Cindy spoke highly of Truthwitch, by Susan Dennard, so I decided to read it also. Her review of Truthwitch really does a good job of summing up the book, so I won’t cover the same ground. Rather, I’ll report that the book was fun to read and that its fast pace held my interest throughout. The imagining of the fantasy world is very rich but it does not bog the story down. Instead, it is revealed through the story. The world building is very well done. The story takes place when a twenty-year truce between warring nations is about to end and the different factions are vying for advantage. Safiya, one of the central characters of the story, is a rare truth witch, which is just as it sounds: she can tell if someone is telling the truth or not. The different sides are very interested in capturing her powers for their cause, through marriage or otherwise, but Safi is not one to “go along to get along.” A central thread of the story is her finding her own way through the threads of friendship, family, loyalty, and love.
The other main character of the story is Iseult, a Threadwitch, or someone who can see people’s threads … kind of like their aura but maybe more dynamic and intertwining. Safi and Iseult are fierce friends or thread sisters, but they are very different from each other. Safi is light complexioned, impulsive, and high-born while Iseult is dark complexioned, a planner, and was born a member of an outcast tribe. That opposition within the context of their friendship is another dynamic that drives the story. One gets the sense that the girls’ mentors, who helped raise them and hone their skills, know more about them than they themselves do. That meta-story is another layer that is progressively revealed and keeps things moving.
So it seems that many books these days are written as part of a series and Truthwitch is no exception. It is the first book of The Witchlands series. Since the story is told through the eyes of Safi and Iseult, there is much about the story world that we don’t yet know, but that the reader senses the wider world and completing forces swirling just out of sight. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book.