Sunday, May 21, 2017

Truthwitch

When I first saw Susan Dennard's Something Strange and Deadly series, I was wary but also excited. I mean, zombies in the Civil War? I thought it would either be one of the best things I'd ever read, or the worst. And somewhat unfortunately, it hit somewhere in the middle. I wanted more Civil War, I wanted deeper character exploration...I wanted more of everything. I was left sort of disappointed and missing what made it a favorite for a lot of people. Nevertheless, when I saw the copy and cover of Truthwitch, I thought I'd give it a go. Maybe I couldn't get into her other series because I've never been a zombie person. Maybe having a fantasy focus instead of sort of fantasy/steampunk would appeal to me more.

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Retrieved from Goodreads
The young witches Safiya and Iseult have no interest in being linchpins in the coming war between countries. But it seems they'll be dragged into it nonetheless. Safi is a rare Truthwitch who can tell when people are lying. Her skills are coveted by the king, and when she is promised to him in marriage, she flees with the aid of her uncle. Chased by a Bloodwitch, the threadsisters put their fate in the hands of Prince Merik, whose nation's future depends on delivering them safely under order of Safi's uncle. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but with everyone after their abilities or their heads, that may not be possible.

I'll start by saying that I did like this book more than Something Strange and Deadly. Where those stories spanned weeks and didn't manage to make me feel the character relationships, this story sidesteps this problem by taking place over a grand total of maybe three days. No, I did not really care about Safi and Merik's romance. I did care much more about the friendship between Iseult and Safi. I never really bonded with the political intrigue going on, though I did love the concept of bargains being written on spelled paper where if one person doesn't fulfill their end of the deal, their name disappears. The deal that Safi be delivered without having spilled blood made for an interesting dynamic, though I wonder if the deal might have been more interesting if it included not letting her spill blood. It seems to me that interpretation still fits the wording and would have annoyed Safi even more. All in all, it was a mixed bag of interesting characters and a world with a lot of potential. I hope it gets expanded on in Windwitch.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

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