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)
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IAC HEAD WARNS ABOUT CUTS IN BUDGET
By JOHN W. FINNEY
Special to The National Times
Aug. 16, 1961 — Horace Clemons, head of the International Aerospace Coalition, warned the United Nations today that any cuts in the "minimal" space budget would make a manned Mars landing in this decade impossible. He also cautioned that any extension in the timetable of the Mars program would increase the cost of the First Mars Expedition, now estimated at $20 billion. As a result of the $600 million cut made by the United States Congress in this year's budget, he said the IAC has had to sacrifice the "insurance" that had been built into the program "as a hedge against unforeseeable or intractable technical problems" and to delay crucial experimental flights in the Cygnus spacecraft.
Do you remember where you were when the Friendship probe reached Mars? I was getting ready to return from the moon. I'd been up in Artemis Base for a three-month rotation, flying geologists from our tiny colony out to different survey sites.
While we were all called astronauts, only a handful of us were also pilots, by which I mean glorified bus drivers. The rest of the two hundred "citizens" came and went, depending on their area of expertise. Only fifty or so were "permanent" residents in the underground bunkers we called home.
Along with half the population of the base, I skip-walked in the light gravity through a buried gerbil tube called "Baker Street" toward "Midtown." With no atmosphere to protect us from the cosmic rays hitting the moon, we'd scraped up a layer of the moon's surface and buried the tubes in regolith. Aesthetically, the outside of the base looked like a decaying sandcastle. The inside was mostly smooth rubber, occasionally punctuated with light wells, aluminum supports, and pressure doors.
One of the doors hissed open, and Nicole hopped through, holding the handle. She pulled the door closed behind her and dogged it shut.
I spread my legs to kill my momentum as I landed from my last skip. She'd rotated to a position here on the last ship and it was darn good to see her. "Good morning."
"I thought you were Earthbound." Like me, Nicole was wearing a light pressure suit, and had the rubberized safety helmet tethered at her waist like a gas mask from the war. It wasn't much, but in case one of the tubes was breached, it would give us ten minutes of oxygen to get to safety.
"I am, but I wasn't going to miss the first Mars probe landing." I was currently on rotation as a copilot for the small shuttle from the base to IAC's Lunetta orbiting platform. It wasn't much more than a space bus, but the big ships like the Lunetta-to-Earth, Solaris class, were all piloted by men — not that I was irritable about that or anything. I patted the carryall that hung over one shoulder. "Heading straight to the Lunetta rocket after this."
"Say hello to a hot shower for me." She joined me in skip-walking down Baker Street. "Do you think we'll see Martians?"
"Not likely. It looks almost as bleak as the moon, at least from the orbital pictures." We reached the end of Baker Street. The delta-pressure gauge on the panel by the door read lunar normal 4.9 psi, so I pumped the rachet handle to open it. "Nathaniel says he'll pull out his own eyeteeth if there are Martians."
"That's ... graphic. Speaking of, how is he?" "Good." I pulled the door open. "He's been making noises about ... ah ... rocket launches."
Laughing, Nicole slid into the Baker Street-Midtown airlock. "Honestly, you two are like newlyweds."
"I'm never home!"
"You should get him up here again to visit." She winked at me. "I mean, now that private quarters are an option."
"Yeah ... You and the senator should probably put a little more thought into how well the air ducts carry sound." I started pulling the hatch shut.
"Hold the door!" In Baker Street, Eugene Lindholm bounded toward us with loping strides. If you've never seen someone move in low gravity, it's sort of like mixing the grace of a toddler skipping with the ground-eating stride of a cheetah.
I pushed the door open wider. He corrected badly and cracked his head on the frame as he came through.
"Are you okay?" Nicole caught his arm to steady him.
"Thanks." He pressed a hand against the ceiling as he caught his balance. The other hand held a sheaf of papers.
Nicole glanced at me before she moved over to the door into Midtown. I nodded and dogged the Baker Street door shut, but she didn't open the next door.
"So ... Eugene. As someone who flies with Parker ..." She gestured at the papers in his hand. "I don't suppose you want to 'accidentally' drop some of those?"
He grinned. "If you're hoping for duty rosters, all I've got are recipe clippings for Myrtle."
