Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
Windwitch is the second installment in author Susan Dennard's The Witchlands series. The story picks up about where Truthwitch left off with that absolutely insane in the brain ending. If you haven’t yet read Truthwitch, I must offer that things are connected in a big way, and that you should go back and read the first book post haste. The world building is so ginormous, and the characters are all fantastically sussed out, that to mess around and bypass one book to get to this one, would be to leave a huge chunk of important stuff behind.
The series revolves around five main characters: Prince Merik Hihari, Safiya fon Hasstrel, Iseult de Midenzi, as well as Aeduan, and Viva Hihari. As the story picks up, Merik has somehow managed to survive his ship being blown up. He is burned & badly scarred, and ends up back in Nubrevna where some call him the Fury who fights for the weak. Merik truly believes his sister Viva is to blame for what happened to him, his ship, and his crew. Especially since she's had no regrets in making it known that Merik is too weak to lead their country.
Merik's only real companion is Cam who stayed behind and lived. Merik is an angry character for most of this story. He tries so hard to pin his anger on Viva, that he becomes blinded by his rage. I liked Cam and Merik's relationship. I liked that he let Cam be who she wanted to be, and made no comments about who she should be. Cam has her own baggage, but Merik never once thinks about leaving her to her own devices.
Meanwhile, Safiya and Vaness find themselves in a similar situation to Merik's. The ship they are on is blown up. They find themselves at the mercy of the Hell-Bards & in the middle of Pirates who are coalescing to form a huge enough force to invade other countries. If that weren't enough, Safiya has to face someone from her past who helped start her entire journey rolling. Safiya's choice in joining Vaness, the Empress of Marstok, and a powerful Ironwitch, has separated her from Iseult. Vaness is the youngest, most powerful Empress in Witchland. But, even the most powerful are vulnerable. Safiya & Vaness's journey in the next book, should be interesting to read about.
I choose to talk about Iseult next, because her journey, and her unusual alliance with Aeduan, (who is given a contract to bring Iseult back alive), really kept this story going for me. Iseult has some major choices to make over the next two books, and I can't wait to see where Dennard takes her. Aeduan also has come tough choices, especially after discovering who his father is, and what he's been up to. Iseult is connected to Weaverwitch Esme, and her connection has only grown the more they are together. Aeduan is an interesting character, his relationship to Iseult is filled with hard choices, action, bloodshed, and the rescue of an important person.
Viva is next because readers really need to get a deeper look into the woman who wants to be the next leader of her country. She's sharp willed. She's searching for a lost magical well that her mother apparently knew about. She creates her own secretive group in order to help stock food enough to feed her people. She encounters men dragging their feet, and making her life more difficult than it should be. Viva's relationship with her father is an interesting one, and one that I dare say put the cherry on the top of me actually respecting and liking Viva. Viva is also a really kickass character, and when the chips are down, she proves she's worthy.
This book covers a whole lot of ground. Characters find themselves making alliances with enemies, and enemies become allies even if they are sworn to another avenue. The addition of the Pirates, and Safiya & Vaness in Saldonica wasn't the strongest part of the story, but I'm hoping that things that happened in the end, will lead to even more. If you are looking for romance in this book, fuhgettaboutit! No, I'm being serious. Merik & Safi are separated. They each have issues and those issues need to be resolved before they even think about reconnecting.
If you haven't already caught it, the third installment is being called Bloodwitch, and yes, that means it's Aeduan's story.