Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: January 2016
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Plot: 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.
So this took a lot longer to get through than I thought it would.
I don’t read a lot of high fantasy. I mean, I thought I did, but then I actually do read it once in a while and I remember that FUCK NO I was not reading high fantasy before.
High Fantasy is this: Story set in a place you don’t know with some unpronounceable names, about characters with unpronounceable AND interchangeable names, and there’s politics you know nothing about, about other places you’ve never heard of and can’t pronounce. Or, they’re protecting/fighting for a thing you can’t really picture because it’s not exactly real, or it’s just got a name that…hey, you can’t pronounce!
I thought Truthwitch was fun and entertaining, and for someone who isn’t really a fan of high fantasy, I stumbled along with semi-awareness to what was actually going on.
Truthwitch has names and places and concepts that are completely original and well thought-out. Sometimes, I felt a little lost on the way because there were so many things that were being introduced so quickly that I didn’t really have time to understand them, nor were they explained. Things that I should understand, I reckon, were things I didn’t understand too, so much so that my attention wavered to the point of putting it down in favor of playing a nice game of 2048 on my phone.
A lot of characters are introduced immediately, but there are only a few that you need to remember; Iseult and Safiya, the story’s MC’s, are threadsisters (they’re really close). Then, there’s Merik, a captain and a prince, and Aeduan, the most interesting character. Other characters, especially ones that are only mentioned and aren’t actually a part of the action, do not need to be remembered. Names are thrown about but honestly I couldn’t remember the name of Iseult’s mentor or that friend that Safiya had when she was a kid, or that girl in Iseult’s tribe, or that other guy who lived with them at one point. They’re just names, and, unless they’re important in the next books, I wouldn’t give them a second thought. Just focus on the main four, got it?
Good. You’re on your way to enjoying this debut novel by an author who has researched and created the shit out of her first novel. I applaud you, Susan Dennard.