Def thought this was the last book in the series (it’s not) | Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard [ARC]

Note: This is the third book in The Witchlands series and may contain spoilers for the first two books.

BloodwitchI’m not going to write a summary for this book. I tried and just couldn’t do it so I’ll just get into the review. To address the title, when I picked this book up, I was under the impression that the series was just a trilogy. It didn’t take long, however, for me to realize that there are actually going to be two more books AFTER this one. My plan to binge the entire series was frustrated, but I’m not too mad at it. I’ve really loved this series much more than I thought I would, so I’m happy.

Something I really love about this series is that it’s diverse without trying too hard or feeling like it’s trying to check every box. It does a good job of not being overly obvious and I think that’s the ultimate goal when people are asking for diverse characters and books. Referring to a character’s skin color or sexuality every other chapter almost creates this otherness about them. Specific traits for them are being singled out and consciously brought to our attention. I don’t want an author to tell me about how a character’s diverse, I want them to show me.

The characters in this series are all pretty much equally enjoyable for me. I’ve been surprised at how sympathetic a character Vivia has become. I really liked the sections from her POV and the struggle she’s having to be the leader that her father wants her to be while also reconciling who she actually is and her family’s history of mental illness. I knew from the beginning of this series that I would really enjoy Prince Leopold as a character, so I was THRILLED when he made a reappearance. It was really great to get to know Aeduan a little more in this book and I love him and Iseult together. Safi and Iseult continue to be utterly delightful and I absolutely love that their relationship continues to feel so strong when they haven’t even been together for two books. They’re constantly thinking about each other and ultimately, I think their goal throughout these books is just to get back with each other.

This book really moves the overall plot of the series forward. We’ve kind of thought that the plot was one thing this whole time, but later in the book, we start to realize that there is much more going on. Some hints have been dropped along the way throughout the series, but now we’re seeing bit and pieces of the larger plot start to form. Now, maybe I would know some of this stuff if I’d read Sightwitch? But as I’ve stated in an earlier post, I don’t believe in these supplemental short stories and novellas and prequels. So I’m just going to continue on and see where that takes me. One last minor plot point that I thought was interesting is how Safi and Iseult always seem to be in danger at the same time. Why is that? Because they’re the Cahr Awen? I just really hope that gets explained in a later book.

While I absolutely loved this book, I do have some questions:

  • Iseult says that animals don’t have threads, but mountain bats and sea foxes do. Why is that?
  • I wish we had some kind of background or explanation as to why everyone hates Nomatsis. Maybe in a future book?
  • I feel like deceit is an emotion or something that Iseult should be able to see in someone’s threads.
  • Why do some people have Threadsiblings and others don’t?

I have a couple other questions too, but they’re kind of spoilery, so I won’t ask them here.

Overall, this was a great third installment. I hear fans of the series had to wait a REALLY long time for the third book, so I’ll just be over hear hoping the fourth book gets here a little quicker than the third. If you haven’t already started this series, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.

eBook | Hardcover

Overall Rating: 5
Language: Moderate
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: None

Note: An ARC of this book was sent to the library where I work.

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February Wrap-Up & TBR Update

This month went better than I expected it to even if I didn’t stick to my TBR so religiously. My book club ended up going to a library event instead of discussing a book, so The Girl Who Drank the Moon will go back on my TBR for another time. I found that I read more non-fiction and graphic novels this month than usual and I hope that trend continues. Lastly, another observation is that I really need to get better at reading digital ARCs…my bad.

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 8
Books currently reading: 2

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of February = 411
Books added to TBR = 39
Books completed/deleted from TBR = 6
Total on TBR now = 444

How did your reading go this month?

TTT | Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday Blog

Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads
The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody – 522 ratings

I really enjoyed the “trading up” aspect of this book.

My Review | eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy – 1,000 ratings

Almost every chapter was a different format (regular text, graphic novel, graffiti) and I really liked that about it.

My Review | eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Trusting You and Other Lies by Nicole Williams – 1,007 ratings

So many summer camp feels!

My Review | eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson – 1,287 ratings

This is such a satisfying travel/wanderlust type book.

My Review | eBook | Paperback

We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen – 1,320 ratings

I don’t read a ton of epistolary novels and I didn’t know this was one when I picked it up, but I really liked that format!

My Review | eBook | Hardcover

Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan – 1,322 ratings

This was an interesting fantasy book–I still need to pick up the rest of the series.

My Review | eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E Smith – 1,520 ratings

This is probably my favorite Jennifer E Smith book! It’s a cute romance and it features baseball, the Cubs, and Wrigley Field!

My Review | eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Last Forever by Deb Caletti – 1,578 ratings

Deb Caletti is an underrated author imo. I love the retirement home group.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – 1,608 ratings

Sneaky debutantes and secret contracts!

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria – 1,836 ratings

Such a great female friendship story!

My Review | eBook | Hardcover

Bonus: Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard – 650 ratings

Okay, this is kind of cheating because there are only so few ratings because it just came out. But it still has less than 2,000 ratings!

eBook | Hardcover

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TTT Underrated Books

 

A book in which I anticipate a love triangle forming pretty much the whole time | Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Note: This is the second book in the Witchlands series and may contain spoilers for the first book. Click here for my Truthwitch review.

WindwitchSafi and Iseult are now separated. Safi has given herself up to the Empress of Marstok and Iseult is left waiting for word from Mathew and Habim. When word doesn’t come, she finds herself making a tentative truce with Aeduan, the Bloodwitch. If he can help her find Safi, she will tell him where his silver talers ended up. Can the bond between Safi and Iseult withstand the miles and trials between them?

