4 out of 5 stars
I happened to be at my favorite local bookstore, Books & Books, this last Saturday for the South Florida Bloggers’ Februrary meetup. My favorite things in one place, books and bloggers! This is where I found out from Ketsia, Books & Books’s children’s book buyer, that Truthwitch author Susan Dennard would be there in person! I’d heard a lot of buzz about Truthwitch and Ketsia was kind enough to give me a copy so I could see it for myself. Trust me, Truthwitch is worthy of all the buzz surrounding it.
Truthwitch hooks you in with it’s very first sentence, “Everything had gone horribly wrong.” It’s quite the first sentence and I find some books don’t live it up to such powerful statements but I’m happy to say that Truthwitch totally delivered! By pg 29 I was already charmed by the main characters, Safiya and Iseult. As you may already know by now, I love stories with strong female characters and this book did not just have one but two leading ladies. Safi and Iz are trained bad-ass warriors and witches. I love their loyal sister-like relationship and their witty banter.
I also liked that the world building was easy to follow. I have a hard time with intricate world building, to me, it ends up detracting from the storyline. I didn’t have that problem at all with Truthwitch. The characters, feuding empires and great destined heroes were all woven beautifully in this book. I also liked the heavy tension romance that prevailed through the whole book.
My only complaint is that books 2, 3 and 4 are NOT out already. This book is SO good I read it in a day. Had the rest of the series already been out, I’m pretty sure I would’ve not left my house the whole weekend.
Live The Cute Life – Episode #16- Truthwitch Book Review
Coco: Hello and welcome to Live the Cute Life. I am Coco.
Izzie: And, I am Izzie.
Coco: Today, we will be talking about Truthwitch by Susan Dennard.
Izzie: It is a fantasy novel.
Coco: About witches.
Izzie: It has an interesting premise. There is a lot of world building but I feel it is easy to follow. There are Truthwitches, Thread witches, Bloodwitches and they each have their own different power.
Whoever controls these witches in the empire that has the most power, obviously. There is a lot of politics and empires fighting for control of the trade and all the rest of the empires. Do you remember this?
Coco: Yes, I did not feel that the world was so easy to follow.
Izzie: I found that.
Coco: When the book started, I was like, “Who, what? What does it mean that you are a Threadwitch? It was very complicated for me. Halfway through, I got on board. The thing about the plot is that there are all these regions that have been warring each other for centuries, I think. Then they decided, “We don’t have money. We are going to stop all these wars for 20 years.”
Izzie: Yes, a 20-year truce.
Coco: Then we will pick it up at 20 years. The book picks up at the 20-year truce is ending. All the people who ruled these lands are trying to figure out what is going to happen. Then there is this one little region, which is the Nubrevna region and they got screwed by all of the other ones.
They were not be able to be colonized. They were still holding on independent.
Izzie: They people in this region were heavily punished. The main characters are these two little girls. They are around 16. This is why it is more of a young adult novel. They are Safi and Iseult.
Everybody as a witch has to be registered but these two girls are under the radar. They are being kept hidden and they are best friends. They are called Threadsisters. They complement each other really well with their powers.
I really like the relationships. They are like sisters. They are not blood sisters.
Coco: They had a really cute relationship. I guess we are going to start talking about the book now. If you have not read the book, go read it and come back.
Izzie: I give it four stars. I really enjoyed it. I like the dialogue between the characters. There is this like, especially —
Coco: Wait, we will get in to it. You gave them four stars. I give it three stars.
Izzie: A generous three?
Coco: A generous three stars. It was hard to get into the book. I have to say.
Izzie: You know what? It had me laughing a lot. I was cracking up. I thought that characters were funny and witty. I don’t know. I like their interactions. There was a part I found hilariously and you are like, “I don’t understand. I don’t see what’s so funny.” I was like, “Yeah, that was hilarious.”
Coco: Okay, let’s see. What did you like so much about the book?
Izzie: Well, let me say, mainly their relationship.
Coco: I do like the relationship between the two sisters.
Izzie: Also the romance. I like that it starts off really rocky. They do not like each other. They are just barely tolerating each other.
