- Series: The Witchlands (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Tor Teen (January 10, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780765379306
- ISBN-13: 978-0765379306
- ASIN: 0765379309
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 120 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Windwitch: A Witchlands Novel (The Witchlands) Hardcover – January 10, 2017
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Praise for the Witchlands Series:
"Susan Dennard has worldbuilding after my own heart. It’s so good it’s intimidating."―Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen
“A world you'll want to inhabit forever!”―Alexandra Bracken on Windwitch
"A richly imagined magical world, ruthless politics, steamy romance, and characters who grab you and won't let go."―Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author, on Truthwitch
“Featuring vibrant characters and an innovative system of magic...a fast-paced adventure and a wonderful tribute to the power of the binding ties of friendship.”―Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author, on Truthwitch
"A cake stuffed full of your favorite fantasy treats: highway robbery, swordplay, deep friendships, treachery, magic, piracy on the high seas, and romance. This book will delight you."―Robin Hobb, New York Times bestselling author, on Truthwitch
"[Dennard] sets scenes so skillfully that the descriptions of the geography become immersive, and the characters continually develop along familiar lines. The plentiful action in this exciting fantasy almost makes it feel like one is in a multiplayer online game."―Booklist on Windwitch
Dennard’s rich descriptions, insightful characterizations, and breathtaking action sequences will keep readers on their toes.”―Publishers Weekly, starred review on Truthwitch
"Intense friendships and burgeoning romances…Epic adventure and steamy smooches make for a crowd-pleasing formula.”―Kirkus Reviews on Truthwitch
“Dennard has upped her game.”―Deseret News on Windwitch
“5 stars: Emotionally charged...with complicated politics and personal relationships that are full of surprises.”―RT Book Reviews, on Windwitch
“Susan Dennard is taking the reins of the genre that is fantasy, making it apparent that she is here to stay and I cannot wait for more of her amazing writing in the future of this series.”―TeenReads on Windwitch
About the Author
Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. With marine biology, she got to travel the world―six out of seven continents, to be exact (she'll get to Asia one of these days!)―before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor. She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series as well as the New York Times bestselling Truthwitch. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two dogs, and she is extremely active in social media. You can find her on her blog, twitter, instagram, and beyond: susandennard.com,@stdennard
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I read forty-five books in 2016, friends. FORTY-FIVE. Of those, Windwitch was HANDS DOWN my favorite. It was also one of the most expertly crafted. (I will die on that hill. Read it, and you will, too.) Here's why.
1) The World-Building
Wowowowowowowow. Guuuuuuuyyys. I know that calling anything "original" these days is rather pointless. I mean, we can all agree that nothing is truly original. And certainly, originality should never be an artist's foremost aim lest he or she never begin. But "original" is the very first word that comes to mind when I think of the world-building in this series. This multi-layered world is masterfully crafted and revealed to the reader. Every new revelation, while being delightfully unexpected, feels effortless and right - never forced, never jarring. The result is a world easily entered and not-so-easily exited. I suspect it'll be several days yet before the sights and sounds and stakes of the Witchlands cease to color my everyday. (I'm pretty sure I thanked God for Aeduan in my mealtime prayer this evening. Surely, He understands.)
2) The Characters
Susan Dennard is a queen of crafting character. I observed this in my reading of her Something Strange and Deadly series and now, too, in my reading of Truthwitch and Windwitch. Her characters are multi-dimensional - each with his or her own history and voice and flaws and motivations, each with his or her own way of seeing himself or herself and the world in which he or she lives. Safi and Iseult and Merik and Aeduan (and so many of the not-so-minor characters that we meet in Windwitch) transcend the page. They are real. They are knowable. Furthermore, I've noticed that I've a new tendency to curse like Safi, to make connections like Iseult, to model Merik's nobility and Aeduan's confidence - not because these characters are perfect or powerful in ways that I am not and wish to be; but because they breathe, they move, they act, they are transformed in ways that are true to who they are. This truthfulness is what I most desire to see and what I most appreciate in characters. Susan's talent is unique in that all of her characters are crafted with it; and, too, her narrative is propelled by it.
