Monday, February 25, 2019

Review: Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Title: Bloodwitch
Series: The Witchlands #3
Written by: Susan Dennard
Published: February 12, 2019 by TorTeen Macmillan

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Fans of Susan Dennard's New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story. 

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets. 

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

I am still kind of reeling after finishing this book a day after writing this review. Bloodwitch was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 after waiting two years to read it. And just like the previous books in this series, it did not disappoint. This was an amazing fantasy read.

My favorite thing about this book, and this series in general, is the world. This is one of the most amazing and involved fantasy world that I have experienced in a long time. It is one of those worlds where history and mythology affects things in a big way. As the series goes on, we are learning more and more about the world. I listened to an interview with Susan recently where she mentioned she set out to write a book that is like adult fantasy where you don’t reveal things about the magic and world until much later, and that’s exactly what she has done. It’s the kind of world where you are shown instead of told. It has me completely enthralled and wanting to know more. Here we learn a good amount but I still has so many questions.

As for the plot, this is a book that had that classic sword and sorcery kind of vibes. It’s full of action and adventure with the main characters trying to save the world and their kingdoms from other countries and even scarier threats. I do feel a little bit like this was that bridge book that you see a lot in a series. It didn’t necessarily have it’s own plot but merely connected the stories from the first two books while setting up the final books. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting. Susan is a master plotter who does a great job of setting up little things so she can knock them down later to a huge impact. Things are starting to get knocked down in this one, which meant surprises and twists that had me screaming internally. The book also built to a thrilling conclusion and I cannot wait for the next book in the series. I desperately need a reread of the books before that, especially Sightwitch. The way Susan plots I know this is going to be one of those series worth going back to books for reminders and for theory crafting.

One of the things that I think made this plot a little bit more challenging in terms of a cohesive story is the fact that it told in multiple perspectives. It is one more example of what gives this book that classic fantasy vibe but it also adds a lot of moving parts. This book had five or six different perspectives and many of them were going in very different places and doing very different things. And which often happens with this kind of thing, some of the perspectives were more interesting than others. I think my favorite perspectives were the ones that were more about the big picture and mythology of the series, like Isuelt and Aeduan, over those who had more of the political intrigue like Vivia and Safi. The one who surprised me the most was Merik. Merik had a storyline that had me completely enthralled and I surprisingly wanted to go back to him even though he is not one of my favorite characters. But that is just the nature of books with multiple perspectives like Bloodwitch.

But I can forgive the multiple perspectives because the characters here are so amazing. Susan is definitely a master of complex characterization and this book was a perfect example. There is a good sized squad in this series and I am invested in every single one of them. There is a lot of great character development here as many of the characters are deciding who they are and the heroes they want to be. I was fully-invested in them and their success. This book is Aeduan’s book so of course we learn a lot more about him and his history. He’s always been one of the characters I found the most interesting so I loved being able to find out about him and be in his head. Isuelt might be my favorite though. She is really coming into her own and becoming this amazing badass. These two together also make an amazing team and they were seriously killing me with feels every time they were together. The character who surprised me the most though was Merik. He’s never been one of my favorites but he is the one who has the best development and is very much continuing his redemptive arc. But I love every character I this series. Whether they are complex and likable or the kind of characters you love to hate, they are all incredibly interesting.

All in all, this is a truly amazing book and a series that keeps getting better. It has an absolutely fascinating world full of mythology and magic, a thrilling sword and sorcery plot development, and characters that are complex with great development.

I give Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! If you like the first two books in this series If you are a fan of fantasy, YA or adult, I would absolutely recommend this series. It will be an amazing series to binge.

Have you read Bloodwitch? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks you for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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