Windwitch (The Witchland #2)
by Susan Dennard
In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, a shadow man haunts the Nubrevnan streets, leaving corpses in his wake-and then raising those corpses from the dead. Windwitch continues the tale of Merik-cunning privateer, prince, and windwitch
This series has so much potential which wasn’t reached in this sequel to Truthwitch. Its such a great concept – witches which specialise in different powers, an epic war about to re-start after a truce and complicated politics in a world of selfish people – this could be such an epic story. Unfortunately it wasn’t and I think it was because the book focused on too many characters at once.
I quite enjoyed Truthwitch and after the torturous cliffhanger I dived into this one with so much passion and excitement. Soon, I realised that this book lacked that oomph to really draw me into the story.
In Windwitch, we’re following five perspectives. There’s Safi and the Empress as they journey together, Merik after surviving the explosion at the end of Truthwitch, Vivia trying to rule in her father’s place, Iseult searching high and below for her threadsister and also Aeduan after he is employed to hunt Iseult. It’s a lot to keep track of and it’s not a substantially large book so I felt that each perspective of the book wasn’t given enough time to delve into. As a result, they each fell flat. The action would be too rushed and so would the conversation which meant that a lot of the time I would finish the chapter really confused. After each perspective, the book dives right into the next one so I’m constantly trying to find catch up as I get used to what’s been going on with each character. That also meant that I didn’t have time to get to know each of the characters properly and attach to them. This sequel just really needed to focus on maximum three point of views because it would’ve made the story so much easier to follow and thus, just more enjoyable. If that meant that there would have to be another book in the series, I have no problem with that. I prefer more books but a better focused plot rather than a rush job with less books.
Despite that flaw, I quite liked getting to know Vivia and Aeduan more. In Truthwitch, we only know Vivia from Merik’s perspective and we get this impression that she’s a spoilt and selfish heir who does things without calculating the consequences. She wasn’t that at all in this book. She was just…normal. She was a young woman who was determined to bring her country to prosperity in a world surrounded by men. As discussed above, I would’ve loved more pages dedicated to Vivia. I empathised with her insecurities and her need to make her father proud. Aeduan was also more of a complex character that we previously thought. He’s kinder than we expected and I loved how Iseult would catch him off guard with the things she would say. When Aeduan finds Owl and carries her I JUST DIED. He was so sweet to her and his cold facade just melted right there and then. WHEN HE CALLS HER LITTLE ONE! That was definitely my favourite part of the whole book.
SPOILERS. DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
Let’s talk about Kullen for a moment. I just wanted to break down and cry! Kullen is the Fury?! Like WTF! He was such a great character who died but then making him evil – I JUST CAN’T. It BROKE. MY. HEART.
I also think Safi was missing her oomph in this novel as well just because of her quite short chapters. I got very confused with what was happening in her section of the story. I simply lost track of where they were going and what was the point of what they were doing. I think I enjoyed her chapters the least because of that. If I was to rank how much I enjoyed each perspective from best to least, it would be: Vivia, Iseult, Merik, Aeduan, Safi. Vivia’s was interesting because she was so different from what I thought she would be, Iseult’s because I wanted to know more about the shadow girl in her dreams, Merik because Cam was awesome and Safi because bleh.
All in all, a book that’s could’ve been so incredible but unfortunately wasn’t because of it’s lack of focus, depth and thus, character and plot building.