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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.

416 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 5, 2016

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About the author

Susan Dennard

20 books8,639 followers
Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. With a masters degree in marine biology, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (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 New York Times bestselling Witchlands series as well as the Something Strange & Deadly series. When not writing, she can be found slaying darkspawn on her Xbox or earning bruises at the dojo.

You can learn more about Susan on her website, blog, newsletter, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
January 11, 2016
"I will kill you," he went on.
"No." The girl's eyes thinned; she pushed herself further upright and the moon streamed over her. "I d-d-d..." She coughed. Then wiped her mouth. "I don't think you will."

Ah, this book. I went back and forth on the rating and I do want to say this: unlike the other highly anticipated January novel - Passenger - Truthwitch is a fast-paced, enjoyable adventure. However, I know picky fantasy readers will see right through this book.

If you are looking for a light fantasy read with descriptions of dresses, balls, dancing, and an inevitable romance, look no further. Sometimes that's all I want too. There's no denying that this book has a base, addictive pull from the opening holdup-gone-wrong to every dramatic twist, turn and action scene after. But if you're looking for something stronger, more fleshed-out and complex, I think Truthwitch could cause you some eye rolls.

I'll break it down.

Characters. There are two central female characters - Safi and Iseult - and only the latter is particularly interesting. Safi suffers from a "specialness" because she is a truthwitch. Though whether the other characters know this or not does not affect their tendency to faint, fall over themselves or otherwise become obsessed with her whenever she enters the room.

And, quite frankly, for the most part she seems to act stupidly, putting herself and Iseult in danger because of her reckless and dumb plans. Like that time she runs away from the people helping her because... who the hell knows? Literally her only real talents seem to be making poor decisions and attracting the attention of various princes.

Iseult, however, is a badass. I liked it when the novel's focus moved to her. I thought she was more interesting, less trope-y than the "special" Safi. I will also note that I like the emphasis put on female friendship before everything else; I was a little disappointed that we didn't get a Safi/Iseult LGBT romance, but I'll settle for the next best thing.

The only other interesting character is the villain - a blood monk called Aeduan. He is probably the greatest reason I am looking forward to the sequel, because fascinating, multilayered (maybe not quite so evil?) villains are one of my favourite things. I hope we get lots of him in the next book.

World-building. This should be a short section because there is none. I've heard early critics praising the unique world, but I am confused. There are some vague mentions of emperors and place names, but very little information is given about these people, their history, culture, politics or anything else. The only thing we know is that a 20-year peace treaty is soon coming to an end.

Also, these witches all live in a world made up of various lands and the collective name of these lands is... "Witchlands". Now, I don't want to get all nitpicky over little language/name things, but come on, "witches from the Witchlands". Fantastic, that's given me a great idea for a book! It's about vampires who live in "Vampireville".

“Something had happened between Safi and Merik during their dance. Something as powerful as the wind and the music that had gusted around them. A shift in the air that preceded a storm.”

Oh, hell, make it stop. Possibly the most eye roll-worthy thing of this book is the budding romance between Safi and Merik. They dance at a ball and it's obsession at first twirl.

I believe you can experience lust from dancing with a hot guy or girl, I even believe a crush can form from dancing with a hot guy or girl, but forgive me if I raise a skeptical eyebrow at "something as powerful as the wind". LOL, get over yourselves already. Also, Merik has no personality beyond his concerns for the wonderful Safi.

Just to conclude... It seems like a lot of negative, but I honestly did enjoy the fast pacing and surprises. I, for one, will be reading the sequel. Though I advise you to maybe think twice about this if you like your fantasy with more substance than mindless entertainment.

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Profile Image for Sarah Maas.
Author 99 books308k followers
April 8, 2015
Make room on your all-time favorites shelf: TRUTHWITCH is an instant new classic.

It reminded me of why I started reading fantasy in the first place: its fierce and vibrant world, richly-drawn characters, and dazzling intrigue harkens to the best of Megan Whalen Turner, Robin Hobb, and Jacqueline Carey. And while it pays homage to the epic fantasies that have come before it, it also lays the foundation for a bright new chapter in the genre.

I haven’t been so enthralled and inspired by a book since I first read Lloyd Alexander’s THE BOOK OF THREE. Do not miss out!
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews168k followers
February 24, 2019
My full review can be found here: https://youtu.be/sFv_OsfgZKY

Susan built up such a unique world with amazing characters. I even liked the little romance that starts to build in this book! I'm all for books with romances that aren't overwhelming. My one complaint is that I found myself confused at times, because you're just expected to pick up on the different roles that the witches play. Other than that I really enjoyed this story and I can't wait to see what's in store for the rest of this series!
Profile Image for Susan.
Author 20 books8,639 followers
April 13, 2015
I saw another author do this--give some insider info on the book via a review--and I thought it was a cool idea.

Basically, the entire Witchlands series will be full of the stuff you've come to expect from me (if you've read the Something Strange & Deadly series or the Starkillers Cycle). There's epic action, really high stakes, diverse lead characters, a huge world, and tense (tense!) romance(s).

On top of that, Truthwitch has elemental magic and a chosen pair (of kickass girls!) who bring balance to the world. There are antiheros and pirates and dragons and monsters who look like humans...as well as humans who look like monsters. Oh, and did I mention the romance? ;)

At its heart, though, this book is about friendship--the epic friendships that transform your life. The family you choose. The people who always, always, ALWAYS have your back. It's those binding ties that propel everything in Truthwitch and beyond.

So welcome to the Witchlands, my friends. I hope, hope, *hope* you enjoy it.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
April 11, 2020
No, just no!

This is easily one of the worse fantasy books I’ve ever read. It does everything so badly; it literally embodies everything that can go wrong with the genre. Firstly, the plot is basic at best. The protagonists are being hunted, that is all. Secondly, the world is barely explained; there is no sense of history or the possibility that this world could have existed before the events of this book. Thirdly, the romance is a crappy case of love at first sight. Personally, I think it should have been excluded in its entirety and the focus been on the friendship between the two girls. It was woefully underplayed; it was a case of the girls claiming to be attached to each other, but never really portraying any realistic behaviour to suggest it. I don’t think it worked at all. It could quite easily have done so, but somehow I just didn’t feel the sense of attachment; it didn’t come across in the story.

I gave up half way through. So here’s some more detail as to why this book ABSOLUTELY sucked:

1. Action over plot

I love a good chase scene, but in this there is scene after scene of the protagonists being chased by their enemies. Every time they enter a new location, they flee from it. Yes, they are being hunted, but it began to get a little ridiculous. It wasn’t just the Bloodwitch they were fleeing from. Iseult returns home after departing six years previously, ten pages later she is chased off by an angry mob. The chapter before she ran out of the city after being exposed by another mob. Meanwhile, Safiya is abducted from a ball in which, you guessed it, another chase begins. So, not only do we have multiple chase scenes, but we also have them happening simultaneously and back to back. I mean, seriously? Where is the pacing? Where is the character development? Where is the chance to understand this world or even see it? So, that leads us on to my next point.

2. No world building

Where the hell is this place? I have no idea about the scale of this world. The first part occurs in a city. That’s about all I know. Is it a big city? Is it a capital city? Where does it stand in relation to the rest of the world? I’ve already mentioned that Iseult goes back home after a six year separation. Her people are hated, and are frequent targets of racist attacks. They are literally hung on sight. Yet, for all this hatred, their settlement appears just to be outside the city boundaries. I mean, it couldn’t be far away. Iseult gets there and back within the course of a day. That felt like a bit of a plot whole along with the weird fact that the she’s never been attacked before in other parts of the city just seemed like a major oversight. And why are they the victims of racism anyway? That was never even mentioned in the first half. I mean, I need to know these things very early on if I’m going to carry on reading.

We also have an Emperor, but an Emperor of what? The title implies dominion over many lands. I don’t know if he is merely in charge of the city or the entire Witchlands, whatever the hell they are. I wonder if they’re next door to the Wizardlands or perhaps even the Warlock Empire. The name’s terrible, but that’s not overly important. What matters is that I have literally no idea about this place. Was the Emperor elected? Did he receive his title at birth? Is he a tyrant or a benevolent ruler? The only thing the author has bothered to tell us is that he has sweaty hands, sweaty hands! Great, so what does he actually rule?

