Susan Dennard's New York Times bestselling, young adult epic fantasy Witchlands series continues with the story of the Bloodwitch Aeduan.
Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop a bloodthirsty horde of raiders preparing to destroy a monastery that holds more than just faith. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.
“Worldbuilding after my own heart. It’s so good it’s intimidating.”Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen
Sightwitch (illustrated novella)
About the Author
Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. Working in marine biology, she got to travel the world six out of seven continents (she'll get to Asia one of these days!) before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor. She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series, as well as the Witchlands series, which includes the New York Times bestselling Truthwitch and Windwitch. When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, slaying darkspawn on her Xbox, or earning bruises at the dojo.
Read an Excerpt
The blood looked fresh in the rain.
Weeping, oozing, even streaming in some places, the water from the storm hit wounds on corpses that had been stagnant for days. The granite bedrock would not accept the offering, and a river of blood slid downhill, following the terrain, gathering around Aeduan's boots. So many blood-scents to mingle against his magic, so many dead for his gaze to drag across.
This was the third massacre he'd found in two weeks. The third time he'd followed carnage on the air, the third time he'd smelled wet caves and white-knuckled grips amidst the slaughter. He was catching up to the attackers.
Catching up to his father's men.
The four stabs in Aeduan's abdomen spurted with each of his hunched breaths. He should have left the arrows where they'd hit, let the Threadwitch remove them with her careful hands instead of yanking them out as soon as they'd punched through stomach wall. Twenty years of habit were hard to change in just two weeks, though.
He also hadn't expected the barbs.
Aeduan sucked in a ragged breath, rain coursing into his open mouth. There was nothing to keep him here, and the scent he'd hoped to find — the one he'd followed for two weeks, ever deeper into the Sirmayans — was not nearby. Oh, the summer heather and impossible choices that marked her blood had been here, but she had moved on. Before the attack, he assumed, or she too would now be numbered among the dead.
Before Aeduan could turn away from the corpses and limp for the evergreen forest whence he'd come, a new blood-scent tickled against his nose. Vaguely familiar, as if he had once met the owner and bothered to catalog the man's blood, but had never tucked it aside to remember forever.
The smell was sharp. Still alive.
Between one heartbeat and the next, Aeduan changed course. Thirty-four careful steps over gape-mouthed bodies. Rain sprayed into his eyes, forcing him to blink again and again. Then the stone expanse gave way to a mossy carpet stained to red. More bodies, all ages, all angles, covered the earth with a density that spoke of attempted escape. The square Nomatsi shields on their backs, though, had done nothing to stop the ambush from the front.
Blood, blood and empty eyes everywhere he looked.
Onward he picked across the bodies until at last he reached the swaying conifers. The scent he'd caught was thicker here, but the pine-needle floor was also slippery, dangerous from the storm. Aeduan had no desire to fall. He might heal from every scrape, every broken bone, but that did not mean it wouldn't hurt.
Or drain his magic further, which was the problem now. Stomach wounds were particularly unwieldy to repair.
Aeduan inhaled. Exhaled. Counting, waiting, watching as his blood dribbled out and the world fell away. He was not his mind. He was not his body.
He kept moving.
But then, over distant thunderclaps from the south, he heard a human groan. "Help." With that word, his senses sharpened, his spine straightened, and a new energy kicked in.
He strode faster. Rain splashed beneath his boots. Thunder rolled to the south. He followed a path through the spruce trees, their trunks creaking like ships at sea; he knew this was a Nomatsi road. He knew that traps like the one he'd triggered beside the morning glories likely waited ahead.
The voice was weaker, but closer — as was the scent of the dying man's blood. A monk, Aeduan realized, when at last he crossed a dip in the path where a stream swelled with storm. Three steps up the rocky hill, a fallen white robe lay stained to rusty brown. And three steps beyond, with his back pressed against a fallen log, the robe's owner clutched at wounds in his belly.
Wounds like Aeduan's, that had come from traps meant to protect the Nomatsi tribe. Unlike Aeduan, though, this man had not removed the arrows.
For half a moment, Aeduan thought he could help the man. That he could use what remained of his own power to stop the man's bleeding. He had done it before with Evrane; he could do it again. The vast city of Tirla was no more than half a day away.
But even if Aeduan could sustain such power in his current state, there could be no healing the sword gash on the monk's thigh. The femoral artery was split wide, and though rain fell hard enough to clear away blood, the artery gushed faster.
The man had only minutes left to live.
"Demon," the man burbled. Blood seeping from the edges of his mouth down his seamed chin, riding the rain. "I ... remember you."
"Who did this?" Aeduan asked. There was no time to be wasted on names or useless memories. If anyone had been trained for death, it was the Carawens. And if anyone could help Aeduan make sense of this slaughter, it was the dying man before him.
