"There were advantages to being a dead man."
Publication: January 12th 2017 by Tor UK
Genres: young adult, fantasy
Format: UK paperback
Number of pages: 384
Goodreads summary: Sometimes our enemies become our only allies
The Windwitch Prince Merik is presumed dead, following a lethal explosion. He's left scarred but alive and determined to expose his sister's treachery. Yet on reaching the royal capital, he's shocked to find it crowded with refugees fleeing conflict. Merik haunts the streets, fighting for the weak. This leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
Hunted by the Cleaved, Iseult is struggling to stay free while she searches for her friend Safi. When the Bloodwitch Aeduan corners Iseult first, she offers him a deal: she'll return what was stolen from him, if he locates the Truthwitch. Yet unknown to Iseult, there's a bounty on her head - and Aeduan intends to claim it.
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. They find themselves amongst pirates, where a misstep could mean death. And the bandits' next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.
Last year, Truthwitch was one of my most anticipated releases and I fangirled so, so much about it in my review (I was actually shocked myself). I was excited to read the sequel, but I was a little bit anxious about it, because I knew Susan Dennard had struggled a lot to write this one, and Merik wasn't my favourite character, while it was his arc book. I was so wrong to be scared, because I loved it so much and I'm back in my state of « I want the next book now », even though it's just been published.
I have to admit I struggled a bit when I started reading this one, but it was a time I didn't have much time to read, so I have no idea if it's my fault or the book's. I think it was because it took me a while to actually understand Merik, who was shaping the whole novel, but also because the main characters were all in different places and situations. But after about a hundred pages or so, I was completely hooked to the novel, to the point I couldn't stop reading and had to force myself to go to sleep.
The plot of this second novel is quite complex and dense, because it was made of so many subplots I was a bit overwhelmed at times, but it was very interesting to follow and it helped set up the pace of the novel. Moreover, because there were five points of view in the novel, with most characters separated, it was very interesting to follow their own paths and how they evolved while they were with different people. I loved how it set up so much for the rest of the series and I am very excited to see where the story is going in Bloodwitch, the third book (yassss, BAEduan!).
Because most of the characters were separated during this novel, I came to appreciate the ones I didn't get in Truthwitch. It was the case with Aeduan, because while I thought he was pretty badass in the first book, I wasn't a huge fan of his character and I didn't understand what the buzz was all about. But now guys, I definitely got it! We learnt so much more about him in Windwitch, I formed deeper bonds with him, because he felt more human in this instalment. The next book will be his arc and I'm so pumped for that! I also loved to read about Iseult, because she was separated of Safi and was more of her person, coming into terms with who she was and I want her arc book so much.
I don't think we got much of Safi in this one, because her arc was the first book, so I still liked her, but her part wasn't actually my favourite. Merik was hard to grasp in my opinion, but I understood his motivations in the end. He's far from being my favourite character of the series, but he had such an interesting character development, because he was so broken (or a dead man, like he said). But the actual revelation of the novel was Vivia. I didn't expect her to become part of the main characters cast but she actually did and while I wasn't a fan at the beginning... The more it was revealed about her, the more I loved her to pieces and she's now one of my favourite characters of the novel. Finally, I loved seeing that the author introduced (well, they were already there but we understood more about them) a diverse cast of characters, because it's quite rare in fantasy novel (but she had already done it in the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy).
Moreover, the world-building was expanded so much, because we totally left the ground the author covered in the first book. I also liked to read more about the witchery of different characters, as it helped me having a better understanding of the magic system. Also, I loved how some elements were presented as tropes in the first book, but then you doubt they're tropes, and then you're wondering again. The revelations made me doubt so hard about everything. In the end, I was just thinking that this is how you write a great fantasy novel. I'm mostly imprecise because I don't want to spoil you about anything, I just highly recommend you to read these books.
To recap, Windwitch definitely lived up to the first book in the series, Truthwitch. The plot was intricate, complex and set up so much for latter novels. I really enjoyed the character development and found a new favourite with Vivia. The world was also expanded quite a lot and it helped understand how the magic actually worked – I think people had found it confusing in the first book – which was so fascinating. I have no idea how I'll wait another year for Bloodwitch, but I don't really have a choice, have I?
- My review of Something Strange and Deadly
- My review of A Darkness Strange and Lovely
- My review of Strange and Ever After
- My review of Truthwitch
Have you read this novel yet, or Truthwitch? What did you think about it?