Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard picks up after the events of Windwitch, in which Safi and Iseult are separated and a lot has happened in their world. I would highly recommend either reading a detailed summary of the previous two books in the series (Truthwitch and Windwitch, as well as the novella Sightwitch) if it has been a while to refamiliarize yourself with the world and myriad plotlines, or at least read a very detailed summary of the books. Otherwise, I believe the vast number of characters, plots, and information that is finally falling into place in this book will be confusing and make it take a little longer than it would have had you just binge read this series to become fully immersed in the world again. There’s a lot to catch up on – that being said, it’s so worth it!
Her writing is just as wonderful as her first books, melding descriptive world building with authentic characters. Her fantasies are much more the high fantasy, with magic systems, complex worlds, and a large cast of characters – which I adore. Her stories evoke emotions that you didn’t even know you had for these characters and draw out such a connection to the books.
As this is the third full book in the series, there isn’t much that can be discussed without spoilers – so please do not read this if you have not read the first two books in the series or the novella. Sightwitch was a novella that was written to give us so much more worldbuilding (and plot threading) than Susan Dennard could have achieved in the course of one of her books. It gave us all of this information that is now coming into play in Bloodwitch and if you’ve been paying attention, you’re going to be having a lot of ‘ah ha!’ moments in this book. Little nuggets of information that you might have ignored from previous books are now incredibly important to the plot. It is an aspect of Dennard’s series that I adore and means that the books are even more incredibly upon re-reading, as you just discover more each time you read it and wonder at these little threads that she wove in years prior.
I still adore her characters, although I will admit the sheer quantity of them (and some with similar-ish names) can sometimes be confusing. I’ve loved Safi and Iseult from the beginning, but Dennard was able to develop the supporting characters as well and make you fall in love with some of them. One of my new favourite characters is Aeduan, someone who was an antagonistic force at first and became an unlikely ally. This book is his story, so I adored getting some of his history and backstory because he so desperately needed that humanizing tale to truly come to life on the page. I also loved the relationship between him and Iseult, as they struggled to figure out how to work together and deal with all of these intense, confusing feelings that they had. It was so authentic and pulled at your heart… strings. (Not threads, but maybe…) The development was just fantastic.
So many storylines are coming together and the threads of power are building into what I believe will be a fantastic story going forward. A lot of this book was travel scenes, characters figuring out who they are and what they’re capable of, and weaving together the story so that it is ready for the next book. I could see how some people might drift at the beginning, since it wasn’t all action and steamy scenes (although there was a lot of both in this book) but it was so incredibly wonderful and worth it. It doesn’t take long before we are jumping from POV to POV, leaping into the next plotline while on the edge of our seats with the last and left wondering when the next book will come out.
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Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard