Summary (from the publisher):War is sweeping the witchlands and tainted magic is destroying both friends and enemies. While the Bloodwitch Aeduan is keeping one crucial secret . . .
Here, loyalties will be tested as never before . . . The Bloodwitch Aeduan and Iseult the Threadwitch race for safety, desperate to evade the Raider King. His attempts to subdue the Witchlands are gaining momentum, as his forces sow terror in the mountains, slaughtering innocents. Despite differing goals, Aeduan and Iseult have grown to trust one another in the fight to survive. Yet trust is a tenuous bond . . .
When Merik sacrifices himself to save his friends, he’s captured by the Fury. However, Merik isn’t one to give up easily, and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect those he loves. Then, in Marstok, Safi the Truthwitch is helping their empress uncover a rebellion. But those implicated are killed and Safi becomes desperate for freedom.
Perhaps if Safi and Iseult were united, their powers could bring peace. However, chaos is not easily tamed and war has come once more to the Witchlands. Fate’s knife will come for them all, and the Bloodwitch Aeduan can no longer hide from his past.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Earlier in 2019, I re-entered the world of Susan Dennard’s The Witchlands by rereading Truthwitch and then quickly moved on to Windwitch. After really enjoying the first two installments, I knew I couldn’t put off reading the third book in the series, Bloodwitch, any longer. I took about two months in between Windwitch and Bloodwitch mostly because a.) I jumped into one of my typical contemporary moods and b.) debated if I should read Sightwitch, the series’ novella about Ryber, beforehand. Although I’ve seen many great reviews for Sightwitch, I’m not the biggest novella fan and decided to just jump into Bloodwitch. As far as I can tell, having not reading Sightwitch did not affect my reading experience.
While Bloodwitch follows each member of our main cast, this book puts the much-loved Aeduan at the spotlight. I never really didn’t like Aeduan, but his role in Windwitch made me curious to see him take center stage in this installment. Although often heart-breaking, I loved the excerpts from his past. I’m also 100% on the Iseult and Aeduan train. I really liked exploring their relationship, especially with the compliment of Owl.
If I had to choose, my favorite perspective in this book and series is Safi! I just find her power as a Truthwitch so interesting. Aside from her Threadsister of course, her and Vaness just make the perfect badbutt witch team. My heart both loved and broke for how Safi’s storyline in Bloodwitch connects with characters from Truthwtich. My second favorite perspective was Vivia, seeing her take control of Nubrevna. Her connection to a certain Empress has me very intrigued to see the direction of their relationship in latter installments. However, her brother, Merrick, does not get much of the spotlight in this installment. While I was disappointed, since Merrick was one of my favorite characters in Truthwitch, I found his storyline and the action within hard to follow. However, I did like the connection to Windwitch, with Iseult and the Pupeeter. His perspective helped the world-building in that regard.
Like most other books, I really have no problem flying through high fantasy books. In reality, I did fly through Bloodwitch (reading it over four days during a busy school week and while rereading another book), but I noticed that it took me longer to get through my designed page goal counts. For example, I set myself a goal of reading about 100 pages in an hour, but found myself nearing more to 1 ½ to 2 hrs to do so. I think this was largely due to that these chapters pack in a lot of details and names. This is the type of series where I would benefit myself by taking notes every chapter because there are so many perspectives, characters, and places.
I think my biggest ‘disappointment’ with Bloodwitch and this series overall is that there are so many details and elements to remember. I often lost track of characters’ locations and there were definitely a few secondary characters that I didn’t remember. I’ve also forgotten a few of the details of the war/truce—it’s gotten to the point where I’ve forgotten what group is made up of what kind of people and who’s exactly fighting against one another. Many readers have vocalized this need for many high fantasy books, but I think The Witchlands series would benefit from including sort of recap of the previous book right in the beginning. I remembered a lot about Vivia and Safi’s storylines (likely because they are my two favorite characters), but I barely remembered anything that happened to Iseult in Windwitch. In the past two installments, I’ve also found the Fury aspects very hard to follow.
Overall, Bloodwitch was a very exciting and promising installment in The Witchlands series. Based on which characters are reunited in the end, I am very excited to see where their journeys begin in the fourth book. However, I’m definitely going to need some sort of reread or recap beforehand.
This review is based on a review copy provided by the publisher. By no means did receiving this book affect my thoughts and opinions.
Have you read Bloodwitch The Witchlands series? Share in the comments!