"Drat." She opened the hatch and we headed into Midtown.
Wafting in from the pressure difference came a scent rare on the moon, loam and green and the soft scent of water. The center of the colony had a broad open dome that allowed in filtered light, which nurtured the plants growing here. It was our first really permanent structure.
The areas along the walls had been partitioned into living quarters. Sometimes I wished I were still berthed here, but the newer pilots' quarters were conveniently located by the ports. Other cubicles had been erected for offices and our one restaurant. There was also a barber shop, a secondhand store, and an "art museum."
The very center held a tiny "park." By "park," I mean it wasn't much bigger than a pair of king-sized beds, with a path through the middle. But it was green.
What did we grow in this carefully ameliorated soil? Dandelions. Turns out, when properly prepared they are tasty and nutritious. Another favorite, prickly pear, has beautiful flowers that turn into sweet seedpods, and flat pads that can be roasted or baked. It turns out that many of nature's weeds were well suited to growing in nutrition-poor soil.
"Hot dog." Eugene slapped his thigh. "The dandelions are in bloom. Myrtle has been threatening to try her hand at dandelion wine."
"By 'threatening,' you mean promising, right?" Nicole bounded past the raised beds. "Oh, Elma, also say hello to a dry martini for me when you get home."
"I'll make it a double." I had thought that Nathaniel and I would be some of the first settlers on the moon, but with the Artemis Base established, the agency had turned its attention to settling Mars, and he had to stay on Earth for planning purposes.
Mars consumed everyone's conversations at the IAC. The computers sitting over their equations. The punch card girls keying in endless lines of code. The cafeteria ladies ladling out mashed potatoes and green peas. Nathaniel, with his calculations ... Everyone talked about Mars.
And it was no different on the moon. On the far side of Midtown, they had brought out a giant four-foot television screen from the launch center and erected it on a sort of podium. It looked like half the colony was here, crowded around the TV.
The Hilliards had brought a blanket and what looked like a picnic lunch. They weren't the only ones who were turning this into a social occasion. The Chans, Bhatramis, and Ramirezes had also set up on the ground near the podium. There weren't any children yet, but aside from that, it was almost like a real town.
Myrtle had a blanket set up too, and waved Eugene over. He smiled and waved back. "There she is. Want to join us, ladies? We've got plenty of room on the blanket."
"Thanks! That would be lovely."
I followed him over to the blanket, which looked to have been quilted together from old uniforms, and settled down with Eugene and Myrtle. She'd trimmed her hair from its bouffant into something more suitable to the moon, mostly because aerosols were not a great thing to have in space. She and Eugene had volunteered to be some of the permanent residents. I sorely missed them when I was on Earth.
"Hey!" A voice from the front of the crowd cut through the murmur of conversation. "It's starting."
I rose onto my knees to see over the heads of the folks in front of us. In grainy black and white, the TV showed a broadcast from Mission Control in Kansas, though we were getting it with a 1.3-second delay. I studied each image, looking for Nathaniel. I loved my job, but being away from my husband for months at a time was challenging. Sometimes I thought that quitting and going back to being a computer would be appealing.
On the screen, I could see Basira working away on equations as the teletype coughed out pages. She drew a strong line under a number and lifted her head. "The Doppler signature indicates that the two-stage separation has occurred."
My heart ratcheted up, because this meant that the probe was about to enter the Martian atmosphere. Or, rather, it had entered already. The weird thing was that all the numbers she was getting from Mars were twenty minutes old. The mission had either already succeeded or failed.
Twenty minutes old — I glanced at my watch. How much time did I have before I had to be in the hangar?
Nathaniel's voice came over the television and I inhaled with longing. "Atmospheric entry in three, two, one ... Speed 117,000 kilometers. Downrange distance to landing site is 703 kilometers. Expected parachute deploy in five seconds. Four. Three. Two. One. Mark. Awaiting confirmation ..."
The entire dome seemed to hold its breath, leaving only the constant low hum of fans to stir the air. I leaned toward the screen, as if I could see the numbers coming off the teletype or help Basira with the math. Though, in truth, it had been four years since I'd been in the computer department or doing anything more complicated than basic orbital mechanics.