There’s a vague magic system. Its functions are graspable but the details aren’t. Is everyone born a witch? Does everyone have a special magical power? Has this always been so? Are there other magical gifts? There is no sense of history to it or any attempt of defining it. There is just cheap action layered upon cheap action. Fantasy needs to be more than this; it needs to more than people kicking ass, engaging in sarcastic dialogue, kicking more ass and looking perfect. I really could go on, this book was terrible. And there's only one thing that could make it even worse.

3. A Redundant Romance

It’s easy to criticise a book for having a predictable romance, though a child reader could spot this coming a mile off. It just seems to fall into the standard love trap. Safiya dances with a prince. They immediately fall in love. Oh, what a surprise! The love they share is apparently as powerful as the wind. Well, it’s as instantaneous as the wind. I think it was so, so, silly, and was the ruination of this story. The focus should have resided on the strong female friendship the author was attempting to portray. There needn’t have been a romance to complicate things and allow the book to fall into the most standard of plotlines.

This was just so unbelievably bad. But, even when I hate a book I can clearly see that sometimes the book is still, from an objective point of view, well written. I just personally, and subjectively, dislike it. It’s just a matter of opinion. That’s what reading is all about. However, with this I felt that it was bad on both levels. It’s a complete shambles in terms of character, plot and its world. And I detest it because of it. It’s drivel. I honestly think my cat could write a better book.

Do I need to say that I won’t be reading the sequel? No. I think not.

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Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
January 7, 2021
me as Susan Dennard tries to make me feel a single thing about the plot, worldbuilding, characters, and romance in this damn book:

This book was so ridiculously underwhelming. It’s got a lot of series potential, but a lot of it is very Bland Fantasy™. If you want random countries we’re not invested in, and characters you'd like to love but truly don’t, you'll probably like this.

Mostly, I just felt this was super narratively all over the place because it’s trying so hard to be A Cool Fantasy Book – it expects you to enjoy the journey of several characters with several different countries but also doesn’t really make you care about this world or, more importantly, any of those characters or relationships. The lack of connection to the characters means this doesn’t feel grounded. It is a dry and lacking-in-humanity read.

And the all-over-the-place feel is fine, but it also feels manufactured. One of the biggest problems in YA right now is too-many-side-characters syndrome, and holy shit, does this book suffer. And I’m not complaining about the side characters themselves; the issue is how they contribute to a larger narrative problem. This hurts the narrative in that many of the actions of the side characters and villains feel engineered for conflict.

It’s an annoying read because on an objective level, the whole thing feels like something I should like... but the attachment just isn’t there.

Okay, just so this doesn’t feel unbacked, let’s talk about the characters and why I was not attached.
➽Safi - I am so disappointed by this character. Her emotional arc is super shallow and she just fundamentally... doesn’t feel very real?
➽Merek - the YA equivalent of white bread. I could not get attached to him at all.
➽Iseult - deliciousfinallysomegoodfuckingfood.gif. Yes, as expected, Iseult was my favorite. She’s the character who reads the most complex. I will say that I was expecting her to be my New Favorite Character Ever and I only Vaguely Like her and that. is disappointing.
➽Aeduan - I don’t understand this man. Like, I think he has potential, but he currently feels like he’s being engineered to scare the shit out of me, and he honestly doesn’t because Safi spends so much of her time lacking any fucking common sense and not getting away from him.

I also want to talk about the relationship focus in this, because I feel like that aspect was really disappointing? I do love the lack of love triangles and the strong focus on female friendship. Cool. But y’all, the female friendship often feels shoved to the side by the romance. Like, it’s better than a lot of books in the YA fantasy genre, but if you’re marketing something off the girl friendship I want 400 pages of them fighting through hell for each other, not driven-by-romance-but-then-sometimes-they-care-about-each-other.

And then maybe let’s talk about the romance itself, because guys, it's soooooooooo boring. Here’s the thing about Safi and Merek: we know they’re going to be a thing ten seconds in, and though they don’t get together for another 300 pages, we are never given any reason to doubt they will. And also, come on, they do not banter enough. That’s my main thought, and like… yeah, I know this is my constant thing, but this is how I get invested in couples and it is Not There. There’s a budding romance I’m maybe more intrigued by, but honestly... eh.

→overall← I was just sort of eh on this. I have heard book two has better character dynamics, so I hope I'll enjoy book two more? Watch this space. And I think we can all do to read Melanie's review as a refresher.

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Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,512 followers
April 15, 2018
“Safi acted instantly – as did the monk. His sword swished from its scabbard; her knife came up. She clipped the edge of his blade, parrying it aside.
He recovered and lunged. Safi lurched back. Her calves hit Iseult, yet in a single fluid movement, Iseult kneeled – and Safi rolled sideways over her back.
Initiate. Complete. It was how the girls fought. How they lived.
He was good. The best fighter she’d ever faced.
But Safi and Iseult were better.”

This book, to put it simply, is wildly entertaining. I enjoyed the HELL out of it.

Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin here. Do I start with the setting? Which is loosely based on our own geography, cultures and people, but with twists on each that had my inner geo-nerd going “NEATO!”. Or do I start with the lore? Which is so cool I doubt I could really do it justice. What about the characters? How do I describe such a pair of badass young women? How do I do explain their strong, believable, unbreakable female friendship?

And mother of god. The pacing. This book opens with a highway robbery gone wrong and manages to maintain that frenetic momentum throughout. The pace it sets is relentless, breakneck. There is NO downtime. Not one scene of filler or info dumping. Every single page is infused with energy, action, and emotion.

Oh, and is that swearing in a YA novel?

Is that sex-positivity in a YA novel?

Wait, these female characters actually have…SELF CONFIDENCE?

They don’t need men to save them?

They don’t let the adults around them dictate their lives?

They put each other above EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE else? Including boys? Including family???

The front door. Go shut it.

So yes. I highly recommend this book. It has singlehandedly restored my faith in Young Adult Fantasy novels, of which I’ve read many and enjoyed...very few. Aside from the strong feminist themes and subtle fuck you to the usual fantasy worlds that revolve around your typical patriarchy, this book includes LGBTQIA representation, diversity, body positivity, and a whole slew of other themes we need to see more of in this genre, which I would name were I not still slightly dizzy and more than a little frazzle-minded thanks to this epic book-high.

I do not, however, recommend reading this in public. Because it contains numerous passages capable of startling ugly laughter out of even the most restrained readers. You know, the kind that just bubbles up out of your mouth unbidden, and for whatever reason – maybe because you forgot you were in public, and it seems like you’ve done something to anger the gods, because these embarrassing outbursts always happen to you in public – it doesn’t sound like your normal laughter, but more like something that might belch forth from a drunken pilot whale’s blowhole?

Yeah, that kind of laughter. Consider yourself warned.

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Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
November 9, 2016
“If you wanted to, Safiya, you could bend and shape the world.”

Dear Susan Dennard,

I love you. Je t'aime. Σ'αγαπώ. Te quiero. Ti amo. Ich liebe dich.
You are the sunshine to my stormy day. The medicine to my flu. The butter to my bread. The Saturday to my hectic week. The oasis to my desert. The strawberry topping to my chocolate ice-cream. The lyrics to my music.
The answer to my prayers. For it was the work of Book Gods that sent you to my life. I am going to celebrate our acquaintance by sacrificing puppies composing a hymn painting your portrait nevermind I'll just dance.

“It was the circle of perfect motion. Of the light-bringer and dark-giver, the world-starter and shadow-ender. Of initiation and completion.”

The Truce between the nations of the Witchlands is coming to an end. Every player is desperate to find leverage against his opponents. There are nobles who are greedy for more, more power and more blood, and nobles who are searching for a way to protect their people from the chaos and destruction that are about to be unleashed. A Truthwitch would be the best weapon to gain the upper hand and secure their hearts' darkest desires. But Safi doesn't want to be a pawn, nor help the ruthless ruler she despises. She just wants to be free. Iseult on the other hand, her Threadsister and a pariah, wants to find the place where she belongs. Hunted and on the run, they come across allies and foes, they fight sea monsters and corrupted magic and trained assassins, they discover love and make decisions that will eventually determine the outcome of the war.
“Because ‘just me’ isn’t who we are. I’ll always follow you, Safi, and you’ll always follow me. Threadsisters to the end.”

