Book Review: Windwitch by Susan Dennard

The time has come to review one of my favorite books of 2017. I read it after I got it on Susan’s Windwitch tour and again this month for a mini book club my sister created. I have officially gotten her hooked on the Witchlands. Now all she does is draw fan art of Safi and Merik, and Iseult and Aeduan.

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

(I will be doing newer characters this time. If you want my thoughts on the original gang besides what happens to them in the first book, head over to my Truthwitch review.)
Vivia Nihar is a waterwitch and not like her brother. She keeps a cold, calculating facade and will do anything, legal or not, to help her country; even if that means creating a band of pirates called the Foxes (after the “mythical” sea creatures, the Seafoxes) to steal food from other ships. As you read more about her, you start to see that she isn’t as heartless as she appears, but that would make her seem weak in the eyes of the council comprised only of men and her father, who is sickly and dying. 
Cam used to be a ship boy on Admiral Merik Nihar’s ship. After the explosion, they join Merik who in hiding and healing in the city cisterns. They help Merik around the city that used to be Cam’s home and helps him afterward to help Merik *REDACTED* (SPOILER)
Vaness, Empress of Marstok, is Safi’s new handler. She is the most powerful Iron witch the Witchlands have seen, and very young in age when she was given her job as ruler of Marstok, being only 9 when she signed the 20 year peach treaty. Skilled at deceiving and fighting for her and Safiya’s freedom from the Hell-Bards, they form an unlikely alliance and become friends.
Caden Is a Hell-Bard, but better known to Safiya as the Chiseled Cheater that caused all of the problems that led her and Iz into this whole mess. He, along with another Hell-bard and their commander, capture Safi and Vaness and try to take them back to the Emperor to whom Safi is engaged to. They trek through the jungle and into Baydaed Pirate territory, and forge a mutual agreement with their new prisoners along the way. 

I won’t lie, my favorite part of this book was Aeduan and Iseult. I loved their journey and Susan Dennard’s writing only solidified the fact that they are my favorite. I admired Iz’s journey of self discovery and Aeduan’s recognition that sometimes partners aren’t always a bad thing. And I loved Owl. #parents
Merik and Cam’s story was my second favorite part of the book. Merik often sees only what he wants, and doesn’t know his people and country as much as he thought he did while Cam brings him back down to earth and helps him navigate the streets as a dead man. Cam also has a small role to play with a local gang, and Merik sticks up for them like they were his younger sibling, which was adorable and awesome. I have a thing for the trope of someone letting loose and not caring about consequences to save or avenge a person they care about, while said person watches or someone who has never seen them act that way watches. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Vivia’s character arc is great. Learning to love and accept who she is, crushing on her first mate “Stix” (#Vix), standing up to her father and choosing to help Merik instead of trying to kill him again. She also reminds me a lot of Viva from The Darkest Minds series by Alex Bracken, whom I also love.
As for Safi’s arc, It was okay but not my favorite. Every time it came around I found myself wishing I was reading about Iseult or Merik; but it was still good. Badass fight scenes, good strategy, learning to trust others to let them help her. And honestly, I cannot decide if I ship her with Merik anymore, or if I ship her with Caden. Lev and Vaness surprised my by becoming a few of my new favorite minor characters. I hope we see more of them again.

I loved the reveal of Iseult’s powers. I also enjoyed Esme. I liked seeing the scene at the end of the book, when Iz, Aeduan and Owl are making camp and she sits on the shore talking to Aeduan about wishing on fireflies, then talking to Safi through their threadstones and being BFF’s. I hope we see more fluff moments in Bloodwitch, although given the title is what it is, I doubt it…
Another thing I enjoyed more than I thought I would is Corlant’s ties with both Iseult and Aeduan. I am looking forward to learning more about it, especially his ties with Aeudan. Speaking of Aeduan, his heritage. I am so excited to see more of it!!!

Goodreads links- Truthwitch * Windwitch * Sightwitch
Links to purchase Truthwitch: Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Book Depository * Audible
Links to purchase Windwitch: Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Book Depository * Audible
Links to Pre-Order Sightwitch: Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Book Depository * Audible


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