Aeduan blinked. Rain splattered off his lashes. The Purists, though foul members of humanity, were not known for violence. Except ...
Except when Purists were not Purists at all.
"Help," the man begged, clutching at the wound across his thigh.
At that sight, anger thickened in Aeduan's throat. Mercenary monks faced the Void's embrace without fear, without begging. To see desperation darken the man's eyes — it was wrong. All wrong.
Yet Aeduan still found his magic reaching out. Spiraling around the white fire and iron ore that made the monk who he was. A pointless endeavor, for there was so little blood left inside the man's veins it felt like trying to catch wind. No matter how tightly he grasped, his magic always came up empty.
"Why did you not use your stone?" Aeduan asked, and he glared at the man's ear. At the Carawen opal that glistened there, waiting to summon other monks in case of an emergency.
The man shook his head, a bare trace of movement. "Sur ... prise." The word came out choked with blood, his face paler and paler with each breath. "Trained ... better."
Impossible, Aeduan wanted to say. No one is trained better than a Carawen mercenary. But then the man started coughing and reached for his mouth, and Aeduan realized he bore the burn-flecked hands of a blacksmith, the lopsided shoulders of a man who worked the forge.
An artisanal monk. The least combat-ready of all the Carawens. Why was this man here at all, away from the monastery and away from his post?
Aeduan's lips parted to ask, but before the words could rise, the monk's final breath escaped from punctured lungs. His heart slowed to silence. All life vanished from his blood.
And Aeduan was left staring at yet another corpse rotting beneath the rain.CHAPTER 2
Iseult thought he might not be coming back. All night, she had waited — since dusk, when Aeduan had first strode off to inspect the path ahead.
The sun set, the moon rose, the rain came. The moon set, the rain subsided. Until at last, mist and dawn laid claim to the mountainside. Still, Aeduan did not appear.
Logically, Iseult knew it was unlikely that he would never return. After everything that they had been through together, why would he abandon her now? Two weeks, he had stayed by her side. Two weeks he had guided Owl and Iseult higher into the Sirmayans with neither payment nor prod to force him onward.
Viscerally, though, Iseult could easily find a thousand reasons the Bloodwitch would never return. A thousand excuses from coin to company for why he'd strode into the foggy forest at dusk and why he might never come back.
The story that shone brightest though, as the sun's first rays clambered over mountain peaks, was that he was kept away not by choice, but by captor. Or injury.
That possibility sent her pacing on the gravel clearing beside their campsite. Ten steps one way. Pivot. Ten steps the other. Pivot. She never left sight of the narrow entrance leading to a dry, cozy cave of Owl's creation. Inside, the girl's mountain bat, Blueberry, curled fiercely around the child's sleeping form, leaving little space for anyone else.
Not that Iseult could have slept had she been in there too. Sleep had been her enemy for days now. Ever since the fire and the voice that controlled it had slithered into her dreams. Burn them, whispered a leering face consumed by flame. Each night he came to her. Burn them all.
She had tried to cleave him in her sleep. Tried to sever his Threads and corrupt his fire magic, just as she had done in her waking in the Contested Lands, but the man had only laughed while the flames swept higher. Flames that were all too real, as she'd learned that first night, when Aeduan had roused her. A stray ember from the campfire, he'd said, and too much kindling nearby.
Iseult had not bothered to contradict him. She also had not slept again, and that lack of sleep had left her with no means to speak to Esme about why this was happening. About why the Firewitch she had killed now seemed to live inside her.
No exhaustion burned in her eyes tonight, though. She wanted to leave — wanted to walk between those pines exactly as Aeduan had done at dusk and search every corner of the shadowy terrain. She knew it would be a fruitless hunt, though: Aeduan was too skilled to leave tracks behind.
Besides, she could hardly leave Owl.
Either Aeduan would return or he would not, and Iseult would keep marching back and forth until she had her answer.
Iseult heard him approach before she saw him. It was so unlike the ever-cautious Bloodwitch that she actually drew a cutlass from the sheath at her waist. There were bears in these woods. Mountain cats, too. And unlike humans, they bore no Threads — no colors to tendril and twirl above them, telling Iseult what they felt and to whom they were bound.
It was no Threadless animal that stumbled from the tree line, though, but the Threadless Bloodwitch instead. The instant she saw Aeduan's Carawen cloak brightening the shadows between the trees, cool relief crumbled through her. Until she realized something was wrong.
He limped from the forest, and his eyes, when they slid up to hers, were hooded and lost. "They're all dead." The proclamation came out low and hoarse. Aeduan swayed.
The relief in her belly splintered to horror. He was hurt. Badly.
Without another thought, Iseult shot toward him and swooped an arm behind his back — except her hand met rain-soaked fletching and arrows. Countless bolts erupted from his back like the spines of a sea urchin, and now that she looked, his cloak was shredded and stained to brown.
