Truthwitch, by Susan Dennard
Published by Tor Teen, released January 5, 2016
Jacket art by Scott Grimando
The Reading Challenge 2016 includes a book published this year. For this part of the Challenge, I chose to read Truthwitch, by Susan Dennard. I first ran across this title among a list of upcoming novels, and thought it looked interesting. Yes, I was drawn first by the beautiful cover art Scott Grimando. I then found a prerelease review and decided I definitely needed to add it to my reading list. When this Reading Challenge came up, Truthwitch jumped to the top of my list. In a word, fun!
Truthwitch is book one of The Witchlands, a planned four book series. At its heart, this is the story of two friends, Safiya and Iseult, who share a bond as close, if not closer, than any family bond. They are young women, only just coming into their own as adults and trying to find their place in the world. They definitely have their own ideas about what that place is, and they don’t simply take the advice of the adults around them, even when it might seem to be for their benefit.
The story takes place in a rich, detailed world filled with magic, adventure, empires, beleaguered nations and a variety of people groups with interesting cultures and an intriguing history. Dennard has set the scene for a fantastic epic adventure. It opens at a run, and maintains this breathless pace throughout the novel, with the girls getting into trouble at every turn.
Written from four different points of view, the two main characters, Safiya and Iseult, as well as Prince Merik and Aeduan, the antagonist, the reader is given the opportunity to experience this incredible world from different angles. I am most intrigued by Aeduan whom I found myself liking immensely, despite his role as the bad guy. His is a back story I definitely want to know more about.
In short, I loved this book. I will read it again. I will recommend it to others. And I will wait impatiently for the next book. In the meantime, I think I’ll check out Susan Dennard’s first series of novels, beginning with Something Strange and Deadly.