Review #213 // Windwitch (Witchlands #2) – Susan Dennard

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After the events in Truthwitch, Prince Merik Nihar is assumed dead. When his ship is blown up, Merik decides to stay “dead” in order to protect the people he cares about. At the same time, Safi is has troubles of her own when the Marstoki fleet is also attacked, leaving her stranded with the Empress. And Iseult continues to travel cross country in order to find her Threadsister, until the Bloodwitch Aeduan crosses her path.


Why this book?: I enjoyed Truthwitch!

After experiencing Truthwitch, I wasn’t sure what to think of Windwitch. While I enjoyed it just about as much as Truthwitch, there were aspects of the story that just really didn’t make sense to me. I wanted to enjoy this one more than the first, but nothing was really improved in-between book one and book two. It just felt like more of the same, with nothing new, nothing improved, and it was kind of disappointing?? Even though I feel that, story-wise, they’re about the same, the more I think about it, the more I just didn’t care for this one as much as I liked Truthwitch.

One of my biggest annoyances with this book is the very beginning. We go between the books with a semi-cliff hanger, and Windwitch begins with a flashback to an event where Merik almost dies. We don’t get much information in the flashback, but the event changes Merik enough that he seemed like a different character from Truthwitch. As a reader, I almost felt cheated. I really enjoyed Merik’s character in the first book, but all of his character development happened off page, and I just felt like we could have gotten more out of that. Instead, we get a short flashback to the event, and then we get Merik acting like a completely different person. Personally, I just wasn’t a fan of that. While I still enjoyed Merik’s character … it just felt weird, since he was almost a completely new character to begin with.

I feel like I’m in the majority when I also say that I’ve really stopped caring for Safi’s plot in this whole series. I enjoyed her in the first book, but all of her chapters in Windwitch felt like they were stuck in a limbo, and I was dying to get to Iseult’s or Merik’s chapters where stuff was actually happening. Despite this lull in the story, I was still really enjoying the overarching plot–especially Merik’s part in it, with the Fury and the investigation into the attack. I also really enjoyed the introduction of a few new characters, specifically Vivia and Cam. While I personally didn’t enjoy Vivia’s POV chapters, I still found them interesting enough to keep reading. Cam, however, is … complicated.

Here’s the thing with Cam–their gender is kind of up in the air for most of Windwitch. Merik mentions that Cam got onto his ship by saying they were a boy and taking a boy’s job, but that Merik realized pretty soon that Cam was actually a girl. He was fine with this as long as Cam got the job done, but then he never actually asks Cam for their preference. Throughout Windwitch, everyone uses she/her pronouns for Cam without asking or anything. It’s only at the very end when they’re outted by a (transphobic) family member that it’s revealed that Cam is trans, and that they used he/him pronouns (or wanted to). There was even a part when Merik was internally monologing and said something like “Cam said that she–no, he–I’m going to have to get used to that” and I nearly flipped a table after reading that. Cam’s character was great, when only considering their character. As a trans character though, it made me angry.

Final Rating: ★★★½☆☆

Overall?

While I enjoyed most of the story, there were a few things that kind of turned me off it. Merik completely changed as a person, and even though I liked this new Merik, I felt like I was cheated out of seeing how his character developed. I was bored out of my mind with Safi’s chapters, and the handling of Cam’s character was just so disappointing. Where Truthwitch was disappointing as a story, Windwitch was better. When development and representation go into consideration, Truthwitch was better.

Would I Recommend?

I would if you enjoyed Truthwitch. It’s an interesting series so far, even though it is kind of generic. It’s entertaining enough that I’ll be reading Bloodwitch, but I really hope it tackles Cam better than before.


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Additional Information:

Published: January 10th, 2017

Publisher: Tor Teen

Page Count: 384

Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult

Synopsis: via Goodreads

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.


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One thought on “Review #213 // Windwitch (Witchlands #2) – Susan Dennard

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