“And if I don’t answer…then what? You’ll gut me?” With an indifferent flip of her wrists, she drawled, “Oh no. Someone protect me from the bad man with a knife.”
Instantly, Safi liked the woman. (218)
I’m not really sure where to start with this review. This is turning out to be one of my all-time-favorite series and it’s so hard to rate each book in a great series beyond screaming in all caps “LOVE THIS. READ THIS.” While Windwitch doesn’t pack as big a punch plot-wise as Truthwitch, I have to say that I love this one equally and for different reasons.
Beware the following are **spoilers** for Truthwitch: Windwitch picks up nearly right after Truthwitch ends with Prince Merik’s ship exploding in an assassin attack. Merik is horribly burnt to the point of non-recognition and hellbent on proving his sister Vivia was behind the attack. Vivia is dealing with her own issues of establishing herself as the rightful heir and ruler. Iseult sets off on a mission to rescue Safi (currently a prisoner by the Empress of Marstock and later kidnapped by the Hellbards), when she encounters Aeduan who is actually hunting her on orders from his father’s Purist priest.
If this seems like a lot going on, you would be correct. I can see why a common theme of reviews for this book is that little is actually accomplished in Windwitch; we were following so many different storylines that any large events were swallowed up in the ongoing sequence of mini climaxes for each MC. This effect was emphasized by the constant POV bouncing between chapters, which was both a frustrating and extremely effective plot device – we were only shown small scenes before they would ultimately change with a convenient cliffhanger. However, I actually loved this writing style as I became so invested in each individual storyline that whenever Esmée and I paused our buddy read to regroup and discuss, I was DYING to keep reading!
Windwitch has all my favorite elements of a fantasy novel. Magic, romance, drama, suspense, female friendship (I loved Safi and Vanessa’s growing mutual respect and appreciation), and personal growth and development. Iseult’s discovery and acceptance of who she is was such a positive move – if this story had continued with her denial strain, I don’t know if I could’ve kept reading, but I love how this turned out. And I cannot ship Iseult and Aeduan enough. Another book where I just want to smoosh their faces together already, MY GOODNESS.
There is a lot left open-ended at the end of this book (I need to know if Esme can also use her powers for good), but this just means I’m dying to read Sightwitch and now Bloodwitch. While Windwitch could be said to suffer from “middle book syndrome”, I found it addictively well-paced with the perfect amount of development / set-up for the next book. I was entertained the entire time and could not put this down – easily a 5 Star rating.
For your consideration, this was my absolute favorite flashback-to-Truthwitch quotes:
Besides, not everyone was selfless like Merik Nihar. Not everyone was a crazy Windwitch who would fly into fights, heedless of his own safety–or his own buttons. (162)