"Confirm parachute. Parachute has been detected."
Someone let out a whoop in the dome. We weren't down yet, but oh — it was close. I wrapped my fingers in a corner of the quilt, clutching it as if I could steer the probe from here.
"Awaiting confirmation from the spacecraft that retro-rocket ignition has occurred." Still, Nathaniel was talking about an event that had happened twenty minutes ago, while I was listening to his voice from 1.3 seconds ago. The vagaries of life in space.
"At this point in time, we should be on the ground."
Please, oh, please let him be right. Because if they failed to land that probe, the Mars mission would come to a sudden and grinding halt. I looked at my watch again. He should be announcing confirmation of the landing, but the seconds just ticked by.
"Please stand by. We are awaiting confirmation from the Deep Space Network and the Lunetta relay station." Nathaniel wasn't on the screen now, but I could picture him standing at his desk, a pencil gripped so tightly in his fist that it could break at any moment.
A tone sounded.
Beside me, Nicole inhaled sharply. "What is that?"
The tone repeated, and Mission Control dissolved into cheering. Nathaniel's voice rose as he fought to be heard over the din. "What you're hearing, ladies and gentlemen, is the confirmation tone from our Mars probe. This is the first broadcast from another planet. Confirmed. Friendship has landed, paving the way for our manned mission."
I jumped to my feet — we all did — and forgot about gravity. Laughing and soaring awkwardly through the air, I cheered for the success of the Friendship probe and the team who had planned the mission.
* * *
"You're late." Grissom glowered at me as I swung into the pilot's lounge by the port. He had his travel duffel resting by the bench and drank from a sip-pack of coffee.
I glanced at the wall clock. "By thirty seconds."
"That's still late."
He was right, but no one else was there to notice, and launch wasn't for another two hours. "And you're still ugly."
"Heh. I figured you were watching the landing?" He passed me our flight plans to review as we walked to the ship. Grissom grumbled a lot, but he was as much of a space junkie as I was.
I nodded, flipping through the pages of burn times and rates, attitude and velocity. We'd spend three days making the transit to Lunetta, during which time there wasn't much to do but monitor gauges. Heck, even the slow pressure increase from moon base psi to Lunetta's standard psi was automated. "There's not anything to see yet, but I just wanted to ... I don't know. Be there."
Grissom grunted. "Yeah ... I watched the moon landing the same way."
Silence hung between us for a moment with the reminder that I had been on that mission three years ago. It had turned me into something of a celebrity, which was part of why I probably enjoyed life on the moon a little more than life on Earth. I didn't have to deal with fans. Usually.
"Did you watch it? The Mars landing, I mean."
"Nah. Listened to it on the radio." He shrugged as we reached the corridor leading to our ship. "Spent some time with my girl before heading out. They're rotating me down to the Brazilian spaceport for a month to train on the new ship."
"The Polaris class?" I whistled when he nodded. "Confirmed, jealousy."
He snorted. "It'll take a week for me to even stand, I've been up here so long. The training itself won't take more than two weeks."
"Still. The specs on it make it look like a dream. Plus Brazil beats Kansas." I stopped at the hatch to the pilot cabin for the taxi and checked to make sure the delta-pressure gauge was at 4.9 before opening the hatch. There was always a chance that there wasn't a ship on the other side, even though we were at the right port. "A vertical landing will make everything so much easier when going home."
"Won't be as smooth as the moon lander." He shrugged. "I'm fond of the glider myself. Get to see more on approach, but this won't be as weather dependent, and with the hurricanes getting worse ... On the other hand, I don't mind the extra days in orbit waiting for a hole."
"Sure, but that's because you're a wimp about gravity acclimation." I ducked into the compact pilots' compartment. The limp artificial gravity on Lunetta's rotating section was one-third that of Earth — just like Mars — and made a good transition for people coming back from the moon. "I'm hoping for good weather when we head down. Can't wait to get home."
"Then maybe you should have been on time."
I stuck my tongue out at him, laughing, and we got down to the business of our preflight check. One of the nice things about a takeoff from the moon is that there are far fewer variables than on Earth. Without any atmosphere to speak of, we didn't have to deal with weather or wind or anything, really, except a little bit of gravity.
