On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.
In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.
Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.
Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.
Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
I quite enjoyed Dennard’s first series, starting with Something Strange and Deadly, so when I saw she was coming out with a Fantasy series I was all over it!
I was so impressed by this book, it’s her best yet and I can’t wait to see where the series goes. She set up such a rich and nuanced world filled with magic, politics, and defining relationships.
The start was kind of slow, but I think was necessary for character and world building. After the initial set up, we were able to get lost in the constant twists and turns, revelations, and relationships that carry the story. There were so many aspects introduced throughout the book that I am so excited to see developed in the rest of the series.
The central point of all the action in this book really focuses on relationships. Safi and Iseult, Threadsisters, had such a great dynamic. They have different strengths and weaknesses that balance each other out perfectly, and are wholly devoted to each other no matter what. They accept each others flaws and use their desire to be the best friend possible to push themselves individually. We see a similar dynamic between Merik and his Threadbrother Kullen. I really liked that while there is an undeniable attraction between Safi and Merik, both of them are still always primarily focused on their best friends. So while a romance is budding, and I can’t wait to see where it goes, the focus of this continues to focus on love beyond the romantic kind. Similar to A Darker Shade of Magic, and something I am really enjoying when it comes to the YA genre.
Also, I think this is a boarder line YA book. I don’t think I will ever understand what truly classifies as YA (I mean I keep seeing Unbroken in the YA section at the bookstore, and that doesn’t make any sense to me). Anyway, it’s defiantly complex enough, and a bit steamy at times, that I think it fits into more of the mature YA books – and let’s be honest, those are my favorite.