Aeduan listed into her; his breath came in short gasps. His crystal eyes swirled red. Whatever was happening, he clearly would not stay upright much longer, and Iseult didn't want him passing out on top of her. Right where Owl could walk out and see him. The girl had a tendency to shatter the earth when she was upset.
There's a spring uphill, Iseult thought, a crude plan cobbling together. I can clean him there without Owl finding us, and I can dry his clothes in the morning sun. She just had to keep Aeduan from slipping into unconsciousness before they reached the water.
With aching slowness, she guided Aeduan up the hillside. His eyelids fluttered, his feet dragged. Each step sent the ice in her belly knotting wider. As did each arrow she counted — seventeen in total. More than enough to kill a regular man, but Aeduan was no regular man.
Still, Iseult had seen him hit with double this many bolts before. There was something else happening here. Something deeply wrong. For some reason, he did not seem to be healing. His Bloodwitchery was not squelching or cleaning, it was not ejecting arrows and knitting him back together as she had seen it do before.
"Are you hurt somewhere else?" Iseult pitched the question into his ear. Stay awake, stay awake. "Is there a wound I cannot see?"
"Arrows." The answer slurred out. Useless.
She changed tactics. "Is this injury why you took so long to return?"
A grunt, a vague nod. Then: "Survivor."
Iseult tensed. "The woman from Owl's tribe?" Aeduan had followed the woman's scent for almost two weeks now. Twice, they had found these massacres, and twice, the woman's scent had continued on. This latest would mark the third instance. But when Iseult searched Aeduan's face for answers, all she got were pallid cheeks and harsh exhales.
"Was the woman there?" she pressed. Still no answer, though, so she let it go. They had reached the spring — thank the Moon Mother — and Iseult's exhaustion was catching up fast. Fear could only sustain a tired body for so long.
Iseult led Aeduan to a low boulder beside the spring's clear pool. The creek that trickled down the mountain had doubled in size overnight, thanks to the rain. With every muscle tensed, she eased Aeduan into a sitting position. A moan escaped his throat. Pain slashed across his face; she could hear his teeth grinding.
Even in the worst flames of the battlefield, even in the sea-swept moonlight beside a lighthouse, she had never seen him wear such suffering. Gripping his shoulder to keep him upright, she circled behind him. She would have to cut the cloak off if she wanted to keep this clean —
"Hurry," he said, and with that command, Iseult gave up any hope of avoiding a mess. There was no time to lose. She just hoped Owl would not wake soon.
She gripped the first arrow and yanked. Minuscule barbs shredded flesh, and blood sprayed. Aeduan hissed, head tipping back, as one by one, Iseult snapped the arrows from his flesh, and a pile of bloodied white feathers and cedar gathered by her ankles.
By the time she removed the last, his white cloak was streaked with fresh red. His spine slumped, and the only thing keeping him from falling headfirst into the water was Iseult's iron grip upon his collar. With the last arrowhead removed, she dug her heels into the gravel shore and towed him back. She wanted him to be upright so they could move away from the growing pool together.
Instead, Aeduan toppled backward. She barely caught him before he hit the earth and her knees buckled beneath his weight. Her bottom hit the rocks, pain barking through her seat bones. Her back hit a boulder, and her head cracked hard.
The spring wavered. Her eyes burned with sudden tears.
"Aeduan," she said, but her rasping words earned no response. His magic had finally dragged him into a sleep. He would not wake up until he was healed.
Meaning Iseult was trapped beneath him, while her chest swelled with ... with something. "You're heavy," she said, trying to move him. But she had no energy left. Not enough to move his blood-slickened dead weight. His head, peaceful and still, rested on her shoulder.
He was so warm against her, even as the cold morning caressed her skin. Then there it was again, that swelling in her lungs. Warm. Fizzy. Until at last it burst forth in a shrill laugh that felt a thousand miles away. It was someone else's panicked amusement. Someone else's weary body and fire-kissed mind. Someone else's burgeoning headache and bloating scalp bruise.
Iseult was countless miles from her home, pinned to the rocks by a man who'd once been her enemy, while a wren chirruped from the waking forest nearby — and while a little Earthwitch and her mountain bat slept inside the hollow hill below.
If only Safi could see me now.
Unable to fight it any longer, Iseult let her eyelids sink shut, and the world went quiet.
* * *
Heat roars. Wood cracks and embers fly.
"Run." Blood drips from his mother's mouth as she speaks.
It splatters his face.
With arms stained to red, she pushes herself up. She wants him to crawl out from beneath her. She wants him to escape. "Run, my child, run."
He does not run. He does not move. He waits, as he always does, for the flames to overtake him and the world to burn alive.
