Windwitch by Susan Dennard

29939390(Image from goodreads.com)


Summary (from goodreads.com): 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.

SPOILERS FOR TRUTHWITCH ONLY
Having only finished the first book in this series, Truthwitch, a couple of weeks ago, I started this second installment already fully invested in the characters. At the end of Truthwitch, all of its leading players have found themselves split up, and Windwitch sends them out on their own personal journeys, whether they be to seek revenge, escape the law, or find that which has been lost. In the first book, we were introduced to characters bound to each other by lifelong relationships, but now they have been split up and forced to ally with strangers at best and enemies at worst. Now, three pairs of “odd couples” roam the Witchlands, unsure of whom they can trust and whom they should fear.

The great thing about a second book in a series is that a lot of the groundwork has already been laid. We’ve already gotten to know the landscape, the politics, and a lot of the characters. In the case of the Witchlands series, we know a good bit about how the magic works and what the legends of this place are. Still, Dennard continues to build her world in Windwitch, adding depth and history, along with a growing sense of awe at just how far-reaching and dangerous the magic of the Witchlands may really be.

Besides delving into the mythology and cultural heritage of the Witchlands world, Dennard also takes the time to reveal new layers of complexity in her characters. The stars of Truthwitch are now tested until they begin to question everything they think they know, even about themselves. Previously minor characters step forward, challenging the reader to consider how exactly someone becomes an enemy and who decides which of us are the “good guys.” Adding to an already racially, ethnically, and culturally varied cast, Dennard introduces in Windwitch even more relatable characters, not as stock “diversity” quota fillers, but as well-developed, complicated humans with stories that cannot be read in a single glance.

To really describe all the things I loved about Windwitch would be to give too much away. So please, read this beautiful thing for yourself, and then hit me up on any of the platforms below so we can really get into the details of what makes it shine.

Favorite Line: “No more tiptoeing around a room because women oughtn’t to run. To shout. To rule.”

Rating: 5/5