Okay, so obviously with a 5-star rating, I loved this book. I liked the characters, I liked the writing, and I LOVED the story!
“With your right hand, give a person what he expects–and with your left hand, cut his purse.”
One of my favourite things about this story was that the action started right away. There wasn’t a lull period where everything was explained right off the bat. Now, I’ve seen this as a “negative” in some people’s reviews. Yes, the magic system is a bit confusing and it did take me a while to figure it out, but I definitely preferred figuring it out while also reading about the shenanigans everyone was up to.
“I’ll always follow you, Safi, and you’ll always follow me. Threadsisters to the end.”
Safiya and Iseult are pretty much a crime-causing turned crime-fighting duo. One thing leads to another, and they find themselves on the run from a Bloodwitch and half a city – I am not even exaggerating here.
As Threadsisters, Safi and Iseult bascially “complete each other.” It sounds cheesy, but it’s not. I absolutely adore the friendship between these two. It is one of those friendships where they are completely different, and yet, they work. Also, Safi’s development in this book is fantastic, and although Iseult is my favourite, I did start to appreciate Safi more and more.
“Yet he was smiling–smiling–as if he knew something that Safi didn’t. As if he could and would hunt her down to make her pay for this.”
Aeduan (#baeduan) is a Bloodwitch. The Bloodwitch. The one chasing Safiya and Iseult. He’s a complicated monk who I’m pretty certain is going to become a big ol’ teddy bear in the rest of the books – yes, I know it doesn’t sound like it based off the quote above, but just trust me. I also liked that we got to read from his POV at times, and how his history adds to the story. The twist about the way his past connected with the past of another character definitely surprised me, but also made perfect sense… *cue fangirling moment*!
“He saw no one else, heard no one else. For all he knew, they were the only people left alive in this battle.”
I realize now the above quote could be gruesome or romantic…
Then we have Merik, aka the Prince of Nubrevna. At first, I wasn’t sure about Merik. I wasn’t digging his personality and his “I must do everything I can to save my country” vibe. Normally, I like that, but for some reason it just wasn’t working for me here. What I did like was his “forbidden” flirting with a certain someone, his crew, and the craziness with his sister, Vivia. From what I gather, we learn more about her in the next book, and I am SO ready!
Those are the four main characters, but all of the side characters are amazing as well! Kullen, Evrane, Mathew, Habim, and even Leopold had me feeling ALL kinds of ways.
“Those who win wars are those who write history.”
I mentioned it a little above, but it’s worth going into more: the storytelling in this book was perfection for me. I fell into it completely. Dennard’s writing style has a way of grabbing you and holding on tight.
I enjoyed that there were small twists throughout the book that surprised me. The “main” twist was pretty obvious, but I like the way it was revealed. It wasn’t so much of a “BAM IN YOUR FACE THIS IS HAPPENING” type reveal, but more of a slow-build “you think you know, but maybe not, but it must be, but is it?” type reveal. I loved it.
The only thing that was a bit complicated for me was the magic system, or witcheries. There were just SO many: Truthwitch, Threadwitch, Bloodwitch, Windwitch; but then there are other categories: Voidwitch, Aetherwitch, and some others. I think the book would have benefited from having an index that explained all of the witchery types – though you can find sites online that explain them, such as this one.
“As Aeduan walked onward, he was pleased to find he’d left a trail of muddy boot-prints throughout the house. Sometimes justice was all about the small victories.”
SEE! Big ol’ teddy bear.
What else can I say? I love this book. I can’t wait to start book two, Windwitch, and I’m so glad I also already have the novella, Sightwitch, to tide me over until Bloodwitch is released in mid-February!
Also, check out this awesome video by Susan Dennard herself sharing how to pronounce the names of the main characters!