* * *
Aeduan had been in this nightmare before. Trapped and bleeding while flames crowded closer. Heat fanned against him, smoke scorched his lungs. But instead of the fiery tent he was used to seeing, instead of the storm he knew would come coursing in, he found only blue sky and wispy clouds. Instead of the clotted stench of his mother's blood, he smelled only the faint reek of his own.
The pain in his chest was the same, though. Agony that did not want him to move, that argued with his mother's last words. Run, my child, run.
Aeduan tried to turn, as he always did in the dream to no avail. Except this time, his head swiveled easily. The arrows and death that usually pinned him down were not stacked atop him. Instead, he realized with a jolt of confusion, he was pinning down another.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Bloodwitch"
Copyright © 2019 Susan Dennard.
Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Bloodwitch was phenomenal, by far the best yet in the Witchlands series, and not just because one of my favorite characters was the titular one this time. I will, however, firstly recommend you read Sightwitch before this – and the first two, of course. There are so many separate trails of breadcrumbs left in those pages, and it is fulfilling as heck to smoosh them together into these insane realizations in Bloodwitch. “All she had to do was apologize. Grovel and beg. Exactly as she’d done her entire life. And perhaps that was what a good daughter would do. That was what a loving, loyal daughter would do. But maybe she wasn’t any of those things, and maybe she had no interest in sharing the glory or sharing the blame. Not anymore. Not with him.” An excellent quote from Vivia, my new queen. There was so much spectacular material here. I mentioned it in my review for the excerpt, but Susan even made my least-favorite characters both bearable and a little more rootable-for in this book. Safi felt as though she had more agency than in Windwitch – although she still can’t attend a party, apparently, without calamity ensuing. Merik was thoroughly schooled by a female character, and I adored that plotline immensely, given his arrogance and general dislikeability for me. I found myself rooting for him in the end. I also found excellent new ships to ship – and the introduction of the Paladins and their potential reincarnations wandering around, mentioned in Sightwitch, has blown my mind. Who is one? Who isn’t? I can’t!!! “Loss was such an abstract thing until one was pressed beneath it and forced to stare into her dead eyes.” Oh, my Aeduan! You suffered so much in this book, and yet I loved it. I’m sorry. Such growth is revealed in this book, and I only enjoyed his character more! The bloodwitchery itself has always fascinated me, and oh my goodnessssss, it was again, so cool in this one. The switching POVs of these books frustrates me at times – it builds the tension, but it takes away from Aeduan moments, so it simultaneously kills and thrills me lol. Also, that satisfaction when a slow burn ignites - *chef's kiss*. Overall, another solid five stars for one of my fave authors, series, and characters. I cannot wait for the next book.
I received all the released books from Bookish First, and I really enjoyed getting to know this new world and the amazing characters. There is so much diversity in this series and the world building is creative and amazing. I liked the third book in the series for all of the questions that were answered. I also loved seeing the partnership between Aeduan and Iseult. There were a lot of twists to the story, and you find out that people who you thought were on the good side, might not actually be. I am really looking forward to the continuation of this series and what happens to the characters, especially the relationships that are beginning to be established. My hope is that the next book will really focus on Iseult.
This was an awesome book! I really like how it fleshed out Aeduan's story and you got to see some details about when he was younger. The dynamics between him and Iseult were great and made up for the lack of Safi and Merik who were off on separate adventures for most of the book. I also really liked Vivia, who got much more likeable in this novel as opposed to in Windwitch when she seemed like the villain. She deserves to have a happy ending. It was non stop excitement as all the sides in the war that was started after the truce was broken got their acts together and all were after Safi and Iseult, the chosen ones of prophecy, to kill or capture them. The only bad thing I can say about this book is that it leaves me hanging and longing for the next one right away!
Bloodwitch is the third installment in an addictive young adult fantasy series that will leave readers breathless. First of all, I want to say that you really need to read the first two books in the series before this one. In some series, you can read books out of order or as stand-alones, but this isn't one of those. There's so much happening and so many characters with different alliances and relationships that you need to read the books in order. That being said, this is one of those books that you adored so much that you don't even know where to begin a review. Or what to say, because you'll end up rambling on forever. I'll attempt to make my review coherent enough to understand (hopefully). Every single aspect of this book (and series) is downright amazing. The characters - both main and major - are all well rounded and complex as well as being realistic and easy to connect with. With each book in the series, we keep adding new characters to our cast - which sounds like it would be confusing, but it's just not. We get to know these people so deeply that I completely empathize with each and every one of them. I love getting to know everyone better as the series continues, as well as meeting and growing to love the new additions. We get to watch them as they grow and change, as their priorities and allegiances change, and especially how their relationships with others change as well. I think it's an amazing feat to have such a wide cast of characters that are each so unique and integral to the story, and that each of them grabs the reader's heart. I don't think I've come across anything quite like it before and it definitely sets it apart from everything else out there. The world building is simply magnificent. The author creates an entire world full of different countries, cultures, groups of people, customs and beliefs, and politics. It's incredibly detailed and the descriptions are vivid with tons of imagery to bring everything to life in front of your eyes. I felt like I was actually there alongside each character as their adventures were happening. Since this is the third book in the series, we get to know these lands and their people even better - including secret agendas, hidden plots, and alliances that have been brewing behind the scenes. I found it complicated and wonderful, and I can't wait to go back to the Witchlands. The plot is crazy and I don't even think I can explain it without sounding ridiculous. There's the overarching plot of Iseult and Safi along with their role in a sacred prophecy. But the series is also full of subplots and stories concerning other characters that are all intertwined in some way. It's like reading several stories at once, except they're all wrapped up in one novel. Every character has their own journey and obstacles along the way. We get to see them tackle these along with the others in the group while everything is happening all at basically the same time. It's hard to explain, but if you read the books, you know what I mean. I'm usually not big into epic fantasies, but this book and series is nothing short of amazing. It has everything one can want and then some. There's something for every reader - adventure, action, thrills, mystery, history, fantasy, and romance. I can't recommend this book (and series) highly enough to any reader out there who wants something bold, breathtaking and breaks the mold.
