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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard ARC {4 Stars}

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is a new YA fantasy that has been majorly hyped over the last months and I’m happy to report that I do think it deserved it! Take a cool magic system and combine it with a plot based on two friends instead of a romance, and I’m a pretty darn satisfied customer. If you enjoy your fantasy with lots of action and magic, definitely give this new series a try.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Truthwitch from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard ARC {4 Stars}

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (The Witchlands #1)
Published by Tor Teen on Jan. 5th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 416 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.

4 Stars


  • With the emphasis on romance in YA stories these days, it was a serious breath of fresh air for me to realize that the main relationship is between two girls who are the best of friends and will fight to the death for each other. I can just imagine high school girls starting to call each other Threadsisters as this series gets big and it makes me so happy.
  • The magic system in Truthwitch is pretty complex and interesting. There is basically every kind of magic you can imagine, but individuals are limited to one type of magic skill such as water, air, blood, truth, or seeing the threads every human gives off via their emotions. I enjoyed seeing how different specialities could be used to solve problems and what additional and unexpected skills a witch might have as their power develops.
  • In addition to our kick butt female pair of heroes, there is also an older female mentor! So often this sort of character would be male since they need to be physically strong in a final epic battle blah blah blah, but hey look, a woman can be a master fighter and advise and help our young heroes too :D.
  • You’ll get through Truthwitch very quickly. The plot is fast-paced with lots of action and the writing is quite fluid, making it easy to just keep eating through the pages. Definitely pick this one up when you want to sit and devour a book in an afternoon.
  • I know lots of you enjoy a hate-to-love romance, so this is me waving flags to let you know you have that to look forward to ;-).


  • You know my love for magic systems, so I hope you’ll forgive me for wishing for more details about the two girls’ particular skills. There were details about being a Threadwitch that were mentioned but never fully explained and I’m dying to know what they mean! I need a glossary or something.
  • While I was mostly happy with the romance, there was a strange kissing scene where the two were still pretty solidly in the middle of the hate-to-love spectrum and I was just really not digging their decision to engage physically when they still weren’t sure of each other. It makes sense for teenagers I guess, but I wasn’t feeling it.


Truthwitch is going to be a fantasy series that everyone is going to be dying for book two. You don’t want to miss this bandwagon just because the hype has been huge; it is pretty well deserved. I suspect even readers who generally only like adult fantasy will enjoy Truthwitch given the complex magic system and world. I’m definitely looking forward to getting to know these characters and world much better in book two!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

© 2016 – 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I’m not sure… I did enjoy certain aspects of the story, especially the magic system, but I wasn’t impressed with the quality of Susan’s writing. :/

    I also read Truthwitch after finishing Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, and goodness is Laini a sorceress of words. So that might have had an impact on my experience with Truthwitch… Has something similar happened to you in your reading experience?
    Sara L. recently posted…Submit Your Questions for Aurek’s Character Interview!My Profile

    • I completely understand, the writing was definitely not a strong point. I’m not super picky when it comes to writing so if it is just meh, I don’t really even notice. And moving from Taylor’s style to this would definitely have been difficult!

  2. I always enjoy your reviews because of your focus on good world building. That’s one of my favorite parts of fantasy books :)
    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted…Announcing the Reluctant Romantic ChallengeMy Profile

  3. Forget waiting about book two I’m ready to get my hands on book 1! Truthwitch has been popping up everywhere and I’m waiting on pins and needles to read it.
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  4. Who isn’t talking about this book?? I love your review best however, it’s mentioned a lot of things I hadn’t read before, like the female mentor. And it’s finally not a 5 star review so I feel like I’m getting more honest perspective.
    Alyssa zech recently posted…Not by Sight {Sneak Peek #13}My Profile

    • Haha, aw thanks!!! I feel like I never love YA quite as much as everyone else since I come at it from an adult fantasy perspective, but I’m glad that that’s useful :D

  5. Complex magical system and world? I’M IN. Good thing I won a preorder ;)
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  6. I’ve kept hearing about Truthwitch!!! I am VERY eager to read. I am all for interesting magic systems, so I’m going to try and read this asap. Great review!
    Ashana Lian . recently posted…Get Away From My FantasyMy Profile

    • Yes, it is so awesome for the magic system, it feels like a very deep well to explore for awesome developments and I can’t wait to see what the series does!

  7. I saw some early buzz for this an preordered it, then cancelled the preorder to spend my measly amount of book money on something more immediate… now I’m kicking myself!
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    • Check the library maybe? That’s always a tough decision on what to invest in, but I think that this is one to try to get sometime ;-)

  8. I will have to tell my friend Wendy about this one! I think she would love it!

  9. I got my notice yesterday that my copy of Truthwitch is on its way! Looking forward very much to reading it. :)

    A female mentor? Cool! This is the first I’ve heard about that for this book.
    Sara L. recently posted…Happy New Year – and Here’s to 2016!My Profile

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