I had a rocky start with Truthwitch. I could sense the potential and the epicness that was about to come, but at first I was confused with the world-building, I kept re-reading the pages to finally grasp the history, the politics and the geography of the Witchlands. But like diving into the waters of the Origin Wells, I eventually became a part of this complex and fascinating world and like a Threadwitch, I can see the Thread that now binds my soul with the very essence of this book. We're connected. We're in sync. And I love it.

If I had to describe Truthwitch with only one word, it would be stunning . Susan Dennard's writing was rich and vivid, I could close my eyes and picture the ocean, feel the breeze caressing my face and smell the saltiness of the sea. I could hear swords clashing and sailors cursing and horses panting from the effort to run away from their pursuers. The politics and the never-ending schemings made me question everything and everyone, the action and the fights were mind-blowing and made my heart race and my breath catch. Monks, sea monsters, magic wells, prophecies, corrupted witches, untrustworthy rulers, all of them are part of a marvelous and epic fantasy saga . And don't forget the characters.
“It wasn’t freedom she wanted. It was belief in something—a prize big enough to run for and to fight for and to keep on reaching toward no matter what.”

Safi and Iseult are completely different but equally brilliant. Safi is the hot-headed one, with a short temper and a big mouth that always looks for a fight. Amusing, stubborn and self-centered, sometimes oblivious to the mayhem she creates and the consequences of her actions, she always gets into trouble without thinking, but she's often driven by the need to protect Iseult, the person she loves the most. Safi grew up a lot throughout the story and she atoned for her mistakes. Iseult on the other hand is the reasonable one, who never belonged anywhere, who was never wanted nor needed. She never found her place in the world, but she was always willing to risk and follow Safi's crazy plans because she trusted her. Their friendship is one of the things I admired the most in Truthwitch, it's a kind of love you rarely encounter in books nowadays, especially between female characters, but it was strong, pure, a force of nature.
“Safi had only two thoughts:Who the rut is that Nubrevnan Windwitch? And: He should really learn how to button a shirt.”

But there is also romance, sweet, sizzling, making-your-toes-curl, giving-you-heart-palpitations romance. Allow me to introduce you to Prince Merik of Nubrevna, the Admiral of his country's Navy, the son who wants the best for his people but isn't respected by his family. Loyal and determined, always looking after his crew, he never expected his life to become this complicated when he met Safi for the first time because let's be honest, he's not particularly patient himself and his anger is a being of its own. Their dance scene was so hot it practically made me drool! Safi and Merik always bickered, fought, disagreed, irritated each other and each time I swooned more than the previous. Sparks! Sparks! Sparks! and kaboom! you combust into flames!

Please do tell me, is there a reason not to read this book?

P.S. I just found out that Susan and I have the same birthday! How cool is that?:D
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,701 followers
May 3, 2018
5/3/18 - ON SALE for $2.99:


Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

I don't know about the rest of you, but when one of my favorite authors recommends a book or another author, I AM THERE.

How much more so when the recommended author is the real life bff of said author? How much more so when the book in question is meant to be (at least in part) an expression of that friendship?

In her acknowledgements, Dennard says:

Friendships can be just as epic as romances . . .

That's lovely, isn't it? It's also true for those of us lucky enough to have found our own Threadsister. *waves at Chrissy*

Safiya and Iseult are Threadsisters, friends bound together more tightly than family. They are night and day, Iseult the frequent victim of hideous prejudice due to her Romany-like background, Safiya an orphaned heiress.

They fill each other's gaps, operating in perfect synchronization with barely a thought: Initiate. Complete. They are hilarious and determined and passionate and I bloody love them.

The girls live in a world on a precipice. The twenty-year treaty that has kept a tenuous peace among the various countries is near its expiration date, and while some monarchs are happy to make sure their people are fed, others have conquest on the brain.

In fact, many suspect--have suspected from the beginning--that the treaty is nothing more than cover for the emperor to build his armies under the guise of law keeping while undermining any potential threats.

Change is coming, and our girls are at the heart of it.

Enter Merik, the prince of a once world power, now decimated by past wars. The coast of his island home is ash, and he is desperate to secure trade so his people won't starve.

The last thing he needs is a complication in the form of Safiya, but that's exactly what he gets, and with Safi comes Iseult.

It's fun.

The chemistry between Safiya and Merik is WHUH. So WHUH that if this was an adult novel, there'd be a lot more than dancing going on. *waggles eyebrows*

Aeduan and Iseult are a different matter altogether. It seemed obvious from the beginning that the two were destined for coupleness, but their outcome was still nebulous by book's end. One thing I can say for sure is that I NEED more of Aeduan's backstory. Dude is too restrained, to emotionless to have come by it naturally. I see darkness and a lot of it.

Dark is good.

But ultimately this is a story of friendship, of the lengths two girls will go to to protect the other, and how that friendship might shake their world's foundation. The dashing, not-pirate prince (with a TEMPER), who knows scandalous dances and dances them well--I admit it, I swooned--the peril, the secrets, the long-orchestrated political schemes . . . Those are just bonus. *winks*

TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard is my first Top Read of 2016. Highly recommended.

Jessica Signature

My other reviews for this series:

Sightwitch (The Witchlands, #0.5)
Windwitch (The Witchlands, #2)
Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3)
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
427 reviews1,698 followers
August 24, 2021
Guide to the Witchlands Series

• The first thing you need to know about this series is that although it is YA, Dennard set out to write it like an adult fantasy series where things such as the magical system and the politics of the land is not explained but revealed as you go along.

• So though the plot will seem messy at first, believe me it's not. Unlike some fantasy authors who write one book and then after decide to write a sequel, Dennard planned for 5/6 books. She had already outlined the plots and she purposefully wrote the first few books with little hints and twists that we would not pick up on until we were further in.

• To be honest I think most YA fantasy readers have gotten lazy. All I see is complaints of a book being too slow in the beginning and confusion. It's like no one has patience for world building these days.

• The MC's are a bit older, about 18-20 y/o.

• Each book features alternating POV's of about four characters, though with each book another gets added on. All our MC's have their own stories and sometimes their paths are in different directions. Every book focuses more on a specific character and their history as well as their character growth.

• This series puts a huge focus on friendship. And though there is romance it is not overwhelming the main plot. I feel like many other books, in the YA fantasy genre, lean too heavily on romance to drive the story and it's so refreshing to read a series that I am so engrossed in the action, magic, mystery and politics that I do not even mind. Make no mistake - I love me some romance and I certainly have my own Witchlands ships.

• This is definitely the type of book you'd need to take notes of while reading. I certainly did and I still feel like I didn't take enough. There are so many reveals and things connecting it blows me away everytime. I will definitely reread these books before another one releases just to have everything fresh in my head.

Anyway this series is awesome, different and deserves more hype.


If you wanted to, Safiya, you could bend and shape the world.

Where the heck has this series been hiding from me?
That's the only excuse I have as to why this book has not been in my hands sooner.

This story follows two best friends, Safiya and Iseult. Safiya is a Truthwitch and being one means she can tell lies from truth. It is an advantage that many people would kill to get their hands on.

Iseult is a Threadwitch. Which means she can see emotions in colour. And she can see the threads that bind people. They are as different as night and day, each with their own unique witchery abilities.

When the wrong people somehow find out about Safiya's abilities she and Iseult find themselves at the centre of a multi-nation witchhunt.

What came as a pleasant surprise is that this book does not just follow Safi and Iseult. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Prince Merik and Aeduan POV's as well.

What did I love about this book?

The Plot
Though the plot at first seemed straight forward it became clear, the further I read, that there was more than meets the eye. I enjoyed the element of mystery as well as the fast pacing; plot twists and surprises which were equally great.

The World
In the beginning it was a bit confusing to keep track of the different Witch types. We are sort of thrown into this world with little to no explanation. But I found myself not minding at all. It was interesting to figure things out as I went along.

