Book: Windwitch (Witchlands 2) by Susan Dennard
Release Date: January 10th 2017
Tags: Fantasy / High Fantasy / Young Adult / Magic
Rating: 2,5 out of 5 stars
Other books in this series I reviewed
Possible spoilers for the previous books in the series
Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…
After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.
It is disappointing to see sometimes that series that have so much potential just don’t live up to the expectations they and the hype have created. On the whole I do really believe that the Witchlands series has so much potential, but the pacing and the many story lines just do not do it justice. I hesitated with my rating for a while. My feels said 3 stars because of some of the characters, but my head said 2 stars so I settled on 2,5.
The biggest issue I had with this second book is the many point of views we get. Next to the previous four characters, Merik’s sister was added as a point of view. And while I do think it added something to the story, Susan Dennard already showed in the first book she had a hard time juggling 4 differing point of views, let alone 5. Only at the very start were the chapters completely in the point of view of one character. After that there would be switches after almost every scene. Especially the ending suffered because of that. It lessened the impact because I was continuously jolted out of everyone’s story. It also took a lot of pace out of the story lines, making it feel as if very little happens. I love multiple third persons point of view but it is not working for this book at all.
We follow roughly about 3-4 different story lines (as Iseult and Aeduan, and Merik and Vivia’s stories fall together at some point) . All little stories on their own. But where is the larger storyline here? I know this will most likely be the carh arwen and the puppeteer, but this is pushed so far in to the background it is almost barely noticeable. Not enough explaining. Not enough weaving. I get that this book will be 5 books but by now we need to see a bit more overarching plot going.
Even so I did enjoy bits and pieces of it. While I have little interest in Safiya as a character and find her scenes rather boring to follow, I have come to really like Caden and Vaness. I’d so much rather follow those in that story line. As said Vivia, Merik’s sister, was a new addition and I shifted over the course of the book whether I liked her or not, but she is a clear kick-ass female who gets things done. I have to give her that and she grew on me quite a bit.
Merik on the other hand was dealt the shortest end of the stick and I hate it. He doesn’t deserve this. He was the best character of the story, and he has to suffer the hardest. Aeduan and Iseult went up and down in capturing my attention. Their interaction and growing bond is interesting, and certainly the last twists added a lot to their story.
Even so I am not sure if I want to read on in this series as of yet. I feel very disappointed in the story and world building in this fantasy.