Book Review: WINDWITCH by Susan Dennard

Title in black on a green image of a caped man in a forest
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4/5 Stars
Series: yes - book 2




An assassination attempt and explosion leaves Merik declared dead. He’s not, but he is badly scarred. Using the anymity, he arrives in the capital, looking for proof of his sister’s treachery. The city is full of refugees fleeing conflict, but there’s no food and little safety. He stalks the streets searching for answers and earns the name ‘the Fury’, an avenging force come to wreak the gods’ punishment.

Safi and Empress Vaness are attacked and end up prisoners of brigands who know about her magic. Without her threadsister, Safi must face the coming storm alone. Meanwhile, Iseult hunts for Safi and crosses paths with Aeduan. There’s a bounty on Iseult’s head, and Aeduan is determined to claim it. They form a tentative alliance, waiting for the other to betray.

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A wonderful follow up to Truthwitch. Susan Dennard pulls the reader further into the world she’s built with her excellent world-building (yes, it’s that good). The frailty and flaws of the countries – and the characters beliefs – begin to be brought to light.

It reads at breakneck pace, pulling you through the three different story threads. The three stories (Safi, Merik and Vivia, and Iseult and Aeduan) felt rather separate, save for occasionally bursts of ‘I must save my threadsister’. None from one story thread meets up with someone from another, which means the book lacks the heart of Safi and Iseult’s relationship – the core and best part of Truthwitch.

As the title suggests, the ‘main’ focus of the book is Merik (I’d say the story is split 40/30/30). I really loved his chapters, and the mystery-esque feel of finding proof about who tried to kill him and everything that unfolds from there. His arc is so good as he wakes up to who he really is, aided by Cam – who was a nice addition but I didn’t get a good feel of Cam’s motivations and desires. He simply was there to help and guide Merik towards the character arc.

We really see the full picture of what’s wrong with Nubrevna, particularly as we get Vivia’s perspective. I loved her, seeing the truth about one of B1’s antagonists. She makes a very compelling character, and the books would still be great if they were written with her as MC.

The cold open was a bit of a shock. The first pre-chapter (I’m not sure it’s quite a prologue) plunges straight into the action – the attack on Merik. It took me a couple of paragraphs to get my bearings and work out what was going on, who was involved, because I wasn’t prepared to get thrown straight into the action. I was expecting a little bit of scene setting before the big BANG.

Safi’s story felt the most action packed of the three (though I think it might have been the least!). Her story opens up the world at large the most as she’s dragged from one location to another. Vaness is interesting, and seeing the events wear down her barriers shows the person beneath. She could have had more time, but the book is chock full of characters, so some have to sit back a little.

I loved seeing the Hell-Bards and starting to realise what they are – it’s pretty creepy and made me pity them. Safi and the commander have some great banter and the way their relationship grows from enemies to tentative allies to friends is wonderful.

Iseult’s actively trying to find Safi, but her chapters are more about her and Aeduan forging a tentative alliance and her coming to terms albeit very reluctantly (aka kicking and screaming against it) with her weaverwitch powers – which are sooo cool. I think there could have been a little more introspection/reaction shown, but the immediate aftermath was Aeduan’s POV so showing Iseult’s thoughts would have been hard.

Aeduan is cool – even if his magic is a little unnerving and creepy. The bear trap scene? Very gross. However, I don’t think he lives up to the internet hype about him. He’s a great character, who I look forwards to learning more about, but no more than the other main characters.

As for the Aeduan-and-Iseult ship, I don’t see it. There’s no romantic tension between them – they’re tentative allies without a spark. Maybe I’d have seen it if I wasn’t expecting the same tension as was between Merik and Safi. Who knows.

I am looking forwards to Bloodwitch – and it’s going to be 2020 before it’s widely available in the UK! Also, I really need to find a copy of Sightwitch (again, not widely available in the UK)

Read my reviews of the other books by Susan Dennard:

The Witchlands (this series):

Something Strange and Deadly:

The Luminaries:

3 thoughts on “Book Review: WINDWITCH by Susan Dennard

  1. Sounds like a good read! Thanks for sharing

    Amber (Mental Health & Lifestyle Blogger) |


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