsis

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

The review

Another fantasy… How surprising from me 😀

I found that this book had good sides such as a fast pace, the action that is introduced from chapter 1, and a reduced cast of characters which the author tried to develop. The magic system intrigued me and I liked discovering the different types of power. Now that we have been introduced to them, I hope to see even more of them in the next volumes. The plot is classic overall but I am still wondering what will happen next and hope it will become more complex since this volume really felt like the introduction to something bigger.

However, this book is not the strongest start of a series I ever read. There is action so you do not have the time to be bored but in this case it was a bit too much. I would have liked to have some breaks in order to discover more about the world or the characters. Beginning with the characters, they felt a bit one dimensional and I did not really connect with them, maybe apart from Iseult. I felt they were characterised by only one personality trait: Safi was the impetuosity while Iseult representing the calm, Merik was rage, etc… The romance taking place between Safi and Merik was a bit rushed and bothered me because of Merik’s attitude.

I had the same feeling for the world building: in the first chapters, there is a lot of information dumping but in the end I did not felt as if I had all the clues to understand the world. It made the beginning a bit difficult to follow since I did not understand why Safi was coveted so much while she felt pretty useless to me and people did not even know what this power consists of. And then you follow your characters in different locations, sometimes at the same time (since the narration is told from the different POVs of the main cast). I think the idea was to make the reader travel a bit in this new world, but it fell flat for me since I was waiting for the characters to stay and explore a bit more the places they were at.

In brief: Despite my (numerous) criticisms I still enjoyed my experience. The next volumes are not my priority since I have other books I am excited to read on my TBR, but I intend to read them in the near future since I already possess them!

My rating: 3.5/5


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