Published by Tor Teen on January 5th 2016
Series: The Witchlands, #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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’m so glad that this isn’t a stand-alone book (not that it wouldn’t be great as one). I liked the characters, the world, and the plot. I can’t wait for more! Safi and Iseult have a wonderful partnership and I loved that the main focus of the novel was on friendship and family (not to say that there wasn’t any romance). I loved the way witchery was portrayed and how we saw characters of all strengths. Although I do have to say that Evrane was a huge surprise in how awesome she ended up being. I also adored the opening of the book (particularly because I’m a sucker for a good con story).
This book was built around an incredibly strong female friendship. I could not be happier to see how the friendship is portrayed. No matter what, Safi and Iseult have each others’ backs. The idea of Threadsisters (and brothers) was a very unique one. It was interesting to see the contrast between those relationships and the romantic ones.
The plot – The story moved along at a very fast paced, which I really enjoyed. One scene flowed into the next very logically and you weren’t left confused at any point of the story. The only negative for me about the book was Safi’s hot-headedness. I know that it helps the Cahr Awen story that she and Iseult are so different but I think that she should have been able to coherently think through a plan. This didn’t really bug me overly much though and I did see how it fit in with the story. The political story was great and definitely helped me understand the various characters motivations.
Characters – Each character was so well developed and all played a role in the story. One of my favorite things about the novel was that Safi and Iseult both had relatively harmless witcheries compared to some of the other seen in the novel (mastery over storms, lightning, iron, blood, etc.) However, they were able to fight using other gifts and best those with better witcheries. Additionally, I enjoyed that they are going to play such a large role in the religious aspect of the books.
This book was definitely entertaining and fast-paced. I’m excited for Windwitch although I’m not entirely sure who the main characters are going to be (I’d prefer a focus on Safi and Iseult rather than Merik). I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a fast-paced, adventure fantasy read.