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

TL;DR – A solid follow-up to the first book. Characters are diverse in a natural way and the author does a great job making all of our narrators sympathetic.

This book started off a little bit slow for my taste, but it picks up momentum rather quickly. I think it would have been fine for readers who are reading the series one book at a time, but not so much for those of us who are bingeing the first three books in the series. These books feel really thoughtfully written to me. I really liked how Dennard is able to use things like a storm or an earthquake to help the reader to know when things are happening. Since virtually all of our characters are separated, it helps to know that these two events are happening at the same time and so on. In addition, without giving any kind of spoilers, I knew that Chiseled Cheater was going to play a more prominent role. I waited for him to show up the entire first book and I was thrilled at his appearance.

The dynamic between Merik and Vivia is really interesting throughout. I really enjoyed getting Vivia’s perspective on things because, in the first book, Merik portrays her as this evil, power-hungry person. She’s actually extremely likable, in my opinion, and it’s crazy to me how neither of them can see how manipulative Serafin is. I think Merik said at one point that Serafin wouldn’t waste his time or energy pitting his children against each other, but he very clearly has wasted a LOT of time and energy doing just that. Speaking of Merik… I know this kind of gets explained later in the book, but he’s always talking about how weak his witchery is, but he’s never seemed particularly weak to me. I mean, he can still use his powers to fly so…just how weak can he be?

Another thing that I’ve enjoyed in this book and series is that Dennard has done a great job including diversity without hitting the reader over the head with it. I feel like when diversity is so “present”, it kind of defeats the purpose. I think what we diverse readers are looking for is for diversity to be included in an authentic and organic way. Undue attention does not need to be drawn to it. I feel like Vivia’s sexuality is handled really well, in that regard. She obviously thinks about her relationship with Stix from time to time, but it’s not something that gets brought up in every single paragraph. I also appreciated the vitiligo rep with Cam. I don’t think I’ve EVER read a book that included a character with vitiligo.

The plot got a little more confusing in this book. It clearly feels like this book is being used to set up events in future books. That’s not necessarily bad, but there are some things that just feel like they don’t quite make sense yet.

While I really enjoyed this book overall, there were a few things that I didn’t quite care for. Fairly early on in the book, Iseult calls the Puppeteer by name, Esme. I didn’t remember her learning Esme’s name in the first book, so I did a quick Kindle search. The name “Esme” doesn’t appear ANYWHERE in the first book. So…yeah. All of the sudden Iseult knows her name and just casually drops it in there? The second thing is that I feel like Aeduan’s bloodwitchery should work on blood stains. I mean, he can seize blood, right? Stop it circulating in someone’s body? So why can’t he seize dried blood and lift it out of clothes?

The last thing, to address the title of this post, is that pretty much the whole book I anticipate feelings developing between Safi and one of the characters that she’s with. It kind of seemed like things were heading that way. Nothing comes of it in this book (luckily) but we’ll see what happens in future books. All I’m saying is that if Safi is part of a love triangle, that will completely cheapen the ENTIRE series.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Moderate
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: None

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Windwitch review

TTT | I WILL go down with this ship

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday Blog

Favorite Couples In Books

1) Iseult and Aeduan from the Witchlands series by Susan Dennard

I just finished Bloodwitch and I love these two together! They will find each other no matter what. I believe it.

2) Cress and Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

These two are so sweet together! I love every scene that involves them in the series.

3) Macy and Wes from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Wes was probably my first big bookish crush. I love their dynamic at Wish Catering and their entire truth game.

4) Kaz and Inej from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

These two are so low-key, but there’s also so much underlying tension–so good.

5) Lupin and Tonks from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

RIP

6) Karou and Akiva from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

This is an ultimate Romeo and Juliet type relationship. They’re up against so much opposition, but their love is so pure.

7) Khalila and Dario from The Great Library series by Rachel Caine

Even though these two aren’t the “main” couple of the series, I still love their relationship. I love that Dario is so protective of Khalila and she lets him even though everyone knows, she doesn’t need protecting.

8) Amy and Roger from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Cute couple on a road trip! Such a good slow burn romance.

9) Bailey and Porter from Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

I don’t really know why I loved this book so much, but I did. Bailey and Porter have a great hate-to-love type thing going, but actually they just like each other the whole time.

10) Kitty and John Ambrose McClaren from the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han

Okay, so I know this couple doesn’t actually exist, but just listen. Lara Jean clearly does not deserve John Ambrose even though he is literally the most perfect boy ever. She would obviously be upset if Kitty started dating him, but Kitty wouldn’t care. She would appreciate John Ambrose’s perfectness and John Ambrose would appreciate Kitty’s spunk. Plz Jenny Han let this be a thing.

Who are some of your favorite bookish couples? Do you disagree with any of my picks?

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TTT Bookish Couples


Recommended from this post:

11 Best Book Deals for 2/9/19: This Savage Song, Longbourn, Bloodwitch, and more

Book Deals

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Less than $1

Haven by A.R. Ivanovich

Less than $2

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

Longbourn by Jo Baker

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Less than $3

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Bonus Deal

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard – Preorder the hardcover for $12.91! I just finished this last night and if you liked the first two books, this is completely WORTH IT.

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Book Deals 2/9

January Wrap-Up & TBR Update

I did an okay job sticking to my TBR. Not fantastic (I should have known I couldn’t stop at the first book in a series) but I did alright. And I even did a good job of posting reviews for the books I read this month!

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of January = 383
Books added to TBR = 31
Books deleted from TBR = 0 (I didn’t keep track, but I hope to track this stat in the future)
Total on TBR now = 411