The Chatacters
Sometimes a book can have an amazingly unique plot but then I don't connect with the characters and that honestly just spoils the entire experience. That was not the case here.

It took no time for these characters to become dear to me. Each vastly different and from various backgrounds.

Safi's personality reminded me a bit of Calaena Sardothian (Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas). Wreckless, arrogant and kick ass — I LOVED IT.
It is more common in books for male characters to have these traits and it makes me so happy when it's switched.

Iseult is the calm to Safi's storm. She always has her back.
With your right hand, give a person what he expects—and with your left hand, cut his purse. Safi always played the distracting right hand—and she was good at it—while Iseult lurked in the shadows, ready to claim whatever purse needed cutting.

Her background and past was very interesting. And her powers are still baffling (but amazing).

I was Merik besotted from the get go. I admired his determination to help his country despite his family not believing that he could. And also his loyalty to his crew as well as his love for his Threadbother.

Aeduan grew on me. So even though he is technically the bad guy hunting them down, I still like him? Damn it, I love a good bad guy ; )

I rated this 4 stars but I really might come back and rate it 5! That's how much I enjoyed this. This is set out to be a 5 book series which has me seriously excited!

Qustions; theories etc. :


My reviews for:
2: Windwitch
3: Bloodwitch
4: Untitled( where I give a recap as well as theories and predictions)
5: Untitled
Profile Image for Samantha.
416 reviews16.7k followers
January 12, 2016
Although the world building was a bit confusing and clunky at the beginning, Truthwitch more than made up for that with its characters, twists, and turns. Rarely do I feel so instantly attached to an entire group of characters like I did with this book. Even though I originally got this ARC at BEA, I'm glad I waited to read it because I cannot imagine having to wait over a year for the next installment. A year will be painful enough. I am already eagerly anticipating my re-read of this book so I can catch all of the things I'm sure I missed this first time and to revisit these characters.
Profile Image for Maureen.
507 reviews4,201 followers
February 28, 2016
I really really REALLY LOVED THIS BOOK. It's probably the first very very hyped book that has gone so far above and beyond my expectations that I can't even DEAL (six of crows is another but this went EVEN ABOVE THAT FOR ME)

I loved all the characters, their relationships, the plot the world building, the magic system, EVERYTHING so much.

It took a little bit for me to get into this (130 pages-ish) but once that mark hit, I was super into it. As my friend Paige said (and so described my feelings entirely...) I didn't realize how invested I was until that point. I didn't realize I loved the characters but then THINGS GOT CRAY AND IT GOT EVEN BETTER.

There's so much to love here - a focus on friendships, wonderfully lovable characters, a really interesting magic system (that I wished there had been even more of!), a great plot with fabulous setup for the next books, and a really interesting world.

Time to IMMEDIATELY reread this book.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,607 reviews1,480 followers
June 8, 2020
Sale Alert: Kindle deal Jun 8- Jun 14 $2.99

You want to know what there is a distinct lack of in Fantasy in my opinion??? Strong female friendships. I’m not talking about sisters or girls who grew up together but real friendships where you feel so strongly for that other person that no one could ever come between that. Not some boy or culture or a coming war.

The beauty of Truthwitch for me was the relationship between Safi and Iseult. Each would die for the other without a second thought to it. They would follow the other anywhere in the world and they are stronger together than they ever are apart even though they are from such different backgrounds.
Safi had her title to protect her, and Iseult had her heritage to damn her.

I loved how indignant and angry Safi got every time that someone judged or insulted Iseult because of the color of her skin and where she was from. Even when Iseult accepts the prejudices of others and lets it roll off Safi never does. They are best friends and maybe more (magically speaking not romantically speaking) and they are incredibly fierce in their protections of each other.

There are plenty of other things to like in the story though.

✧ Interesting new magic.✧

Some of the magic reminded me a little of the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. In that there are people who can control the Wind, Storms, Tides, Blood, Iron etc…. But it is different because there are people like Safi who is like a human lie detector and can tell when someone isn’t being honest. But Iseult’s power is the one I really wanted. She can see the emotions of people. Different colors mean different things and she can see them as threads around the individuals seeing who is tied to whom.
For a heartbeat … then two, the space between Merik and Safi—the Threads burning between them—ignited into a full flaming Thread of scarlet. But Iseult had no time to distinguish the exact shade—if it was a growing Thread of love or one of unforgiving hate—

✦ A little bit of romance ✦

I almost always need a little smidgen of romance in the books I read. I don’t necessarily want it to overshadow the entire story but I love the slow burn of a romance if it is done right and so I very much enjoyed the dance between Safi and Merik. Don’t worry Safi never goes all damsel in distress and becomes a bumbling idiot just because she has an attraction to a man. Instead she buts heads with him, meets his dance move for move and keeps him on his toes wondering what she will pull next. It is a slow burn through to book but when they ignite it is HOT.
Something had happened between Safi and Merik during their dance. Something as powerful as the wind and the music that had gusted around them. A shift in the air that preceded a storm.

I’m also going to say that there is another potential couple I really like the idea of and it is Iseult with Aeduan. Although since he is the enemy in this book it might take some time to bring him to their side. But more on Aeduan later.

✧ Brand New World ✧

One of the things I really love about fantasy is that you always get a new world to explore. Truthwitch has all that in new lands, cultures and peoples. I enjoyed learning a little about them in this book. We only get to see a few of the places in this world but I’m sure that it will grow even larger as the series continues. We have only seen one of the 5 Magical Wells mentioned so far but I can’t wait to see what happens to this world if Safi and Iseult can figure out how to get them working.

✦ The Bad Guys ✦

There are a few and they all seem very dangerous. There are also a few people that I’m not sure what side they are playing on yet and so it will be interesting to see if they end up being a friend or a foe. Aeduan is the main bad guy we get to see. As a Bloodwitch he is very dangerous as he can control the blood in others bodies and his own. That makes him incredibly hard to kill and extremely powerful. But I can’t help but hold out a little hope that somewhere along the way in this series he decides to be a protector of Safi and Iseult instead of hunting them.
“My life-debt is paid, Threadwitch. If our paths cross again, make no mistake: I will kill you.”
“No, you won’t,” she whispered as the door clicked shut.
Aeduan forced himself to stay silent. She deserved no response—it would be her mistake if she thought he would spare her.

And now I can’t wait for them to meet again and test who will be right.

✧ Intense Ending ✧

Things were just starting to pick up for me and get really good and then the story was over. This is the bad part about finding a series right when it is starting out. You have to wait for all then next books. But I was ready to jump into the next one right after this finished had it been available.
All that physical training, Merik had said, plus a witchery men would kill for. Think of all you could do. Think of all you could be.

Well I can’t wait to find that out.

What might not work for you.

It took quite a while for this to get really rolling for me and since there isn’t any info dumping I initially kept getting the girls and their powers mixed up until about 30% in. I wish there was an index with the different names of the various types of witchcraft and a few of the characters and or places in the book. There is a pretty good map and that was helpful though.

The other thing is this seemed to be pretty character driven for the most part. There is a plot but for me this was a set up book. Here are the main characters that we will be following and a little bit of their history. But there isn’t a huge quest the girls are going on. In fact Safi is only trying to escape her responsibilities and fate for the most of the story. Not in a bad I’m a brat kind of way but more in a I’m just trying to live my life and everyone is out to use me kind of way.


I’ve really shied away from YA lately because so many of the tropes seem to bug me and they are so overused. Susan Dennard did a great job of telling a story through the eyes of multiple characters and taking the reader on a journey with them. She built tension and drama and gave a lot of hints of things to come in the story without ever treating the reader like they are stupid and need to be told everything up front. She had extraordinary friendships that you believed in not because you are told they are best friends but because through every action and deed the reader sees it.

This is definitely an introductory book but I for one look forward to seeing where she takes the story from here.
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,280 followers
April 14, 2017
"I guard the light-bringer,
And protect the dark-giver.
I live for the world-starte,
And die for the shadow-ender.
My blood, I offer freely.
My Threads, I offer wholly.
My eternal soul belongs to no one else.
Claim my Aether.
Guide my blade.
From now until the end."

