Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard
“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’s skill to detect lies and truth is a sought after skill that has her on the run for her life with more than just one person chasing after her. In the first of the Witchlands series she and her friend Iseult find themselves on the run, or rather captured, for this power and what it means for the country that has it.
This story is non-stop excitement. From the first moment of a road side heist to a battle for their lives Safi &co are constantly on the run, narrowly escaping capture or death. Having gone through this book twice now, and I am still fully entertained. Throughout the story allies and enemies interchange and by the end we are faced ultimately with an unknown that is just on the verge of being discovered. This enemy seems to have a lot more planned than what we are initially given, and builds for an exciting series.
The World Building
Susan Dennard does such a wonderful fully enveloping a well-built world. With a just a touch of history to the world we aren’t very overwhelmed as we learn about the magical elements and learn more about the characters and their personalities. In fact, in this second half there are such little details that I didn’t notice the first time around that aren’t necessary to get through the story, but are like little hidden gems that you not think are significant without knowing what will happen in the future. These are the type of details that are found in well planned worlds that the authors take such extra care and pour the time into. As a reader I really appreciate the amount of work that must go into it.
I love how the magic in this world is borderline elemental, but still delivers something that is fresh and unique. Each characters magic helps develop their personalities as well as provide such a colorful world. At first, some of all the magical abilities are a little much to keep track of, but the more I am immersed into this book, the more I appreciate all the details and specifics that allow as well as limit the characters’ abilities.
The world and historical culture is fully thought out as each characters background plays into their role, what’s driving them, and what they are searching for. Each character is given a background that has room to grow as we proceed through the series. Throughout the story, we are given just enough description of the surroundings that we are able to envision the story as it plays out without it bogging down the text and taking away from where the real story development is given.
There are multiple POV’s used throughout the book. As I have said before, each character has full history and personality that help progress the story. What I really liked about these characters were that not only were not only given romance but we are given a story that involves relentless comradery, familial loyalty, and even religious devoutness. Each character has such purpose in their actions that none of their POV’s are used sparingly.
Version Versus– The audio version is fantastic. Cassandra Campbell does a fantastic job doing accents to help add flavor to the story. If you’re a fan of languages or linguistics I think you would appreciate the audio production.
Can we just talk about these covers?
The original cover features the titled character, and lets just say that Safi looks so bad ass, and lets face it, she proves to be so strong headed, fierce, and yes bad ass. The paperback cover is, equally as fantastic! I have no idea which one I like better.
Zella Day – Compass