Thursday, February 8, 2018

Throwback Thursday Read This F@!%ing Book: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

One of the suggestions from our recent survey was that we should do Throwback Thursday. The idea was really for social media, but I thought it would also be a good way to refresh our memories before the next book in a series comes out.

Sightwitch releases on February 13 and I'm working on a blog tour post for the following week. Next week I'll be posting my review of Windwitch. But today, let's look back at how it all started with a Read This F-ing Book post I wrote in March of 2016. (See the original post here.)

Read This F@!%ing Book!

This is a feature for us to push our favorite reads that just aren't getting enough attention!

We're also opening it up to anyone who would like to guest post. Do you have a book that you just LURVED but feel like it's not getting the play it deserves? Email us to let us know and we'd be THRILLED to have you post about it here! Especially if its something we haven't reviewed yet - that's even better (but not necessary)!

If you're interested email

Read This F@!%ing Book:
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I feel like I've been hearing a lot about Truthwitch, so maybe it doesn't really qualify as a book I want more people to know about. But then I realized that I'm only hearing it from YA bloggers. If you don't read YA or follow YA blogs, you might have missed it. And even if you're not a big fan of YA, you'll want to read this book.

From the very beginning I was fascinated with Truthwitch. I was reading along, just thinking, "this is so awesome!" It took me a while to figure out how to translate that into an argument for why you should read this book. Would you just trust me and read it because it's awesome? No?

Really Cool Magic
The first thing that really struck me is the magic system. Safiya is a Truthwitch. It's a very rare magic, and one that was thought to be extinct. She keeps her skills hidden to protect herself from those who would use her or kill her to keep others from doing so. What I thought was interesting about her skill, and a little bit different from other versions of it that I've read, is that she not only senses when people are lying, but she also senses illusions and abominations.

Iseult is a Threadwitch. Hers is the magic that kind of blew my mind. I haven't seen anything like it before. It's similar to the way some authors use auras - she sees colors that reflect people's emotions. But it's also much more complex. She sees threads, connections between people. Iseult and Safiya, for example, are Threadsisters - we would probably call them BFFs - and a Threadwitch can see their bond and use it to find them. This reminded me of Nalini Singh's Psy-net, except that Iseult sees it all the time and it has more applications.

Prince Merik is an Airwitch and he can fly! He also uses air magic to control his ship, but that's not as much fun. Those are just the three main characters. They're not the only ones with interesting magic, but I wouldn't want to spoil anyone.
Girl Power 
In addition to Iseult and Safiya, who demonstrate some serious fighting skills right from the beginning of the book, Truthwitch is full of powerful women. At first glance their country seems to be run by men, but the women are strong subversive forces.

Once they're out in the world, they find female leaders everywhere. There's a monk with healing powers and ties to both Merik and Iseult. There's Iseult's mother, also a Threadwitch, and her apprentice who are stronger than they seem and full of surprizes. There's a queen with another kind of really cool magic. Again, it would probably be spoilery to list them all. 

As much as love the girl power statement, the point is not that Safiya and Iseult must overthrow the tyranny of men, but that there are heroes of both genders in this world. There are also villains of both genders, and some characters in between. (I have some thoughts about race in Truthwitch as well - Iseult is vilified for being too pale - but I haven't dug into it much. I'd like to see more of the world and find other examples first.)*

I think that YA is the place to look for diversity right now. I'm seeing lots of young authors with fresh perspectives on the traditionally white male-dominated fantasy genre. I'm sure that eventually it will spill over into adult fantasy as well. (Those YA readers have to grow up, right?) But for now if you're looking for a new take on the old tropes, look to YA. And start with Trutchwitch. Trust me. It's awesome.

*Update: Susan Dennard recently posted about the race issue in Truthwitch, saying it was unintentional. She has an explanation in mind for why Iseult's people are hated, it just hasn't appeared in the books yet. She also has an explanation for their pale skin, which they haven't always had. See the full details in her Instagram story highlights.

Have you read this book?
 Did we persuade you to add it to your TBR mountain?
 Let us know in the comments below!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to read comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...