I AM OBSESSED WITH TRUTHWITCH. It was on my top ten most anticipated releases of 2016 and it DID NOT disappoint one bit. I can already tell that this series is going to become one of my favorite series of all time because, guys, this world is fantastic!

Okay, I'll be completely honest with you. I had a little bit of a rough start with this book in the beginning up until about 150 pages in. At first, it felt info-dumpy because of all the names, terms, and bits of history that were thrown our way and it was, I kid you not, A LOT to remember and take in. I appreciated how fast-paced this book was but it felt like Susan Dennard just thrusted us into this world of witches and magic and expected us to know this universe and how it works right off the bat.

Sometimes I'm a bit slow when it comes to taking in different worlds that are introduced to me in books, so unfortunately the beginning did not really work out for me the way I hoped it would. For me, it felt like I opened up the book and started right at the middle of the story with everything going on at once without any prior knowledge as to who, what, where, and why this is all happening. I was absolutely fascinated by the Witchlands and all the different types of witches but I did not quite understand what or why the characters were doing what they were doing. But thankfully, everything just starts melding together and making sense as you keep reading. I still found myself confused at times as the story progressed but not to the extent of how it was in the beginning. Hopefully, Susan Dennard clarifies everything by the second installment.

I do hope that we get an index, glossary, or something along those lines in the second book that clarify and define certain terms and concepts used in Truthwitch. The Witchlands is a vast world full of different types of witches, even including subcategories or subtypes of a certain type of witch. For example, a Windwitch can strictly control only the wind. An Airwitch, from my understanding, also possesses that same power along with a variety of other abilities such as controlling the air that flows through an individual's lungs, whereas a Windwitch does not. A short, little page in the back of the book or something can go a long way to avoid confusion!

Aside from the mixup, I was blown away by this book. It met all my expectations and was every bit as exciting as I thought it would be. I devoured this book and every page kept me turning for the next! I LOVED our main heroines, Safiya and Iseult. They were just badass when it came to their magic and fighting skills. I enjoyed the fact that although they couldn't use their magic to fight back against their opponents, they manage to still defend themselves with their wielded weapons. Of course, I also loved our male characters, Merik and Aeduan. I can't wait to see these four main characters actually working together because I can already tell they're going to be squad goals! And maybe even couple goals. (; I'm already on the Merik and Safina ship 100%, but I think I might be sensing an Iseult and Aeduan relationship in the future as well. <3

Thank you Susan Dennard for creating this book and this world. I've been waiting for a book about witches so thank you for giving us that! Like I said, it was a rough start for me but that didn't hold me back from enjoying the story. I'm already dying to find out what else Susan has up her sleeve because this series is awesome guys. I highly recommend Truthwitch and if you're like me and end up struggling through the beginning, keep reading and persevere because it's worth it to stick around until the end.
Profile Image for Samantha.
416 reviews16.7k followers
February 7, 2017
Just as good, if not better, the second read through. Now on to Windwitch!
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
August 23, 2020
Truthwitch is kind of standard YA romantic fantasy, but not bad if you like that kind of thing. Review first posted on www.FantasyLiterature.com:

Truthwitch starts off in media res, in the midst of a failed heist, and the resulting armed clash and escape are highly dramatic (even if it's not entirely clear at the time what's going on). At the same time, it’s hard to escape the feeling that this is yet another typical young adult romantic fantasy, complete with a teenage kickass heroine (except this time ― bonus! ― you get two of them!), with unique magical powers that make them highly special and sought-after, and unrealistically awesome sword-fighting techniques. As well, there’s the obligatory instant attraction between one of the girls and a prince, with their relationship jump-started by an intricate and steamy dance that, I have to admit, left me fanning myself.

The world-building in Truthwitch has some creative fantasy aspects to it, but isn’t explored or explained clearly enough, and the lack of details sometimes hurt the story. Key concepts like “thread-cutting” and “cleaving” were inadequately explained, as was the virulent prejudice against Iseult’s people.

The deep friendship and loyalty between the two girls, Safiya and Iseult, is laudatory in a genre that too often shorts true friendship between women. But at the same time, this friendship is the source of much frustration. It’s too similar to the obsessive romantic relationships that show up in too many young adult novels, except here it’s between two girls who, although not romantically involved, are still overly reliant on each other. Their relationship goes beyond loyalty and tips over into co-dependent behavior that tosses aside reason and logic. That aspect of the story is quite irritating.

A large part of this problem is caused by Safiya’s immaturity and impetuousness. Again and again Safi makes idiotic decisions that needlessly endanger herself and Iseult, usually because she thinks someone is going to separate her from Iseult and that Simply. Cannot. Be. My frustration with Safi culminated when a great many people have put themselves at risk to save her, whisking her out of town in secrecy, and Safi freaks out and breaks away from her hiding place, nearly causing the deaths of herself and others … once again, just because she can’t bear the thought of being separated for a while from Iseult. Impulsive heroines ― or heroes ― who make stupid decisions because of their strong feelings are, at least to me, much less appealing than the cool, calculating types. In fairness, Safi does realize the error of her reckless ways toward the end of the novel, but by then it was hard to muster up much sympathy for her, and it felt like a rather obvious plot turn.

Truthwitch left me with mixed emotions: at times my reading of it was perfunctory, with me feeling that I’ve read too many books similar to this, but then fairly often a plot twist or character would surprise me with some unexpected depth and the book would recapture my imagination. Between that and the quick, exciting pace of most of the story, Truthwitch will find a large fan base, particularly among teenage and young adult women who like fantasies with kickass heroines and hot guys (especially if they're princes).

* * * * *

Initial post (after reading the first third of the book):
The first 30 or 40% of this upcoming fantasy novel is [was] available on NetGalley, so I downloaded and read it last night. It started off feeling like yet another typical YA fantasy: Yep, there's another kickass heroine ... or two. And they both have special snowflake magical powers aside from their really awesome sword-fighting techniques. And here's a magical kingdom, and of course multiple sinister people who want to capture our heroines and use them for their own nefarious purposes.

So I was reading it, a little perfunctorily, and it just wasn't really sucking me in or capturing my imagination. Until all of a sudden it was.

I'm not sure what exactly happened, but it involved a couple of characters unexpectedly turning awesome, and an intricate dance with a prince that was pretty amazing and also pretty hot (the dance, I mean, although come to think of it I could also say "the prince" here), and an assassin who may be evil or may be just misguided, but in any case we're not done with him, not by a long shot. And the deep friendship between the two female main characters is unusual in this genre.

And now I really want to read the rest of the story. Even though it's the first book and the series is expected to include four books.
Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,494 followers
January 27, 2023
First of all: A+++ for those heartthreads and the slow-burn-turned-crazy-hot-tension between Merik and Safi. Best way to describe this? Adult fantasy meets YA. For those of you that love super intricate world building and plot lines, this is your book.

...I read someone's review that said this book was a light fantasy read for people who wanted to read about dresses & balls and that picky fantasy readers would want something more complex. I don't agree. I honestly found the world building in this book PHENOMENAL >> like crazy-detailed and layers upon layers of meaning & events that are bringing about a game-changing plot. The first 30% I was honestly struggling just to take the whole world in, it was that complex! This felt waaaaay more adult fantasy (in terms of attention to detail and world-building) so I'd actually argue the opposite: if you want heavy fantasy, read this book. There are plenty of light fantasies I love but I've read enough of those to recognize this as more.

Ohhhh, and the romance is very, VERY slow burn in the beginning which means you actually learn who the characters are as people and fall for them as who they could be together instead of just giving us one simple glance and poof they have attraction. There was a review that said instalove at the ball. Ummm, I read that same section. The whole awesome dance sequence between Merik and Safi >> never once did I get the feeling of intense attraction, it was more mutual fascination (that was the best dance scene I've ever read, it was like watching a choreographed ballroom dance meets tango lol) and respect (that both could dance so well) and never once did Safi or Merik obsess about the other's eyes/looks/etc during the dance. So, no. No instalove in this book.

