Personal Thoughts: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard was one of my favorite books of 2015 (I was lucky enough to read it early thanks to sprinting to the Tor booth on the first day of BEA) so obviously, I was feeling super hyped about reading Windwitch which is the second book in the Witchlands series. It was one of my most anticipated releases for 2017 (I feel like I might say this a lot but I swear it’s true! I just get really excited about new books, OKAY) and I love the autumnal cover and the prospect of getting Prince Merik’s perspective. The stars seemed to be aligned until I started reading and everything I loved about Truthwitch was just… missing. Talk about a major disappointment. I’m still interested in finding out where the story is going so I will most definitely be picking up Bloodwitch but this was just not the second installment I was looking for.
Plot Summary: The events in Windwitch are a continuation of the story we got in Truthwitch. I’ll be totally honest, it’s really difficult to come up with a coherent plot summary for this book because the story completely changed from the first book. We’ve got Prince Merik who is on a crusade against his sister Princess Vivia. He’s determined to prove that she has bad intentions and he’s traveling around under a false identity as everyone believes he died when his ship exploded. Then we’ve got Safi, traveling around with Empress Vaness after also surviving a shipwreck. Lastly, we’ve got Iseult and Aeduan (the Threadwitch and the Bloodwitch) on a mission to find Safi but getting into antics of their own.
Critique: Where to start? As an overall critique, I have to say that Windwitch was missing just about everything that I loved about Truthwitch. One of the reasons I was so drawn to the series and why I became so invested to begin with is because of the friendship between Safi and Iseult. In Truthwitch, we get to see all of these amazing best friend moments between two powerful ladies and then they’re separated for the entirety of book two. Next, the story is completely sidelined in Windwitch. There was so much set up for this epic tale in Truthwitch and not a single story line was continued or explored enough in book two. This is my main issue. Book two, it really felt like Book one, take two. There was so much groundwork laid in Truthwitch that I was expecting a lot more action this time around. While it wasn’t completely unenjoyable to learn about these new situations, the pacing was much slower than in it’s predecessor and I found myself getting bored. There are also A LOT of narratives to follow. Windwitch increases to five separate POVs so if there was a particular story line you aren’t as interested in, it feels like it takes forever to get back to the one where your heart is (cough *Iseult and Aeduan* cough). There were some important strides made during the course of the story and there was a ton of character growth with the exception of Safi. I also really wish the relationship between Threadbrothers and Threadsisters would’ve been explored further but I’m expecting that’ll be coming in future installments. So overall, I liked Windwitch (despite all of the complaining I just did), but I just was expecting so much more out of it. There’s now a TON of buildup between books one and two and I’m just hoping the payoff in the final two books will live up to my expectations.
Do I Recommend?: If you enjoyed Truthwitch as much I did, I would definitely recommend continuing on with the series but I would warn you that the entire feel of the story changes and to not go into it with high expectations. Hopefully this will have been a necessary addition to what will be an epic fantasy story.