3) The Plot
I read Windwitch in two sittings - two because THE STAKES and THE FEELS and MY HEART. (In other words, my being able to re-inhabit this world demanded that I step away and, well, breathe.) This series is action-packed, and there is so much on the line. Heck, you don't even know what all is on the line until that line is irreparably weathered and frayed, and OH LOOK SCISSORS! This narrative takes your heart in its hands and proceeds to squeeze it like a stress ball until it's this ragged and miserable-looking thing that will never ever be the same - no matter how many tubs of chocolatey chocolate ice cream you eat, no matter how many times you watch Bridget Jones's Diary.... Just have a friend on-call, okay? Preferably someone who's read Windwitch. (*points to self* I'm here for you.) And have a calendar nearby so you can count the days till Bloodwitch.
Speaking of Bloodwitch... I NEEEEED IT. I NEED IT NOWWWWW.
In summary, Windwitch is an action-packed, high-stakes, soul-crushing (in the best possible way) sequel. It's the kind of book that demands to be re-read and treasured, the kind of book that you will buy for all of your friends (because there is no way you're loaning out your copy), the kind of book that reminds you of the power of words to immerse, to inspire, to transform. I crazy-loved it!
FIVE BRIGHT AND SHINY STARS!!!!
I'm not really grasping this whole "this is Merik's book" like the previous book was "Safi's". I only say that because we still get so many different characters' points of view. It doesn't really feel like a book that belongs to any one character. That being said, still totally psyched for Bloodwitch! Aeduan is still a favorite character of mine and whether we truly get more of his point of view or not, I cannot wait to read the next book.
We open this book to a fire, Merik has been betrayed by someone close to him and he suspects his sister is the culprit. Luckily he was able to get most of his crew to safety, but since none of them can really find him again, he goes along with playing dead in order to find proof of his sister's treachery. Meanwhile Safi and her new "friend" Vaness were attacked and they managed to escape their ship unharmed but are soon taken hostage by yet another group of bad guys. Led by a very familiar face.
Then we have my favorite duo, Iseult and Aeduan who have temporarily teamed up in order to find Safi. There was an arrangement made you could say, and no, nothing so scandalous! As before, we do a lot of hip-hopping with all the different points of view. While I understand the purpose of this and it does work for the most part, I can't help but also feel overwhelmed and confused at the best of times. There's just too much going on it seems to keep everything straight. Not to mention all these other groups that keep popping up who want one thing or another. As I said, I would kill for a glossary, one that includes characters too, just to keep things on the level.
Susan has created quite an intricate world here. I both enjoy it, and yet am deeply befuddled by it at times. I seriously feel like a glossary would go a long way in my understanding of things and whatnot. But even without one, I can generally get an idea of what's going on. But then again, I am seriously overwhelmed with all the names and words that get tossed about too casually.
There was still a great deal of action in this one! Some startling surprises too and I have no idea what these things might mean for the future. It will definitely make things interesting for future books. Sadly I also missed the intense bond between Iseult and Safi. Their friendship was one of the highlights of Truthwitch. And since they are still separated, I missed their bond. I also missed Safi and Merik's flirting with one another, as they too were separated. The best relationship to watch evolve of course was Iseult and Aeduan. While there's nothing overly swoony happening, we are definitely getting a foundation built between them.
I may not be able to enjoy this series 100% so far, but I can say that I am invested. I am liking what I've read so far anyway and will be seeing this series through to its end! The characters are definitely the highlight for me since the world-building is still a little shaky! Oddest thing of all for me to say, but I am also hoping for more swoony moments in the next book! LOL! Past me would be shocked to hear that! Windwitch was definitely better than its predecessor and I can only hope this means that each book will continue to outshine the one before it!
Overall Rating 4/5 stars
Aeduan ends up with Iseult (you know... the one that was injured for the entire first book). They make a pact, he helps her find Safi and she gives him back some stuff she somehow found that he now wants. Potential romance that never happens. Maybe on the third book? I will never know because I will certainly not read it.