“For Lady Fate makes all men choose eventually. Even Bloodwitches.” Bloodwitch follows Aeduan as he tries to help Iseult and Owl stop the destruction that is coming. He must confront his father and the past if there is to be a chance. Let me just start this review by saying, wow! Susan Dennard knocked it out of the park with the third installment in The Witchland series. I still am not able to deal with my emotions for this book and the book hangover is still real. I don’t know if I will ever bounce back. All of our favorite characters are back and trying to stop the destruction that is coming. The story mostly follows Aeduan, the bloodwitch, and there is even flashbacks of his past included. We start to understand more of his upbringing and why he is the way he is but we also see him grow in many ways and it was just beautiful! Although he is the center of it all, we still get other PoVs and honestly Vivia has really grown on me in this book! She really sets down her own path and becomes who she needs to be and not what others want her to be. Also, her father is the worst. Merik is still trying to live his best life since his life got turned around and I still feel bad for him and he made have made me cry. Speaking of crying, I may have cried more than once because the plot is just so crazy and devastating and this book will get you filled with all the emotions and when you think you are safe to be happy, she crushes all your hopes and dreams. But, I loved the plot and this has been the best book yet from this series! I don’t want to say too much else because I am trying to keep this spoiler free but it is so hard! I love this series and I love this book! If you haven’t started this series, don’t wait any longer just go read it!
I really enjoyed reading Bloodwitch the third book in the Witchlands series and I love this whole series overall. The third novel follows Aeduan the bloodwitch and his story. This novel starts high in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets. The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past. I love the story building of this novel and I fell in love with this whole series.
Susan Dennard has mentioned before that she tries to make each book better than the last. She is always working to better her craft. It shows in Bloodwitch. Bloodwitch is the best book in the Witchlands series yet, and I could not put it down. Bloodwitch ends right where Windwitch left off. We have new narrators and POVs to experience, like Stix (Stacia), and the story is richer for it. I re-read Truthwitch and Windwitch prior to starting Bloodwitch, and I think it was really important to understand all of the rich intricacies of the plot and characters. This is a series that really benefits from having the other books be fresh in your mind. This is a complex world with a lot of characters and a dense plot you see more commonly in adult fantasy. There is a lot to keep track of, and I could see how readers would have a hard time following if they do not remember details from an earlier book. I highly recommend reading them one after the other and you will see so many more threads and connections click into place. Aeduan takes center stage in this one, and I was 100% here for it. He and Iseult race to take Owl back to her tribe. The way all three of their relationships develop in this book was definitely one of my favorite parts. I also loved the development of Vaness and Vivia. I know lots of people seemed to be disappointed in Windwitch. Do not give up on this series. It is so, so worth it. Bloodwitch was one of my favorite reads of 2018. It wraps up in a very satisfying way with a great conclusion that will leave readers wanting more without a huge, incomplete cliffhanger. I cannot wait to see what happens next.
I was riveting right from the start. I couldn't put it down. Loved it.
Such an amazing book! I cannot wait for the next one. Dennard completely captured my attention and made me want so much more. I loved how this book played out and I can't wait to see what happens next.
With each book this series gets better and better. The relationships between the characters, the twists and turns, and the plot are so entertaining and I am so invested. Susan Dennard is a genius writer and world builder. I cannot wait for the next installment. I love this series so much and I am excited to see more of Safi's and Iseult's reunion. However, I won't be able to breathe until I find out what will happen to Merik and Kullen, and until Aeduan and Iseult find each other again.
This series just keeps getting better and better! I love how each book focuses on one character, but we still get other perspectives, too. It keeps the story and the storytelling so fresh and exciting. I LOVE the friendship between Iseult and Safi. It's so wonderful to read a story that focuses on a female friendship like that.
