In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.
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.
After a couple previous false starts, Truthwitch was one of the last books that I finished in 2016. I’m glad that I stuck through it til the end, because I actually ended up really liking it! For those of you who haven’t read it, the basic plot line is:
Safi is a rare Truthwitch and her ability is to discern truth from lies, a highly sought after ability in a time where the threat of war is brewing. After a close encounter with a Bloodwitch (who basically has the ability to hunt them down like a Bloodhound), Safi and Iseult are forced to go on the run, along the way meeting Prince Merik, and together they work to keep Safi away from everyone who is hunting her.
There’s magic and adventure and a lot of running, but it drives the pace and keeps things interesting. What kept tripping me up was the first quarter/third of the book. It wasn’t bad, but it was a bunch of world building that felt super dry and kind of slow. I made it through because I really liked the potential that the characters (i.e. Iseult and Safi) had, and while the world building wasn’t well executed, it was intriguing to see how the magic in this world was set up. I really loved the different types of magic that were introduced throughout the book, and I really hope to see it flushed out more in the sequel.
I really liked the all the main characters, but Safi and Iseult were definitely what kept me going. I loved the friendship and comradery that they had, and it was definitely the most potent bond throughout the book (even more so than the romance!!!). I wasn’t completely sold on the romance in this novel actually, and I didn’t get the feeling like the characters did either. It seemed a bit forced, which is mildly unfortunate because I like the characters themselves, so hopefully we’ll see it either grow or turn into a kickass friendship. The Bloodwitch was a really interesting character and I’m so so excited to see where his character goes in the sequel. Plus, his powers just sounded really cool (for any of you that have seen ATLA, think back to the episode where Katara learned how to Blood Bend).
Overall, I really did enjoy the book, it just took some endurance to get through the introduction of the story before it felt like it really picked up. There’s a lot of questions that I have and a lot of characterization/ relationships that cannot wait to see how they progress in the sequel, that of which I will definitely be checking out!