by Susan Dennard
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.
Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.
Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.
In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
I gave this book 4.5 stars. It was a very good book, it did not blow my mind or anything, but it did get me out of the after book slump that A Court of Mist and Fury left me in.
I was a bit worried going into this book that it was going to be very heavy and political and I wasn't going to easily follow along, but I had no such problems. I caught on quickly with plans and plots and subplots. It was actually a very light read, it may be because the book was smaller than most high fantasy books, or maybe it could be the writing style. Whatever it was, I enjoyed it.
I love Iseult and Safiya's friendship in this book. They are best friend goals. I always love the whole fire and ice pairing. Iseult is the cold distant person who is only really close to Safi. She doesn't really care about anyone else, or so it seems. She keeps everything bundled up so tight. I feel like this may be because of all the many threads she sees on a daily basis. It may just be too hard for her to come to terms with it all.
And then there is Safi. Fierce, vibrant Safi. Quick to fight, slow to forgive. Safi is how I see myself. Safi is the Gryffindor to Iseult's Slytherin. Though, her ability to tell when people are lying is a pretty cool skill, I don't think I would choose it above all other gifts. I actually really liked Iseult's. I mean, after a while the brights lights would probably get annoying, but for a while it would be cool. Her whole romance thing going on with Merik is so steamy, I can't wait for that to develop more in the next book. I really do love having romance in my novels, just not everything being about the couple. It was perfect.
I don't know exactly how old Aeduan is, but if he is young enough, I'm going to be developing a ship between him and Iseult, because chemistry. Something is going on, they just couldn't seem to kill each other and they have some fort of Nomatsis past going on. Something has to happen or else I am going to be a very unhappy camper in the next book. Actually, there was also a moment in the book where I shipped Aeduan with Leopold, they just seemed to have a spark. Plus, Aeduan is just so shippable.
Leopold. I was so mad at him in the beginning because he seemed to be on his uncles side about the whole "Engaged to Safiya" thing and I just thought he was a stuck up spoiled prince. He proved he wasn't when he turned out to be working with Eron to free Safi. He was a true friend and I appreciate him for that.
About their witch powers, in the prophesy thing about the Cahr Awen, I'm pretty sure they said something about there needing to be a void witch in the duo, and then earlier on the "Puppeteer" said something to Iseult about her being a Weavingwitch like her, I'm not quite sure, but I'm pretty sure this means that she is a void witch, so everything does add up correctly. Anyway, there is definitely something cool going on with Iseult.
So I have this theory. So Aeduan is apparently Nomatsis, guess who else is Nomatsis? That evil guy Corlant that we don't know much about. And what do we know of Aeduan"s father? He is a pretty twisted guy, or at least it is implied that he isn't the best guy. I bet Corlant is Aeduan's father and something is going to happen with all of that.
Oh my gods, while reading the part when Iseult went to see her mother and Alma, all I could think was that Iseult grew up in a cult. They never explicitly say this of course, but I swear, it's a cult that they are in.
“I hate this. Both the storm and the plan. Why does it have to be ‘we’? Why not just me?"“Because ‘just me’ isn’t who we are,” Iseult hollered back. “I’ll always follow you, Safi, and you’ll always follow me. Threadsisters to the end.”
“Where’s your hair?” she shouted. “And what happened to your arm?”“Cut my hair and got shot with an arrow!” “Gods below, Iseult! A few hours away and your whole life tumbles through the hell-gates!”“I might say the same to you,” Iseult shouted back—though it was getting hard to scream and ride. “Four opponents on your tail and a ruined dress!”
“Allow me to serve you, Safiya. We have spent too many years apart.” “And I have spent too many hours between meals.” A glare. “Give it to me now, Polly, or I shall castrate you with a fork.”
“Oh, the Bloodwitch named Aeduan was no longer bored. No longer bored at all. And now he had work to do.”