There is so much I want to say about this book but I cannot hide spoilers on Amazon. First, Susan is a blessing for anyone who is an aspiring writer... she offers so much free advice and social media chats that I don't know how she gets writing in. But, this book is amazing. The last 12 chapters or so had me non-stop page turning. I have to reread it again at least once more to try to slow down and get the details because I was so enthralled that I couldn't read fast enough. I wish her next book would be Bloodwitch 2 because Aeduan and Iseult are my favorite characters.. still! I definitely teared up at some "past" scenes... seriously, buy this series just for the last 12 chapters of this book! You won't regret it.
AMAZING An amazing sequel to a series. Highly recommend.
First, the Bloodwitch is my favorite in The Witchlands series so far. SO SO SO GOOD:) Second, for anyone who hasn't read Sightwitch yet, you really need to! It's going to fill in so many "Need to knows" for Bloodwitch.
I had not read anything from this series so far and had to read the first two books quickly so I could start Bloodwitch. I don’t usually root for romances in books but I’m on board for both in this series. The story is well written and I enjoy the journey of getting answers with the characters. This world is very well established and easy to understand although it took a minute for me to wrap my mind around the doorways. Overall, very pleased with this series and excited for the next book! I will say that I’m not really a fan of covers with people on them. However, these covers are great because they give me a better idea of the character and what they wear even if it’s described in the book.
Blodwitch (preview Exerpt) by Susan Dennard. 5⭐️ Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge. May contain spoilers for the the few books! My love for this series is tremendous. In the beginning of Bloodwitch we start off two weeks after the events that happened at the end of Windwitch. Safiya is in Marstok with Vaness, The Empress. Iseault is trying to survive with Owl and Aeduan by her side. Prince Merik feels so lost within himself he doesn’t know how to control it. And Aeduan, he’s always known to not let his feelings of any kind show but now that it may have all changed for him he’s not sure how to keep his feelings in check. this book is so good, this whole series deserves a dang award! i stan for every character that continues to break, bend and heal my herat ever so slighly!
This excerpt definitely whet my appetite for the full volume! Like Truthwitch and Windwitch, Susan Dennard focuses a little more heavily on the character for whom the book is named. We finally learn more about some of the more elusive characters, especially Aeduan. However, she continues to follow almost all the characters from the previous two books, so this anywhere from six to a dozen characters in any chapter. (Because of this I would suggest that readers read the first two books in the series before jumping in to Bloodwitch. You could follow the basic premise but there are so many characters, feuds, and problems that there is no time to linger on introductions). The world Dennard has constructed is large and the magic systems and world building does not disappoint! I was also thrilled to see the continued budding of an LGBTQ+ relationship (side note: why is that so rare in fantasy novels? You are literally creating a new universe from the ground up!) and well as the deepening of unlikely friendships. I love how many strong women there are in this series; they are in every social strata of life! I would recommend this book for any fantasy lovers. I was reminded of some of Terry’s Brooks early work and the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Burdugo. In the preview I was given, there was no gratuitous violence (such as detailed torture, etc.), sex, or language. I have no trigger warning warnings to attach to the preview. I would recommend it to teens and up.
It is no secret how much I love Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series. I fell head over heels in love with Truthwitch and even more so with Windwitch and Sightwitch. And then when I found out I won an ARC of Bloodwitch from BookishFirst a few weeks ago? Tears. Instant happy tears. And, y’all, I could NOT put this one down! Seriously, Bloodwitch is one of Sooz’s best books to date. I cry on any day that ends in Y but these emotions ran DEEP. And I just need y’all to pre-order and suffer with me! So there’s not much to go off of from the jacket copy. BUT. As any Witchlander would know, we’ve all been heavily anticipating the return of #Baeduan since the end of Windwitch. And hoooooo boy, did Bloodwitch deliver. We get so much insight into Aeduan’s character, and we see so many different sides of the story. The part I loved most about Bloodwitch was how it developed every character. And I mean ALL of them. It’s a big ensemble, but Sooz made it work. And the best part? It wasn’t just the protagonists that got that treatment. The folks we’d been led to believe were the bad guys get their stories fleshed out and you’re suddenly rooting for any person who shows up on the page. They’re all multi-faceted and you need to know how everyone fares at the end of the war. It was a non-stop gripping tale that wove and unwound all plot threads, until it all came together in one big climax. I couldn’t stop reading. I cried while reading on my lunch break at work. I needed to read it again. And, no spoilers, but once I hit the last 100 or so pages, it was just non-stop feels, y’all. Don’t sleep on this book, get it off the ice and DEVOUR it immediately! Witchlanders, don’t miss out. I’m sure y’all have pre-ordered ages ago, but if you’re new to the Witchlands, pick up Truthwitch and binge that series, yo. You won’t regret it. This series has already enshrined itself in my “Fave Fantasies of All Time” list. It beat out Harry Potter, guys. I’m not kidding.
