Series: The Witchlands #1
Published by Tor Teen on January 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
This is an affiliate link you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
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.
So I guess I liked this book, but it wasn’t fantastic. I wanted it to be but I didn’t expect it to be. Like it had the potential to be but it just wasn’t. It was definitely complex but it felt like we were just dropped in. Stuff was explained, I guess, but an actual exposition would have been really helpful. I had to spend more time than I wanted trying to piece things together.
I liked the fact that there were two main characters, the girls, before a couple boys’ POVs were introduced. And theirs were pretty good too. I also liked how different everyone was. Iseult was the planner who couldn’t show emotion and Safi was the reckless action-type. Merik prioritized his country and best friend over everything else to the point where it was crazy. And Aeduan (the Bloodwitch) had this mysterious backstory that was never really explained but he was stubborn and impatient and ruthless. But then not completely heartless.
I did think it was funny how Safi’s power wasn’t even that big a deal. Like it was supposed to be and apparently everyone would be after her. But they were after her for other reasons. And I don’t even think her power was the best power. It certainly wouldn’t be that useful in combat, only political games, even though everyone was gearing up for this big war since they were all set to break the Truce. And Iseult’s power seemed just as useful as Safi’s, which wasn’t actually all that neat, but Iseult would have a lot more power if she could do some of the things she was supposed to be able to do as a Threadwitch, but she couldn’t. Which could potentially be part of some big prophecy. And there we go with the complex plot again!
The romance was, like, way too slow until then it was fast. It wasn’t even that fast but it felt fast since it had been almost nonexistent before. Normally I like a slow-burn hate-turned-love but this was just annoying. There was too much hate. And then there was physical attraction. And then in one conversation all of a sudden they’re being nice to each other. And then who knows what happens. Then things start to speed up. I mean the book was so complicated to begin with I can understand this being a pretty minor element of it. I would have preferred it to be a bigger part but I can understand it. But here it kinda felt just thrown in to be there, and thrown in half-heartedly at that. Not as intense as it could have been. I can’t wait to see what happens in the other books because this is ridiculous. I mean I guess I will keep going, possibly, because the complexity of the book would be hard to just forget about, with all these things happening, but it’s not something I’m really looking forward to, because too much about it just annoyed me. I guess the best part was the uniqueness of the characters. Though they were frustrating at times.
reaction upon finishing
ugh wow how’s that for an interesting but unsatisfying ending
this book in two words
complex // annoying