The passenger compartment behind us could hold twenty people. Most flights, it was completely full of specialists who were rotating back to Earth after whatever project they'd come up for had finished. The cargo hold, likewise, would be filled with personal luggage, science experiments, and our very few export items. For instance, one of the geologists had begun carving moon rock, and her sculptures were selling for astonishing amounts back on Earth. Myrtle's "moon quilts" from recycled fabric also fetched enough to finance all three of their sons through graduate school. The arts were surprisingly alive and well in space. I'd even joined in with a sort of paper sculpture made from old punch cards, but hadn't quite gotten up the gumption to try to sell them.
Even people on Earth who didn't like the space program got all excited by anything coming from the moon. I guess if you spend millennia romanticizing a place in myths and legends, it takes a while to wear off.
Grissom and I had flown together often enough that we had the preflight check down to a routine. Not that we skipped any steps. Routine or no, weather or no, we were still sitting atop what was basically a bomb.
It's funny ... the way you can get used to anything.
Two hours later, we'd finished our checklist, and the passengers were all strapped into their seats. Grissom looked over at me and nodded. "Let's light this candle."
The engines whispered to life, nearly silent on the airless surface of the moon. We lifted off and in that acceleration I felt weight again, as if the moon wanted to pull me back down to it. Below us, the gray-and-brown craters fell away, washed in the flames of our exhaust.
I said you can get used to anything. I might have lied.
* * *
Arriving in low Earth orbit and docking with the orbital station, I was a pilot astronaut: even sitting in the copilot seat and mostly handling navigation calculations, I was intimately involved in the procedure. Grissom and I handed off our ship to the replacement pilots, who were heading out for their three-month stint on the moon, and drifted inside.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Fated Sky"
Copyright © 2018 Mary Robinette Kowal.
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
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.
Reading the first two books in the Witchlands series are crucial to being able to follow what's going on in Bloodwitch. If you have, then the third book in the series is even better than the first two books. In Bloodwitch the two main characters, Safi and Iseult, are both trying to survive to reunite with each other as war spreads faster and faster over the Witchlands. One of the things that Dennard has done so well with this series is force you to constantly reevaluate just who exactly the good people and the bad people are by how much she allows you to perceive of their motives and character. Both Aedeun and Vivia have much more depth to them than she initially allows you to see in the first and even second book in the series, making them interesting and compelling characters. By the end of the book the story seems to practically fly off the page, as war threatens to encompass everyone in the Witchlands. I can't wait for the next book!
I love this book soooo much! I really enjoyed it and I just have so many feels about it!! Bloodwitch is definitely my favorite book in the series so far. Not surprising since Baeduan is tied with Iseult for my favorite character. Note: Spoilers ahead~ It was really great learning more about Aeduan and finding out why he acts the way he does. Even better, he finally learns make his choices and overcome the monster he believes himself to be. It was so amazing reading about how Aeduan and Iseult's relationship developed, in spite of the fact that they were apart for most of the book. So many things happened in the book that i was waiting for such as Safi and Merik finding out that they were both alive and of course, Safi and Iseult reuniting! I adore Safi and Iseult's friendship so much! I can't wait for Iseult's book!!!!
This was maybe the best thing to happen since chocolate was invented. I loved, LOVED , the first two books in this amazing, action-packed series. When I heard there was another one, I cried. I kid you not. I sat down on the floor and cried like a little girl. I was so happy and excited. Susan Dennard is an amazing author with characters that leap off the page and action and mystery and twists and turns that make me tear my hair out and scream. Her world-building is out of this world (ha, ha). Her character development is beautiful. Aeduan and Iseult are both strong, dependent protagonists who you can't help but love. This book was emotionally charged, more so than the first two, I think. It was well-written and poignant and just beautiful. I read anything by this author and love it, but this one was my favorite by far.