Bloodwitch is the third novel in the Witchlands series by Susan Dennard. I’ll be honest with you here; I only discovered this series a few months ago, but I’m so hooked. I read all three novels and the novella in short order, and now I’m already experience withdrawal from the series. I honestly can’t wait for news about the next Witchlands book. In the short amount of time I’ve been following this series, I’ve seen the fans begging for Aeduan to get a chance to tell his story. As you can probably tell from the title of this novel, it’s finally his turn. I’ll admit that I’m also exceptionally fond of Aeduan, so I may have joined in on the excitement to see his side. I loved everything about this novel. It was everything I had hoped for, and so very much more. It expanded on all of the plots and characters I’ve come to love, and even let us know more about a few others that I hadn’t thought much about. The insight was perfection. Obviously, I was thrilled about the Aeduan perspective and focus. That was pure perfection. Aeduan had been a fascinating character before, but Bloodwitch brought him to life. He rapidly became a character worthy of his own book – heck, I wouldn’t mind a whole series just for him. I loved reading about Aeduan’s past and learning more about what drove him. It helped show us just how conflicted he’s become in recent times. So many different allegiances are pulling him all over the place – it’s no wonder he was introduced as a more grayscale character at first. The tension between him and Iseult was beautifully written. Their relationship is so wonderful and yet so believable. I love how gradual the changes were. I honestly don’t think either character would have been able to point out any of the changes as they happened, but that’s what made it all so perfect and real. Safi’s plot was absolutely amazing as well. I loved everything about it. From her trying to find a solution to her current predicament…to her trying to learn more about her abilities and their limitations. I personally am fascinated by her truthwitchery, so I particularly loved these parts of the story. The new perspectives were oddly refreshing. I still loved every chapter dedicated to Aeduan, Iseult, Safi, and Merik, but I also really enjoyed learning more about the other characters involved in this very complex story. Their perspectives helped to provide a better idea of what was happening in other locations, as well as showing us the depth of the dangers occurring. This was a tense and brilliant read. I feel like every chapter built on the previous one. The worldbuilding in the first books helped support I ended up reading Bloodwitch in one sitting, and I’ll be honest with you. I kind of regret that. Because now I have no more Bloodwitch to read, and I can’t exactly read it for the first time again, now can I? It was absolutely worth the read and even worth the wait. Now the only problem is going to be waiting for the next novel. I know who I’m hoping it’ll be focused on…
This book was amazing! It completely lived up to my expectations and more. There’s only so much I can say without intense spoilers so, here are my top 4 reasons you should read this book: 1. The writing is compulsive. The tension running through the pages meant I read far later than I should have. I just couldn’t put the book down because I was snared into the story and world. WINDWITCH feels a little like three separate stories, but BLOODWITCH, which has more story lines, feels like a single narrative. The villains are brought front and centre – and they’re terrifying. 2. The twists! There are so many twists and turns to this story, revelations that shake the series to the core. It’s part of why it’s such addictive writing, but prepare for everything you think you know about the Witchlands to be challenged. 3. The relationships Obviously, the Aeduan/Isuelt relationship is the main one explored here – and it is toe-curling brilliant with so many ups and downs that feel natural. However, the other relationships are just and fun and surprising: Safi and Vaness, Safi and Habim, Merik and Kullen, and Vivia and her father to name a few. 4. The ending. It was utterly stunning, fast-paced and continually surprising me. Obviously, this is the most spoiler-prone part to talk about, but it was brilliant. The stakes are up, while the story has a satisfying conclusion that leaves you clamouring for more. I can’t wait for the next book now!
First, if you haven’t read Sightwitch, do it before reading Bloodwitch. You’ll have a much better understanding of events in Bloodwitch if you’ve read Sightwitch. Bloodwitch picks up 2 weeks after Windwitch. We start with Safi helping Vaness as part of their bargain, Vivia ready to take the crown (but will they let her??), Merik looking for answers but Kullen/the Fury interferes, and of course, there’s Iseult, Owl, and Aeduan searching for Owl’s family. We also see more of the Raider King and his objective. Each on their own mission, they may meet up again, or they may be further separated. You’ll meet characters you admired but they won’t be what you expect because Susan Dennard is a master at distracting while cutting the purse strings for the full shock effect in her scenes. You’ll constantly be asking yourself “how did I not see that coming?” Then you’ll go back and realize the hints were there all along, you were just distracted and didn’t pick up on them the first time. This book really felt like playing an adventure game – the world is so complex and each character is on a journey and you have no idea what to expect. You don’t know if alliances will work out or if enemies are really allies. There were twists that I never expected, characters I cared for and now can’t believe and may not be able to forgive, and so many more questions than when I started! You would think I would have learned after Windwitch, but I misjudged some characters and have a new set of favorites. The ending is both shocking and relieving. I love how this series always seems to shock and relieve at the same time.