I do not like that the guy, it is like this prince but he is from this Nubrevna, where they are very poor. They do not have any training with any of the other empires. He is a no no-none sense guy. No frills.
Coco: He is the prince of Nubrevna which remained independent. But, they are about to break because all their lands got poisoned so they can’t grow their own crops. They need trade or they are going to be taken over by other people. The prince is in town trying to get trade and at the same time the two the girls get into trouble.
Izzie: They are trying to hijack somebody or it is an ambush gone wrong on their part.
Coco: Right. Everyone goes out on the run and it turns out that this guy, the admiral has to take them to where they are supposed to go.
Izzie: A safe passage to another place.
Coco: I think what I did not like was everyone’s attitude. The two little girls got in trouble because they are trying to steal money from some people.
Izzie: The people had ripped them off.
Coco: But those were not the people that had ripped them off.
Izzie: No, they realized, they were mistaken but they were already way too into it though.
Coco: Right, then they are trying to back out but once they got caught by a Bloodwitch. The Bloodwitch is looking for them. Right?
Izzie: The Bloodwitch is the scariest of all the witches. The Truthwitch is, as you can deduce by the name, a witch that knows when somebody is lying.
Coco: And Threadwitch – I have no idea what they do.
Izzie: Something about the thread and —
Coco: the Bloodwitch can smell your blood so they can track you down once they know you.
Izzie: And know what kind of witch you are too.
Coco: The Bloodwitch is trying to track these two girls and kill them, right? To get revenge. What do you call their?
Izzie: Their what?
Coco: Their guys, their trainers. What do you call their mentors?
Izzie: I forgot their names. Guildmasters.
Coco: They are trying to help to hide these two girls. They were like, “Look, wear this blanket and this guy would not be able to smell you. Go and hide in this hole over here and go over here and we will save you.” They are like, “Oh, no. I want to go find whatever. I want to get my book.” They are like screw the blanket and go to whatever.
Izzie: No, it was not like that. No!
Coco: It was oh my Goodness!
Izzie: She knew her sister was in trouble and she had to sacrifice her own safety to go get her sister.
Coco: The whole time. Like the same thing when she was on the boat with the admiral. The guy was like, “Don’t go outside the room,” and she goes outside the room.
She does not care about anyone but herself and that was what bothered me so much. I think that is why it took so long for me to get on board to be like, “Okay, I’m on your side and I want to root for you”. But the characters were acting like such a spoiled brats who just want to do whatever they want that I am like, ‘Uh,’ I don’t go like you.
Izzie: Interesting. I did not feel like that at all about it.
Coco: Then finally when they get to the guy’s land and you can see that there are poison and finally her heart starts to turn. It was like, this guy was trying to fix this and he is actually, you know, she actually starts seeing people as other human beings. Then I can finally feel, “Alright, I think that I’m on board with your play.”
Izzie: That was like half of the book there.
Coco: I know. I told you, it took me a long time to get on board. Once I was on board then, there was all this fighting and zombies.
Izzie: That was pretty cool. Well, okay, so there is magic. There are people that can control zombies.
Coco: That is another thing, the one right. There is this fable or what do you call that?
Izzie: Like a legend?
Coco: There is this legend that the monks know that these two women are going to come and save the world because it has fallen into pieces. It turns out that they are the chosen ones and I am like, “Are you kidding me? They are the worst. These two spoiled brats.”
Izzie: Did you feel that way about Iseult? I did not feel that way. The quieter of the sisters.
Coco: The other thing is they have no kick ass scenes. They never kicked ass. Their asses got kicked in the whole book. How are they, the legend or whatever. They are the ones that are going to save the world but they did not.
Then the only thing that I think is maybe they are setting the world in this book. Because the way this book ends is definitely oh yes there is everything is up in the air. Then the Truthwitch gets taken to another land and you’re like, “Okay. Let us see what happens.”
I do not know. I am lowering the score it into two and a half stars now that I think about it.
Izzie: No! Do not think about. It is like two or three then. Okay, that is fine. So yeah, that is Truthwitch for you.
Coco: Thank you for tuning in. Do not forget to subscribe to our channel. So we can tell you about all the awesome books that are coming out.
Izzie: That we have been reading lately.
Coco: Yes And we will catch you next time. See you.