Let's talk about the friendship: Iseult and Safi. Be real. Name the number of YA fantasy books you've read that spend most of their time focusing on the friendship instead of the romance -even 1% more? I honestly can't. I love a good romance, but I also can seriously appreciate a good friendship -and this book gives readers the friendship that they have been missing. These two were the most important aspect of the series -and they literally balanced each other out (you will understand exactly what this means if you read through to the end). Not only that, but both were flawed and used the other to make each one a better person.
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 18 books13.3k followers
January 18, 2016
3.5 stars.

I did really enjoy this novel. But for me I just could not connect with anything. From the names to the places everything was just extremely confusing to me.

What i did love is this novel is a mixture between the grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo my FAV author and Aang the last airbender! :D

Better review to come soon!
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
531 reviews58.5k followers
April 23, 2017
3.5? 4?

For the positive, I love the magic system, the world, and the overall story.
For the negative, the love story was a bit too sickly sweet for me and the writing was not good.

I will continue the series!
Profile Image for Kiki.
193 reviews8,456 followers
October 9, 2019
Ah, Truthwitch. The truth is, you let me down.

Did you see that? 'The truth is'. Because she's a Truthwitch! So it's like a pun!

You know when you can just feel yourself being really annoying, and you can tell the people around you are getting sick of you, but you just cannot stop? I usually get like that when I'm extremely bored, and so I caught myself doing it a lot as I was reading Truthwitch: knowing that I need to finish this, but being bored out of my mind, and so compelled to scratch away at the patience of anyone near me until I'm very firmly told to shut up.

Truthwitch, for me, absolutely bombed; it was boring, the characters were flat, the prose was weak, and above all, it may as well have been written in Amharic for how well I understood it. This is my absolute number one complaint about this book. I can cope with weird, dull, angry Merik, and Safi who shares my trait of being unable to stop annoying people. I can deal with flat, dreary Iseult and all of the hundreds of thousands of politicians whose names I can't remember. I can cope with the numerous typos, the cliched elemental magic system, and the generic romance. But what I am not willing to overlook is the absolute shambles that is the world-building in this high fantasy novel.

Cahr Awen? Origin Wells? Cleaving? The Void? All of these things are very important parts of Truthwitch's world-building as a whole, but they remain a total mystery at the end of the book. I mean, cleaving is a little clearer, but the rules of it are all over the place, and we never get an explanation of what it actually is and what causes it. Origin Wells? No idea whatsoever. Cahr Awen? What is the Cahr Awen?

Threadfamilies, Threadstones, Threads in general? The Puppeteer? The evil dude in the village with the people and stuff? It's all just walloped at you at warped speed within the first three or so chapters, and honestly, I'm surprised I didn't give up. I was this close to throwing in the towel at around the 200 page mark but I made a commitment to finish every book I start during this reading challenge. No skipping, no switching, and no two books at once. Start one, you finish it.

Oh, but there's a catch with that, my friends. After being ahead of the game from the start, I nearly fell behind because this book took me a week to read. Almost all of the books I've started since the beginning of this challenge have taken me two to three days, but this book took me a whole week. I was just to tired of it, so tired that I feel asleep about four times while I was reading it. But here's the thing, and I stand by this: Susan Dennard is a really decent writer. She can construct a scene, write compelling dialogue, and her actions scenes are fun and thrilling. But the plot of this book suffers, because the world-building is so bananas. There's some chasing, and a thing about a wedding and that bloody trade agreement but it all just sort of peters out, and then at the last minute a totally unrelated conflict headed by a totally unrelated villain comes in to play and it was so incredibly random. I felt like I was supposed to be...shocked? I think I was supposed to feel something at the turn of the last page, but it was really just a case of "oh, okay."

You could say that about everything in this book. "Oh. Okay." It was just so lacklustre, so repetitive and stuffed with unnecessary charging around. Safi and Iseult and Merik just blast from place to place, and every now and again they'll be like "We're almost there! It's imperative that we reach [location that has never been mentioned before]!" And there's no way to react to that, other than, "Oh. Okay."

Amid all of the shouting and the racing around and the relentlessly hurling unexplained fantasy concepts at the reader, this book just falls right on its ass. It wanted to be epic and amazing, and it probably makes sense to some people, but I'm not prepared to make excuses for it. I paid £15 for this, and all I got was a headache and a nap I never asked for. How is that fair?
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,460 reviews9,615 followers
September 22, 2019
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List




I was confused at a lot in the book, I'm still confused at some things, but it's all good because what things I did understand were awesome! The two main characters, Safiya and Iseult are Threadsisters. Certain peeps, well witches can bond and become sisters or brothers. Safiya is a Truthwitch and Iseult is a Threadwitch, I don't need to tell you all of this because you can read it in the description of the book.

Anyway, so these two bad-@ssed girls are starting trouble right out of the gate, unfortunately, this put them in the sights of a bloodwitch and he wants them dead. He can track you if he gets a scent of your blood, ewww.


Then a bunch of stuff goes down, political and otherwise and the next thing you know the girls are running for their lives trying to get to a safe haven. Then someone hires Aeduan (the bloodwitch) to get one of the girls back and he owes a debt to the other girl. Yeah, I know, it's all crazeee when I try to explain it, but you will catch on when you read the book :-)

Back to the girls running for their lives... the girls are running for their lives and end up at their lighthouse (read book) at a standoff with some evil peeps and what not.... then they meet this guy they met awhile back. His name is Merik and he's a Windwitch <---- I hope I got that right because there are so many freaking witches with different names in the book I can't keep them straight. Anyhoo, he gets them onto his boat and off they go. He seems to have a contract for one of the girls as well. I mean geez, every one has contracts out on them! So Merik has a threadbrother named Kullen and they can make crazy wind, hurricanes. etc. They seem all mean and what-not, but they turn out to be good guys.

Soooo, the majority of the book takes place with all of them traveling on the boat to this other place.


One of the girls is hurt and they need a firewitch to heal her so they are trying to get away from people chasing them, other people chasing them, some sea monsters and trying to figure out how to make a stop for a firewitch.

Here's a little excerpt about Merik and Kullen


Unlike Merik, Kullen's elemental magic wasn't exclusive to air currents-- he was a full Airwitch, able to control a man's lungs, able to dominate the heat and the storms, and once, he'd even stopped a full-blown hurricane. Witches like Merik were common enough and with varying degrees of mastery over the wind, but as far as Merik knew, Kullen was the only living person with complete control over all aspects of the air.

How cool is that?

There are some other characters in the book that I really like too, but I'm not going into all of that.

As always in a lot of books I read, people are not always what they seem. There is a lot going on in this book that you will just have to read about yourself. Some really evil person is out there and needs to be stopped, they have a really bad magic that just about destroyed a lot of them.

Someone did die in the book and it really made me sad :-(

In the end people are separated and I don't know what is going to happen to everyone. I can't wait to see where the author is taking this story next!


I guard the light-bringer,
And protect the dark-giver.
I live for the world-starte,
And die for the shadow-ender.
My blood, I offer freely.
My Threads, I offer wholly.
My eternal soul belongs to no one else.
Claim my Aether.
Guide my blade.
From now until the end.

Profile Image for Melanie.
1,167 reviews98.2k followers
May 16, 2016

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I actually received an "Extended Extract ARC" for this book. So basically, the first half of this review is going to be my opinions on chapters one through fifteen that were given to me for review. Then, I will tell you the rest of my thoughts on the book, now that it is officially released and I have bought it for chapters sixteen through forty. The fifteen chapters I did review, for Netgalley, were amazing. Easily one of my favorite reads for 2015. So I was very excited for my signed copy to get here from Books of Wonder, because I was really confident that I would love it based on the fifteen chapter ARC I received.

Review for Chapters 1-15:
The main theme of this book is friendship and what two young women can accomplish with it. It's always so refreshing for me to read about a strong woman, but two is such a rarity. And they are actually best friends, and not catty and competitive with one another. This is so rare in YA, and I hope this starts a movement with more authors writing about how wonderful girl friendships can be. The only other series I can think of that also has an amazing girl/girl friendship is Cracked, and I absolutely adored that book as well.

