(The Witchlands, #1)
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen; 416 pages
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.
I would've given this book a perfect rating but I just can't. I found the beginning to be too slow. Not slow enough that I wanted to put it down but slow enough that I wasn't having trouble putting it down. That is my ONLY negative thing to say about this book. The characters are amazing, the world building is beautiful and the story is intriguing.
There aren't a whole lot of stories that are focused on best friends with love interests throw in as an extra and I think that's one thing that makes this story so different. I read books for the romance (not just the romance but it's a big factor for me) and all characters have a best friend but it's never about them, together - their journey. It's just the heroine and her sidekick best friend (or hero). This was all about Safi and Iz; their journey together.
This is also told from different points of views and I really enjoyed that. It was four, if I'm correct, and while it was more than usual, it wasn't too many. I feel like you, as a reader, will connect with Safi or Iz more. I will be honest, it took a lot of warming up to Iz before I liked her. There was just something about her that didn't connect to me but Safi on the other hand, I LOVED her.
Then there's Prince Merick who had a bromance going on. So it wasn't all about the girl friendship and the bromance was strong. It might be another favorite thing from this book. My heart. But Merick is also extremely swoon-worthy. And the chemistry between he and Safi is very apparent but the build up of their relationship was done perfectly. It was a slow burn. And did it burn.
Then there's the bloodwitch, Aeduan, my favorite character. He's a bad guy but he's a good guy. He's a borderline guy. He's a bloody interesting character. I need more of him; I really, really, REALLY do. I just . . . I have no words for him. That's how badly I need more of him - I can't put my feels for him in to words. Just please. More.
This is a fantastic start to a new series. I'm just sad I have to wait for the next book and the book after that AND the book after that. It's going to be torture but I'm ready for it.
Thank you so much to Tor for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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