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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Truthwitch (Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

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Published: January 5th 2016 by Tor Teen
ISBN-10: 1447282043
ISBN-13: 978-1447282044

Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

Review - 4.25 Stars

So I have finally got around to reading one of the most hyped books, since I became active in the book community. Back at the end of 2015 and the start of 2016 everyone - and I mean everyone - was talking about it, my twitter feed was bombarded with Truthwitch this and Truthwitch that. So with all this hype - and general love  - for this book I have been a bit hesitant to read it. I knew I was going to read it eventually as it a YA Fantasy and once I had read the blurb I knew it was going to be up my ally also I just needed to know what all the excitement was about. So I bought it back in February and here in May and I have finally read it.
Generally, I enjoyed this book it took a while to get into the world and grow to like the characters. However, I wasn't blown away but I feel as though the action really picked up in the last hundred pages, so  I am hopeful that the sequels will be better. 
I loved the way in which this book starts with a failed robbery and then that chase through the city, it really set off the story with a bang. It was also really helpful in introducing the two main characters and showing their contrasting but complementary personalities.
I have seen quite a few people comment on the number of kinds of witch powers in this book, and although there are quite a few, I think it would have spoiled some of the surprises if a list of the different powers had been given - one suggestion I have read to help clear up confusion. Although I normally am not a great fan of multiple POV's, I think it is very important in this book to have Prince Merik's POV as it show a different side to the dom's and domna's. As well as being vital in explaining the political and desperate situation of Nubrevnan.
The reason that I haven't given this book five stars is because there is about 100 page in the middle of the book (after that surprise from the Emperor) where I felt everything kind of died down for a bit with it focusing mainly on developing new relationships and introducing new character to Safiya and Iseult's journey. Another issue that I had with this book generally was that in my eye's it seem take a lot of words for anything to happen. I think this was because there was quite a lot of world building to be done, but if I was a slow reader I think I would have got frustrated with it. However, as I already mention the last 100 pages were brilliant and I really enjoyed them, once the two of them made it to land again it was full on action with one issue and problem after another.   
When all the hype was going around there was a big focus on that this book is all about the friendship between two young women. I agree that relationship is one of the main focuses of the book, and that connection between the two of them and the desire to protect each other, is a driving force for a lot of their actions. However, there is a hint of a romantic relationship in this book (something that although it was predictable, I hope continues to develop in the sequels) but it is defiantly a secondary -or many a fifth or sixth- theme of this book.  


Doesn't the quote above remind you of Sarah J. Maas 'Rattle the Stars' Quote?


Have you read Truthwitch, or has the hype put you off pick this book up?