In this world there are five Origin Wells that are spread across the Witchlands. Each Well is based off a major element --Aether, Earth, Water, Wind, or Fire. There is also a Void element that most people think is a myth, because they have no records of a Void Well. Every person in this world is a type of witch that derives from one of these elements. Like, there are so many different kinds of witches, it was insane. You have the basic Earthwitches and Firewitches, but you also have Voicewitches and Tidewitches. So basically your powers can be very broad or very focused.

The two best friends in this book have very different powers, but both of their powers are very unique. Iseult (my favorite of the two) is a Threadwitch, which means she can see other's threads/outcomes. She cannot see her own or other Threadwitches, but she can see their intentions from different colors that appear. Safi is a Truthwitch that can obviously tell the truth from a lie (unless someone has a crazy amount of power to mask it). The special thing about her being a Truthwitch is that the last recorded one died a century ago. This makes Safi very valuable, especially with an upcoming Truth Summit.

The world building for this blew me away. There are three empires in this book that have a treaty for twenty years of peace. Well, that is about to end and a big Truth Summit is about to take place that will probably not end with much peace. This is why it's so important for Safi to keep her magic hidden, because she could easily become a captive pawn in this game when so much will be at stake.

Both Safi and Iseult are good-hearted little trouble makers. After a run-in where they lose their money, they try to get a little revenge. Unfortunately for them, a Bloodwitch named Aeduan ends up putting them on his radar. Bloodwitches are another type of witch that is very rare and mostly unheard of anymore. Bloodwitches can smell a person's blood and track them forever, so there is not much question on why they are so valuable, and now he's on a mission to find these two troublemakers. They are also almost impossible to kill, because the only way is to completely sever the head from the body. Aeduan being able to track Safi is a huge problem the two girls are trying to overcome. Aeduan also has smelled Iseult 's blood . Both girls soon realize that Bloodwitches can also manipulate blood, which is probably the most powerful magic I had read about yet.

The girls split up and you get to see how different their lives are separated from one another. Safi lives a much wealthier life, with a very powerful Uncle. You also see hints and glimpses that the rest of Safi's family is not around, but you never find out why . She attends a ball and realizes more people are aware of her unusual power than what she originally thought.

Iseult comes from a witch tribe of Threadwitches that are lead by a man named Corlant, who is pretending to be one . Iseult makes her way home once she is separated from Safi. Iseult reunites with her mother, another friend of hers, and her dog. Sadly the homecoming is short lived, because Corlant convinces the witch tribe that Iseult is the Puppeteer, which is something unknown and they all fear, and wants them to kill her because of it. Man, maybe Donald Trump, or the people who plan on voting for him, should read this book.

The half of this book that I was able to read was a breath of fresh air. I think it will speak to many readers on many ends of many spectrums. I think there is something likeable for everyone, and it will be very easy for readers to connect with. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but the female friendship was beyond refreshing, and an absolute joy to read about. I want much more of this story.

Review for Chapters 16-40:
I went into this thinking I would lower my originally five star rating, because I thought something would happen to upset me, irritate me, or cast away the spell this book has put my heart under. That never happened, if anything, these following chapters helped me love this world more. The characters are fantastic, the world building blew me away (especially for a first book in a series), and the plot is original and mesmerizing. That last chapter even tied in with the first chapter, involving the Chiseled Cheater, and that is another surefire way to make sure your book makes it into my heart.

This book also introduces "sex foxes" with are totally glorified sirens; which is a huge guilty pleasure/weakness for me. It was a wonderful take on them, and like I said, I'm just smitten for mythical creatures that lure men to their deaths.

I thought I was so in love with Iseult and Aeduan's story line, until I read the rest of this book and realized how freakin' in love I am with Safi and Merik. They are totally reminding me of Cleo and Magnus in Falling Kingdoms, with the "I love to hate you" romances, that somehow just work for me. I couldn't get enough of them in the last half of this book. Then, Safi's "deal" with Vaness and the surprise in Merik's jacket.... be still, my heart.

Aeduan is even more complex that I imagined in the first fifteen chapters. He surprises me left and right with his thoughtfulness life-debts . I'm nervous and excited to learn about his father in the next book.

Evrane was an amazing new character, and her shedding light on the truth about the Cahr Awen definitely opens up the story a little more. Or, it like, breaks down the wall for a million story arcs now.

Iseult's role was smaller in the last half of this book, just because she was sick a lot, and mostly just healing. I still enjoyed her character and her devotion to her friendship with her Threadsister.

It's only January 6th and, without a doubt, this book is going to make it on my "Best of 2016" list come December. This book truly proves that "friendships can be just as epic as romances" and we need a whole lot of that in this world. I would recommend this to everyone.

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Profile Image for Lucia.
733 reviews803 followers
June 18, 2017
If you are looking for new captivating YA fantasy series, look no further. Here are five reasons that will make Truthwitch your next book-hungover-worthy read.


Truthwitch has very interesting set of main characters (four different POVs) and every single one of them provided something unique and memorable to make me fall in love with them. Safi, a Truthwitch, is funny and sarcastic, impulsive and unrestrained, fierce and passionate. She has all characteristics that I like to have in enjoyable female heroine. Iseult, a Threadwitch, is calm and smart, perceptive and logical, always thinking things through. And she is the best and the most loyal friend you could ask for. Merik, a Windwitch, is fierce and temperamental, but capable admiral/dancer and loyal friend/prince trying to save his country. He captured my heart early in the story and his impression on me never faltered. Aeduan, a Bloodwitch, is cold and dark, mysterious and deadly. He has this strong villain-y vibe going on and I’m incredibly curious to see where author will take his character in next instalments.


This novel shows why I love fantasies. There is no better to spend my free time than losing myself in new world and its specific politics, history, legends, religions and culture. It brings my imagination alive. And Truthwitch hit all the right marks for me because its world-building was fascinating, flawless and detailed (fortunately there was no info-dump, it was all revealed gradually when it was needed). Simply said, my inner fantasy nerd was in heaven.


Truthwitch is without a doubt the best YA fantasy novel with strong focus on female friendship. Safi & Iseult are from different parts of society and have completely different background. However, they complement each other perfectly and together create lovable team of adventurous witches whose escapades were such a thrilling experience to read about.


Truthwitch is book with scorching chemistry. Nothing graphics needs to happen, yet the couple (and I am not going to tell you what couple to keep it spoiler-free) could ignite the pages just with simple looks, banters or touch here and there. It shows author’s mastery of writing when she can make me all hot and bothered with butterflies in my stomach *cough* dance scene *cough* while keeping it PG-13.


In Truthwitch, you won’t find love triangle, insta-love or annoying tropes. But you will get perfectly paced storyline with something exciting happening all the time. I was unable to tear my eyes from this novel. Truthwitch is what I call a real page-turner and since I haven’t read one in months, I’m very grateful for this book. Thank you Susan Dennard!

Truthwitch is a very promising start to new YA fantasy series. It has all three aspects that I require in good fantasy novel (world-building, storytelling, characters) mastered perfectly and I can’t wait to get my hands on sequel!

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Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
603 reviews731 followers
April 16, 2018

Now that’s what I call a pleasant little surprise.

I loved this book. The reason why it’d taken me an entire year to finally decide to read it was because I’d already banked on it disappointing me. What a mistake that was.

I loved the overall plot and were it not for the gross lack of world building, it would’ve been a solid 4.5⭐️ read.
But what it lacked in the WB, it more than made up for it with its characters.
AMZING CHARACTERS! Each one more intriguing than the previous, particularly the four main characters (obviously).

And of course, I can’t wrap this up without mentioning one of the great highlights of this novel - the great and empowering friendships, not only between the two female leads but also between two other male characters.
For once there was no girl-on-girl hate, no petty jealous rivalry or unfounded bitchyness, just an incredibly powerful, lean-on-me-I’ll-lean-on-you kind of friendships that we unfortunately very seldom see, particularly in YA. Both in fantasy and contemporary.

My biggest drawback: The lack of world building.

The book is written in a way that implies that the reader already has a vast knowledge of the world that’s introduced.
We’re constantly reminded of all sorts of conflicts between the different kingdoms (three of four) and strong prejudices against some tribal nations yet there’s little context behind these conflicts and no origin story whatsoever. NOTHING IS EXPLAINED.