I will show up to your house and read every one of these out loud to you just so I can relive the joy of the first read. After the perfect setup at the end of Windwitch, we enter Bloodwitch knowing all our players, where they stand, what they want, and where they need to go. Then, as we all expect and hope for in an epic fantasy, Susan Dennard breaks everything . Chapter by chapter, we rotate between all our favorites. There are poisoned arrows, exploding buildings, horses racing through forests, and trebuchets launching seafire. Mountain bats hover, hiss, and fly. Monks betray monks. Monks betray their vows. Hell, everyone breaks a promise at some point! Interrogations, sacrifices, hard choices and thread families knit together and come apart at the seams. This book has deaths, near deaths, minor injuries, and near-misses. Truths and lies and everything in between! There is no rest at the end of the 20-year truce and the entire Witchlands wobbles towards war. Coming into the last 6 chapters, my favorite of the series was still Sightwitch which deftly weaves a dual narrative that brings the past and present together. And Bloodwitch is made 1000 times more enjoyable having read Sightwitch. But then chapter 55.... oh boy. And then chapter 56... momentum building. Susan hits us hard in chapters 57, 58, and 59. Oh my lord! 59! And then we settle into a stunned plateau to marvel at what was given to us. When I think about all that came together in the last six chapters, after all 54 amazing chapters before them, I just stand back and clap. Susan Dennard has delivered a truly marvelous addition to her Witchlands series. One that will forever have a place on my shelf and, probably, a near annual re-read.
Okay: where do I even begin? How do I put my feelings into words? This book was PHENOMENAL. By far the best book in the series yet - and that is saying a lot! It has everything you could ever want: worldbuilding at an epic scope, characters that make you laugh and cry and rage, reunions, separations, romance, friendship, life-and-death moments, and such HEART. I'm still processing all of my feelings because there are so many of them. If you started the series and have any doubt about continuing, do it. Read them. They just keep getting better and better. I plan on doing many re-reads to catch clues and hints at where the series is going from here!
It’s here, it’s here, it’s here!! Bloodwitch released today and OH. MY. GOODNESS. Writing this without spoilers, is slightly a challenge, but at the same time you all need to know how amazing this series is. If you aren’t caught up you can check out my reviews for Truthwitch, Windwitch, and the novella (book 2.5) that blew my freaking mind Sightwitch. Seriously I’d just go read them. Let me start with I cried. And screamed, and yelled, and had to set the book down for bit to just BREATHE. Sooz has packed you the tightest plot, full of details, information, action, drama, and so many twists and turns I don’t know how she condensed it into a single novel. I always appreciate her writing, but this is one of the most beautifully woven pieces of craft I’ve read. Sooz is able to pack more nuanced character interaction, snippets of the impending catalyst, tantalizing hints of backstory, and romantic tension. Something that never ceases to amaze me is the absolute fluidity in which five different points of view are woven together. Not only how clear each voice is, and how they each have their own story and role to play, but Bloodwitch kicks the character growth up about 10 notches. You know she has to do this through hardship and different circumstances that teach lessons, and our poor cinnamon rolls are rather put through the ringer. This book made me so proud of Vivia, Merik, Safi, Iseult, and Aeduan. Team, the strands are finally starting to come together. All the build up we’ve been getting, you can see the hint of an outline. This means that yet again, I am blown away by the amount of worldbuilding. You would think that by book four, there wouldn’t be much more about the world, the magic, the politics that can be exposed. You would be wrong. I’ve said before that Sightwitch took my blinders off to the deep complexities within the Witchlands, and Bloodwitch continued with that fact. The momentum that was building toward the War has taken on a new shape, and the players pulling the strings are brilliant in their manipulations. This has been done with such care, that it is beyond apparent how real each character within the book is, and how important they are to the overall plot line. All of this just highlights the level of detail, and brilliance that took to create this world. I enjoy complex books, and Sooz’s Witchlands have utterly stolen my heart. Not only can she deliver a complex and mysterious plotline, with fantastical world building, but she gives you flawed and lovable characters tied up with the perfect amount of humor, and sprinkled with drama. Her writing keeps you flipping pages–or tapping the screen–until you run out of words. I without a doubt of hesitation hope you dive in to this series. It’s easily one of my favorites of all time, and I hope it becomes one of yours too.
