Been waiting for Windwitch, the second book in The Witchlands Series by Susan Dennard for a while, and it was worth it! From the moment I opened the beautiful cover (seriously, take a second to ogle that cover––gorgeous!), I was re-immersed in a rich, complex world, introduced to old and new characters with fiery personalities, and taken on multiple adventures across a fantasy realm. I really enjoyed Truthwitch, the first book, and was so happy to return to this unique fantasy universe and it’s thrilling adventures.
Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…
When an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first? After a surprise attack and shipwreck,
Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.
The story was split in a bunch of different directions following different sets of characters and bringing back faces that I never thought we would see again, or that I seriously deemed unimportant, which added to the surprise factor. There were some great twists throughout, including a major one with Merik at the end, that left my jaw hanging open for a couple seconds. It’s hard to say, but I think I liked Aeuden and Iseult’s story the most. Or maybe I liked Safi’s storyline better (she had the best fight at the end––wow!), but then there was Merik’s story too… Gah! So much going on!
I loved the expansion of the world and the use of powers. Those really are my favourite elements to this series. There are so many types of witches and sorcery going on, and Dennard uses every power in a large, explosive way. Honestly, I’m struggling to remember if the characters ever used their magic subtly, and then I remember that these characters are anything but subtle. Anytime they are subtle, I swear it’s out of luck.
Speaking of characters, I loved pretty much everyone! I definitely have a growing soft spot for Aeuden, which is a little ironic given how terrifying he can be, adore the Threadsisters Safi and Iseult for their tenacity, steadfastness, courage, and determination to help each other, and am no longer finding Merik to be cranky and crazy. His story took a very, very good turn at the end and I was super proud of him. Sure, everyone had their plans foiled and they made some questionable choices at times, but it all led up to an action-packed finale that belongs in a Hollywood blockbuster. There was action in almost every chapter, and Dennard has left open possibilities for legendary action and adventure.
If you follow Tor Teen on any social media outlet, you’ve seen this book, and I can definitely recommend that if you’re looking for a brand new fantasy (if you’re wary about Young Adult novels, this doesn’t feel like one at all and is very mature), Truthwitch and Windwitch are definitely two books you need to check out.