Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands (Book 1)
Publication: Tor Teen (January 5, 2016)
Description: On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others.
In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble--as two desperate young women know all too well.
Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It's a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.
Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her--but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi's hotheaded impulsiveness.
Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship's captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
My Thoughts: This is the first volume of an epic fantasy series. On this world there are rival empires nearing the end of a twenty-year truce. Some people are born with magical talents. This story is centered on two girls who are best friends despite being from vastly different social strata and having very different talents.
Safi is a truthwitch able to tell truth from lie. She is from the nobility but is from a poor land and has been raised by her drunken uncle. Iseult is this world's equivalent of a gypsy. Most look down on her. She is a threadwitch which lets her see the emotions of others. But she is not able to do what other threadwitches can and so was sent away from her home.
The girls find themselves on the run from an emperor who wants to marry Safi for her talents and also on the run from other empires who want to control her. They are in the company of Prince Merik who is under contract to deliver Safi to a deserted town. He needs the trade contract to keep his people from starving since they live in a magic ravaged land.
Safi and Iseult are also being trailed by a bloodwitch who has a hidden agenda of his own and who doesn't want to believe that the girls are this generation's foretold saviors. Of course, they don't know that they are supposed to be saviors and are dealing with day to day dangers that threaten them.
I thought this one had a bit of a slow start as I tried to separate the girls and their talents so that I knew who was who. Once I figured that out the pace picked up until it became a whirlwind of battles, monsters, conflicting conspiracies, and adventure. I am eager to see where this series goes next.
Iseult stumbled over the deck toward Safi, her face pinched and pale. She was the only person Safi had left, the only piece from her old life. But how long before Iseult gave up too?I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.