Bloodwitch is the book all Witchland fans have been waiting for, and author Susan Dennard does not disappoint! Everyone's favorite Bloodwitch Aeduan takes center stage, but each point of view we see offers plenty of excitement, pulse-pounding action, and heart-wrenching character growth. While this is the third full novel in the series, many elements introduced in the Sightwitch novella become very prevalent here, so be sure to have read that first in addition to the other two full novels (best reading order is Truthwitch, Windwitch, Sightwitch, Bloodwitch). There's something about the Witchlands books that continues to feel so fresh and immersive in Bloodwitch. The world is extremely well-developed - each nation/empire has its own agenda, history, strengths and weaknesses, and Dennard does an exceptional job of not drawing a stark line between "good guys" and "bad guys." The characters read like real people - they all have lovable quirks and defining flaws, they all make mistakes, some of them try to learn and be better, and some don't, but nobody is presented as inherently morally superior. Bloodwitch does an exemplary job of juggling plotlines and perspectives that span continents without the pacing dragging or one point of view overwhelming the others. While each character arc feels unique, the overarching theme of the book is agency, and how people react when theirs is taken away. If you want an action-packed high fantasy series with complex characters, amazing friendships, tenuous alliances, slow burn romance and incredible magic, you should definitely pick up the Witchlands books!
Can't Wait for the Next Book in the Series I cannot wait to read the next book in this series! I had read Truthwitch and Windwitch before entering this giveaway and really enjoyed them. I enjoyed reading the third installment, Bloodwitch, almost as much. The middle of the book was a bit slow, but the rest of it was very action-packed with a cliffhanger ending. I am still trying to figure out Leopold's place in the book and how Safi's uncle Eron is going to reappear. I love how Aeduan and Isuelt's relationship has progressed! I enjoy reading from all of the different characters' points of view in this book. I feel like in other books with multiple points of view that you lose bits of the story, but I do not get that feeling with this book. I must have the next book!
I won an ARC from BookishFirst so thank you to them and the publisher. All opinions are my own. Wow, what an incredible ride! I don't think I can accurately express how much I enjoyed this book. There was so much stuff going on and things happening, gears sliding into place, people meeting and separating, I don’t know how it was all packed in. So much action, adventure, betrayal, sacrifice….all these threads are weaving together to make this amazingly complex and wonderful tapestry. I cannot wait to see the full scope and see what happens to all my favorites. The writing simply draws you in and keeps you spellbound in the story. I want to talk about certain scenes, but I can’t because I don’t want to ruin the wonderful experience for anyone else. How am I going to be able to wait for the next book?
**Thank you so much to the publisher and BookishFirst!** I was so happy to see when I won this that it not only was Bloodwitch, but also Windwitch and Truthwitch. I just love the covers. And the books were action packed from the beginning. It’s so nice to see such strong female characters written, especially in young adult books. These books are different than anything else I’ve read. I would love to see a movie made of them. This author has a great imagination. And I hope she continues to write in this world for a long time to come. I’m going to be sure and pick up any and all others that are written. I really wish I would’ve had these to read way back when I was a young girl. This was such a treasure and if anyone reading this review doesn’t know about BookishFirst, please google it and sign up. There is no catch and it cost nothing. I love them.
I can’t say enough good things about this entire series. I won all 3 books in the series, not just Bloodwitch, through BookishFirst, so I read them back to back and they are a-freakin-mazing. The worldbuilding is stellar. I mean, incredible. From top to bottom, no detail was left unfinished, no rock unturned in creating this universe for us to play in. The magic is unique, original, and fun. The characters are deeeeeeep. I delved into these characters so hard I wanted to wear their skin. Okay, that’s a little Buffalo Bill, but you get the point. They’re beautiful, they’re brilliant and they’re real. The plot is so fast it’ll give you whiplash. I couldn’t wait to get to the end, but I also wanted it to last forever. I’m already having reader’s remorse that it’s over, and I want the next book now! This is the kind of series I could read over and over again because the imagery is so gorgeous. This is the kind of series you sink into and live for a while. I’m not rehashing the plot for you here, go read the dust jacket. Also, surprise! They’re making it into a live action show soon, with the Henson company so YAY! I can’t freaking WAIT for that. Ugh. I need moar of this series now. It’s technically YA, and it really does fit the bill. I was physically straaaiiining for some of the characters to just smooooch already. Just go read it. It really is great.