5 ~ "Te Varuje" ~ Stars Once again the story picks up right after book 2 but the pacing is fast, suspenseful and packed full of intensity. If (like me) you have been curious, ehrm... *dying! cough cough* about Aeduan the Bloodwitch, this book will answer so many questions and make you fall in love with this baddie turned hero really early on. I liked Aeduan before, I thought he was interesting, mysterious and he instantly captivated me. But finally getting his background and finally getting quality page time with him and his POV was more than I expected and I loved every minute of it. Of course we also get my (tied with Aeduan for 1st place) favorite character, Iseult. She is still a complete bada$$ and I loved every moment with her in it. S.D. continues to feed my Iseult and Aeduan obsession and I know I'll be re-reading this one soon if only because I'll need my fix of these two way before the next installment is due out. I'm really hoping the next one will be Iz's story. There is so much about her that we still don't know and the way things ended! Ugh!!! Dying!!! This read was so worth it and I'm just as happy to get Safi and Merik's POVs in this book. I'm still holding out for an epic reunion for these two and can't wait for it *fingers crossed* to happen. Safi has grown by leaps and bounds in this one and I love seeing her grow into her potential. Merik continues to break my heart, he is such a resilient character and he deserves a happy ending. On all fronts. If ever there was a character born to be a hero, it's Merik. I will admit that the politics did snag my interest here, way more than any of the past books. Things are not as they once seemed and the questions and doubts that spring up added a good dose of intrigue to the story and helped pick up the pace. There are so many new things and people cropping up and I'm seriously anxious to know more. Shout out to Owl and Blueberry! #DynamicDuo Vivia - who I admit, was hard to warm up too in the previous books, came out on top this round. She still isn't a favorite character (cuz come one! Beaeduan and Iz!) but I loved her growth. Her POVs really helped shed some light on her inner workings, Lol. I admit I did speed read through her sections because . . . I needed all the Baeduan/Iseult moments I could get! #SorryNotSorry. I will say that I really liked her and Vaness together. I know she's got Stix but I was really feeling the chemistry between the Ironwitch and the Tidewitch during their negotiations. Would I recommend? I fell in love with this series and would highly recommend. If you liked the The Truthwitch and managed to get through the slower paced but still captivating Windwitch, you'll LOVE Bloodwitch. Trust me. This has got to be the best book in the series so far! This was the perfect blend of action, suspense and magic. The witchlands world is growing and expanding right along side the characters that flesh out the story and I'm so deeply immersed in this series that I feel the withdrawal so painfully! It continues in the same pattern as the previous books with a handful of different POVs - which usually doesn't work for me because I feel like too much goes on and I never get a chance to really connect with any one character. That is so not the case in Bloodwitch. I cared about everyone. my problem was that I would get sucked into one POV only to stop and have it switch to someone else who I would again get really into, only to have it stop again. It was a vicious
Before you read this review, I want to warn you for any possible spoilers. While I will try my best to not say anything specific, because this is book 3, I cannot guarantee that I won't say something if you haven't read the books before. Another note before you read this review - I love anything Sooz writes. Period. Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard has been an anticipated book since the first book, Truthwitch. As soon as I met Aeduan, I knew I wanted to know his story. He is one of the more complex characters that I've meet in a fantasy setting, and his magic? Well, that just makes him interesting. Bloodwitch takes place almost immediately after the second book, Windwitch. The turn of events that take place in the end of Windwitch just catapults us into the beginning of this book, and wow, we take off running. Bloodwitch is told through multi-POV's (point-of-views), and I really appreciate that about these books. I don't normally prefer POVs, mostly because I'm weird, but in The Witchland books, I really am grateful for it. Not only do we understand each character, but we see similar and contrasting thoughts, actions, and emotions. The events don't always happen simultaneously, but in this timeline, it's like seeing different camera angles in a movie. Let's talk characters. Safi and Isuelt are the star players of these books. Despite the prophecy, these two started it all. Their friendship, the bonds of their sisterhood, and every moment in time that surround these two are what catapult the different events in these books. But, without Merik and Aeduan, I would be lost. Without these two strong characters, I would be missing the other side of the coin, so-to-speak. The balance between these four characters are what make me appreciate the details and timeline of these books. I can only fathom what it takes to get the details of this book turned into a book. I mean, the little cookie crumbs left everywhere are so well placed, that when I realize what is happening , and that I should have known it all along, well *insert head explosion emoji here*. Guys, I loved this book. It has such a great mix of all the right elements. I appreciate this series, and am mildly obsessed. You need Bloodwitch, and The Witchland series in your life.