Like all Witchlands fans I’ve been waiting impatiently for this book to come out after finishing Bloodwitch and somehow I managed not to skip all my other book reviews to run straight to Witchshadow. Now it’s time to find out what’s instore for Safi and Iseult and the rest of the Witchlands cast, and part of me isn’t sure if I’m ready??? (Or ever will be?)
I read through the Witchlands series at the start of the year so it’s very much still fresh in my mind, and while I’ve not had to wait that long for the next book in the series, I have been desperately waiting for it. The events of the last book were game-changing and even though Iseult and Safi have been reunited this book’s synopsis promises it’s only a short one. That’s not much of a surprise, to be honest, their journies have diverged so much and each one of them has new responsibilities now. This book is going to be both terrifying and amazing, and I’m not sure I’m ready for it but here I go.
I went into this book ready for Safi and Iseult to kick some ass and… got really confused. First I wondered if I was reading the wrong thing or if I’d missed a book without realising it because Witchshadow does not start how any of us expected it to. I have to be honest I was pretty damn angry with Susan Dennard because here I was ready for the girls to get together at last and I was forced to a halt by flashbacks?! It’s a writing technique and not one I have to say I was overly fond of, especially when it took over 62% of the book before events finally matched up and things finally got to where I expected the book to actually start.
And yet, I’ve given the book a full five stars.
Yes, that is how damn good the remaining 48% of the book is. As irritated by the technique Dennard used I can’t deny that it ramped up the drama and anticipation to a boiling point, and then when everything started to happen… wow. I couldn’t take my eyes off the pages. I had expectations for certain things to happen in this book, and some of them happened, and then there are things that I never saw coming. They weren’t even in the same solar system let alone in my mind.
I am still reeling at the implications of some of the reveals in this book and what they mean. I finished Bloodwitch with a certainty of what would happen next and honestly? I have no bloody clue what to expect next. With Witchshadow Dennard has not just pulled the rug out from underneath this universe for me she’s taken the rug away and burned it. The whole board had been wiped clean. In a way, it’s a brand new world and yet in so many ways, it’s really not. There are the same characters we know and love fighting the same fight they always did, but the forces at play that were lurking in the background are no longer lurking. They’re right in the middle of things and there’s no sticking one’s head in the sand anymore.
As usual Dennard’s evocative writing brings to life the struggles and joys of her character’s stories, and as the cover denotes Witchshadow is Iseult’s book. It explores her coming to terms with who and what she is, learning about the power she has and a lot more things that I can’t say because of spoilers. As with all the books in the Witchlands series you’re in for a treat.
What else is there to say? Each book gets better and better as Dennard reveals the tightly woven threads of the Witchlands. They are more complex than I realised and this already epic fantasy series has just reached a new level of epic in Witchshadow. It does not disappoint.
Books by Susan Dennard
Over to you
Thanks for reading my review for Witchshadow, the fourth book in Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series! If you’re new to the series you can check out my reviews for book one, Truthwitch, as well as all the other books in the series. I keep all my reviews spoiler-free so you can read them without ruining the story for you.
If you have read the Witchlands series, are you looking forward to Witchshadow?
Witchshadow is out in the US tomorrow and out in the UK on the 24th!
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