Series: The Witchlands #2
Published by Tor on January 12th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…
After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.
Windwitch is the second book in Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series. In Truthwitch, Safiya and Iseult flee their home after causing trouble for a Guildmaster. Safi is a Truthwitch – magically able to discern whether someone is telling the truth, and people are after her for her skills. Iseult’s Threadwitch abilities mean she is able to see and manipulate the threads that bind people to each other, although she isn’t very good at it. They flee with Prince Merik of Nubrevna, a Windwitch and admiral intent on saving his people from looming war.
I enjoyed reading Truthwitch last year, and while I was fascinated with the world and the magic systems, I hoped that the execution would have improved in Windwitch.
I wasn’t disappointed! In this second book there are extra points of view, making a total of five, and when combined with four separate story lines only two of which ever converge, that makes for a complicated story for a 400-page book. The separate story lines and locations make things jump around a lot between fairly short chapters, but somehow, the way the chapters are combined and woven together makes for a more flowing story than we got with Truthwitch.
This series is starting to grow into its epic boots. Safi and Iseult’s respective magics make a lot more sense here, and they are growing in confidence and leadership, even though they are apart. Merik, however, is like a completely different character in this book. He’s shadowy and reclusive, partly because he’s supposed to be dead. It wasn’t a bad thing, in the end – it was just a surprise right at the start of the book when I couldn’t remember much of what had come before.
A few of the things that I loved about the first book are not here, or vastly altered in Windwitch. The banter and sisterhood between Safi and Iseult, and Merik’s antagonism, especially. Those things were made up for in other ways, though, with the expansion of the world and the magic systems, with unlikely partnerships and simmering chemistry that never quite makes it to the surface.
Even though I found the five points of view to be a little jumpy in such a short book, I enjoyed Windwitch more than Truthwitch. If you’re a fan of light epic fantasy (slightly oxymoronic), then try this series out. There are set to be two more in the series and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story progresses.