It was as if SD expected us to have already known everything - the world, the inner machinations and politics of all the kingdoms, the hows and whys of the magic system, why there’re many prejudices against some of the weaker nations and tribal factions, and more importantly, the details behind the 20-year (or was it 10? I don’t remember) truce that is about to come to an end.

I’m hoping book two will shed some light into some of these questions, at the very least, because I’d hate for my love for this (promising) series to be tainted simply by a lack of explanation.

All in all, a surprisingly refreshing read.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,792 followers
October 17, 2017

Can I just get a big HELL YES because this has been one of the only books I have genuinely enjoyed in a while and im v impressed by susan Dennard, you got me interested, lady, im coming back for more


- The world, while confusing initially, is really thought out and developed
- Culture, history, politics, magic, all really well done
- I really enjoyed how the plot was intricate and the story revolved around that
- There were multiple POVS (yes!!!) and they all became connected and intertwined (v cool!)
- The different witches and their powers 10/10
- The characters are basically my new adopted children
- Merik Nihar, the love of my life
- Safi and Iseult’s friendship man, it’s so good, so pure, so wholesome
- Lots of kicka*s fem power !!!
- I didn’t even care that it was semi insta-love like just give me these kids
- It’s so well written that you can’t pick sides like the ones who you think are bad actually are precious baby birds who need cuddling
- Merik is a captian, I mean, come on *insert heart eye emoji here*
- There were moments where I was tearing up bc it was so beautiful and painful
- The audiobook really helped me power through the worldbuilding and magicbuilding
- Really fast paced and the adventure is just always going
- I really need to start book 2 bc im missing this world already too much


*whispers* I am trash

“If you wanted to, Safiya, you could bend and shape the world.”

4.5 stars!!


2nd buddy read in our Binge Week™ with the one who leaves me on delivered

Profile Image for Maria V. Snyder.
Author 79 books16.9k followers
May 26, 2015
I received the manuscript for this book from the editor - she was hoping I'd enjoy it enough to give it a blurb. I really liked the book - the beginning was a little hard for me to get into, mainly because the two protagonists do something I thought was foolish. However it was important to show how the two characters grow and change during the course of the story so it didn't prevent me from reading the rest of the book. And once past that, I was sucked into the story.

The plot is hard to describe - it's the first book of a fantasy series. In the world, there are various types of witches and the two main protagonists are both witches - Safiya is a Truthwitch, she can tell when someone isn't being truthful and Iseult is a Threadwitch, she can see a person's threads which relate to their moods. Although the young women aren't related, they are thread sisters, which means they have a strong bond that goes beyond friendship. In the beginning of the story, they encounter a Bloodwitch, who can smell a person's blood and then track that person and he can also heal and is almost impossible to kill. Well the Bloodwitch is after Safiya and Iseult and they go on the run. There's a political element - the countries have all signed a treaty not to wage war for 20 years and that time is almost up.

As I said I enjoyed it and gave this blurb: "Truthwitch has it all, strong female characters, adventure, magic, romance, and non-stop action that will leave you breathless!"
Profile Image for Joelle (Throne of books) .
193 reviews64 followers
May 3, 2016
I am absolutely blown away by how much I LOVED Truthwitch.
This was one book that was VERY hyped up in the past few months, and I'll admit, I had seen many many mixed reviews and I was terrified that I would end up not enjoying this as much as I hoped. Fortunately, my expectations were EXCEEDED. HOLY HELL FLAMES, WAS THIS EPIC.

Truthwitch is a story about two characters, Safiya and Iseult. Safiya is a Truthwitch, she can discern truth from lie. Safiya must keep her gift hidden for it is a powerful magic that many seek to have on their side and would stop at nothing to maintain it.
Iseult, is a threadwitch, she has the ability to see the ties that entangle the lives around her. Unfortunately, she can not see the birds that touch her own heart. She lives a life of an outcast where people fear and hate her for who she is where she comes from. Safiya and Iseult are threadsisters, all they want is to live their lives freely, but war is coming to the witchlands.

Right from the start, we're thrown into some serious action, with Safiya and Iseult running from a bloodwitch, who has smelled the truth of Safiya's Magic and will stop at nothing to capture her and use her as a pawn in his own game.
The world building and the magic system was executed marvelously. I was so invested in the story and the moment I started Truthwitch, I could not out it down. I simply HAD to keep reading. I was so engrossed in the story and captivated by the world. I was head over heels IN LOVE with all the characters, the character development was one of the most well-executed character developments I've ever read. Besides Safiya and Iseult, we had prince Merik, windwitch and ships captain who only wants the best for his people, to ensure that there is food for everyone and that they can once again, have beautiful lands. The romance that brewed between him and Safiya was heartwarming. I swooned over the two of them somewhere around at least 20 times. I ship them SO hard. Merik is absolutely swoon worthy. Cunning, caring and with a bit of snark to his attitude. Perfectly matching Safiya's snarky attitude and humor. His Threadbrother, Kullen, OH MYHEART GIVES, IT GIVES.


Aeduan, our bloodwitch and arguably main villain of the story, was ... Well, evil. He hunted down Safiya and Iseult nonstop and was ruthless. Regardless, he had his moments where he did some good things. And some moments include the ones that have convinced me that I ship Iseult and Aeduan. Idc it better happen. Please Susan. I know I'm not exactly supposed to like Him, but oh boy do I. I do so hard.
I could talk about the characters for days, therefore lets no longer talk about them other than to say that the bond between Safiya and Iseult remind me of what it really means to be best friends. I loved how fierce and devoted to their friendship they both were.
As for the plot, it was solid. Sooo action packed and fast paced, it was ever present in the story. It never let down and in all honestly, I am so thankful. Most books tend to slow down somewhere around the middle but in Truthwitch, action was always present. And the pace just kept on escalating quickly every time I thought I couldn't possibly be absorbed anymore. With the occasional twist here and there, Truthwitch has become and instant new favorite of mine and I anticipate the sequel fiercely, that ending set so much potential for the sequel and seeing as how Truthwitch surpassed my expectations, I know Windwitch will blow me away and I'm looking forward to it very much.
Profile Image for Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner).
382 reviews1,714 followers
February 15, 2016
4.5 stars

OKAY OKAY. So first of all I know this is super hyped. It was the IT book at BEA. THE BOOKTERNET WAS ALL ABUZZ. I don't want to play into that hype because it's such a disservice to books a lot of the times. It's hard to live up to it. I went into it knowing that I loved Susan's first series but I was scared because I was building this up in my head SO MUCH.

But I just really need to tell you that I LOVED this book. Truly. It has the makings of an epic series and I was just SO engrossed in Truthwitch. My husband, Will, laughed at me because at one point I was lazily reading on the couch and I shot straight up and read sitting up (uncomfortably straight) because SO TENSE and I could not sit still.

I LOVE these characters. SO complicated. So interesting and all having different purposes that intersect. They are all fiercely fighting for something completely different from each other. LOVED seeing things from the main POVs. I love the elaborate magic system. The plot just bewitched me. THE FRIENDSHIPS. Oh my god I haven't felt the friendship feels so strongly since Code Name Verity which is one of my favorite books ever. This friendship just made me wish for my own Threadsister. THERE IS EVEN AN EPIC BROMANCE. What a page-turner -- so magical, fierce and overflowing with characters who will inspire you to be braver, kinder, courageous and to love genuinely and with all your heart.

OH AND HOT DAMN....sexual tension to boot. But like so perfectly placed and well done.


My reasoning for the .5 star off is because I did have a wee bit of trouble getting my bearings in the first 50-70ish pages but this is also probably me being newer to fantasy series. The magic system and the different witchery and things such as that were a lot for my brain to absorb/be patient with but then things really clicked and I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN AT ALL. God, I haven't felt this absorbed in a couple months. Like, hello JAMIE PLEASE COME BACK TO REALITY sort of absorbed.

SO YEAH...this crazy rambling is brought to you by the fact that I just finished it on a Friday night (I REFUSED PLANS BC I NEEDED TO FINISH) and need to unleash my feels.
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