Book Review: BLOODWITCH by Susan Dennard

Title in red on a man with a streaming white cloak charging
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA and Adult
Star Rating: 5/5 stars
Series: Yes - the fourth instalment

*SPOILER ALERT: may contain SPOILERS for TRUTHWITCH and WINDWITCH*

Synopsis:

bloodwitch

Loyalties will be tested as never before.

The Raider King’s plans to claim the Witchlands are under way. Now, his forces sow terror in the mountains, slaughtering innocents. After finding the slain, Aeduan and Iseult race for safety. And despite differing goals, they’ve grown to trust one another in the fight to survive. Yet the Bloodwitch keeps a secret that could change everything . . .

When Merik sacrifices himself to save his friends, he is captured by the Fury. However, Merik isn’t one to give up easily, and he’ll do whatever it takes to save those he loves. And in Marstok, Safi the Truthwitch agrees to help the empress uncover a rebellion. But those implicated are killed and Safi becomes desperate for freedom.

War has come once more to the Witchlands. Perhaps if Safi and Iseult were united, their powers could bring peace. But chaos is not easily tamed.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Thoughts:

BLOODWITCH was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, and so I was rather nervous going into it. What if it didn’t live up to my expectations? That’s already happened to some hyped books this year. Through a shipping mistake, I got the book almost two weeks earlier than the UK release and sat down and read the entire thing in one night.

And just wow.

This book was amazing! It completely lived up to my expectations and more. There’s only so much I can say without intense spoilers so, here are my top 4 reasons you should read this book:

1. The writing is compulsive.

Even though I’ve read a sneak peak (up to page 178), I was hooked from the start. The first ~20 chapters weren’t new to me, but the tension running through the pages meant I read far later than I should have. I just couldn’t put the book down because I was snared into the story and world.

WINDWITCH feels a little like three separate stories, but BLOODWITCH, which has more story lines, feels like a single narrative. The villains are brought front and centre – and they’re terrifying.

2. The twists!

There are so many twists and turns to this story, revelations that shake the series to the core. It’s part of why it’s such addictive writing, but prepare for everything you think you know about the Witchlands to be challenged.

Susan Dennard has always maintained that SIGHTWITCH is an integral part of the story, and needs to be read as the third instalment. Until BLOODWITCH, I wasn’t sure how necessary the story was (it wasn’t my favourite Witchlands book), but I can now say you HAVE to read the book before BLOODWITCH. There are so many twists that won’t make the same impact unless you’ve read it. In fact, I think there’s one that will pass you entirely by otherwise (it’s an off-hand mention but oh my, the theories I now have!).

3. The relationships

Obviously, the Aeduan/Isuelt relationship is the main one explored here – and it is toe-curling brilliant with so many ups and downs that feel natural. However, the other relationships are just and fun and surprising: Safi and Vaness, Safi and Habim, Merik and Kullen, and Vivia and her father to name a few.

4. The ending.

It was utterly stunning, fast-paced and continually surprising me. Obviously, this is the most spoiler-prone part to talk about, but it was brilliant. The stakes are up, while the story has a satisfying conclusion that leaves you clamouring for more. I can’t wait for the next book now!


Read my reviews of other books by Susan Dennard:

The Witchlands (this series):

Something Strange and Deadly:

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