Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Information

Goodreads: Bloodwitch
Series: The Witchlands #3
Source: Library
Published: February 12, 2019

Official Summary

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

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.

Star Divider

Review

I enjoyed Truthwitch when it was released by Tor Teen in 2015 and called it “one of the best YA fantasies I’ve read in awhile,” but after looking back through the blog archives, I realized that I never reviewed the second book in the series, Windwitch.  Now that I’ve read Bloodwitch, I remember why.  I simply…don’t have much to say about this series, even as new books are released.

I did mention in my Truthwitch review that I didn’t fully connect with the characters; I could see that Dennard, for instance, was trying to build a really strong female friendship between Safi and Iseult, but I just didn’t feel it.  That has remained true for me as I continued reading the series.  I find the characters interesting enough that I keep reading, but I’m not fully invested in them.  I don’t feel the chemistry in their relationships.  Perhaps this has only gotten worse as Dennard increases the cast of characters in each novel.  Even as I start thinking I care a bit more for the older characters, newer ones pop in to get their own POV, and I barely care about them.

I’ve also just been consistently confused by this series. Part of this is likely my fault. It’s been four years since the release of book 1 and two years since the release of book 2.  This is a fairly complicated fantasy with, as I said, an enormous case of characters, as well as various plot threads.  My difficulty remembering what happened in books 1 and 2 does not help.  However, reading Bloodwitch, I realized the books are also confusing because Dennard is withholding information.  A lot of it.   There are so many different people with so many goals, and most of them are never stated.  Character A will be screaming, “Where’s my X and Y?!” and the reader (and other characters) have no idea what Character A is talking about or why retrieving these objects is important to him.  Or Characters B, C, and D will all say they “need” capture Characters P and Q for their master plans…but it is never actually stated what any of these three characters plan to do with Characters P and Q if they get their hands on them.  I know a lot of people are fighting in the series, but I have so little sense of what they want or the means they plan to use to get it.

Yet I keep reading the series.  In spite of these two flaws, which seem fairly large, I’m engaged in the story and want to know what happens next.  I have only a small sense of what’s happening, but I guess I feel as if I keep reading I’ll find out; Dennard has to explain things eventually.  It all seems very dramatic and complex, and I want to see it all come together. I want to find out what Dennard is keeping from me.

I also do think I can recommend this series to people who like complex fantasy, but perhaps with the caveat it will probably be easier to read once all the books are finished and you can read them right in a row.  If I have to wait two more years for book 4, there’s no telling how much more lost I’ll be.

4 stars Briana

9 thoughts on “Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

  1. Nish says:

    I had that problem with Truthwitch. I thought things would get better in the later books. Truthfully though, while I liked the book, there didn’t seem any pressing urgency to get to the other books. Just wasn’t that invested.

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      So glad someone feels the same! At first no one was talking about this series, and now there’s a really dedicated, vocal fan base, and I’m just in the middle thinking, “It’s interesting, but I don’t really get it….”

      Like

  2. Alex @ WhimsyPages says:

    I haven’t even started the first book yet. I added it to my TBR when it first came out, but never got around to dedicating time to it. And now I’m not sure anymore if I want to invest in this series or not.. Every year so many new and “interesting” fantasy books come out that it’s proving to be veru difficult to keep up with the back log.

    Like

  3. coffeestarsbooks says:

    I did really enjoy Bloodwitch, but I admit I was totally lost. I appreciate that authors only have a limited word count and a lot to do with it, but I know I am amongst countless other readers who get through around one hundred or so books a year, mostly fantasy. When a book in a series is released a year later, even if it is a series I loved, I’m probably not going to remember every plot point and character. I struggled to keep up even with Kingdom of Ash.

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I struggle so much with this. I reread books a lot more when I was a teen and had less access to them because I didn’t have money and my parents didn’t take me to the library every week or anything. Now I read the book once and hope I remember the plot when the next book in the series is released the next year. I wish authors could do better with situating readers. Sure, I could try to find a summary of the other books online to refresh, but that’s an extra step. :p

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jenchaos says:

    Well, I first read Bloodwitch with no background at all. I then read Truthwitch and Windwitch and loved them. The trick is, you have to digest the information slowly because they aren’t fast readers. I found that I should have read Sightwitch also, but had not. I am reading Bloodwitch again and I am finding that it makes perfect sense because I read the other two books just recently.
    However, I do see your point. If years had passed between books, I would be lost like you. I usually wait until two or three books are available in a series before I jump in. It’s like buying electronics. I have to make absolutely sure I’m not wasting my time like I did Wheel of Time.

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