Let me preface this by saying that two years is too freaking long to wait between releases for a fantasy series. Luckily, I enjoy this series too much that I won’t hate on Susan Dennard for pushing back Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3).
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.
I just need to say how beneficial it would be for readers if publishers put series summaries at the beginning of each book. When there are such long gaps between book releases, it is so easy to forget all of the important parts that have happened in a series, especially fantasy series which are so complex. Because of this issue, I will say that for the majority of this book, I didn’t remember a damn thing that had previously happened which took away from some of the enjoyment. I was too busy wondering who so-and-so was and why they were doing such-and-such. The only characters I remembered were Iseult, Safi, Merik, and of course, Aeduan. Everyone else? Yeahhhhh…. it took me the majority of the book to vaguely remember who they were.
With that being said, Dennard continues to fascinate me with how she is able to have so many different storylines consistently move seamlessly in the same direction. I loved seeing how everyone was dealing with being split up and having to navigate their own adventure. I think it definitely kept the plot engaging and fairly quick-paced. The only time I felt my concentration lagging a bit was during Vivia’s chapters. She’s never been my favorite character and I think that probably had something to do with my lack of focus. I will say that this was definitely Aeduan’s and Iseult’s book more than anything and I am definitely not complaining about that.
Iseult and Aeduan are goals. Seriously. It was wonderful to see how their relationship changed over the course of the book. Iseult was still her cool self, but you could see how being around Owl and Aeduan was bringing her out of her shell. She was more engaging and showed some personality, that we haven’t gotten to see much of in the previous books. I thought Owl did a great job of bringing that out of her (mostly by just being a little brat, haha!). I don’t want to spoil too much, but it was also interesting to see her and Aeduan almost do a role reversal due to some unforeseen circumstances. But as obvious by the title, this was really about Aeduan’s personal journey. He had the most development of any of the characters. I liked seeing this vulnerable side to him, as it was able to give him a new perspective to do some self-reflecting. And of course, Safi was her usual spunky self. I really enjoyed seeing her take charge and learning to follow her gut, rather than always relying on or thinking about what Iseult would do in her situation. Then poor Merik… Other than Aeduan, Merik definitely had the roughest storyline in this book. I can’t say too much about him other than that. And oh my gosh, I have to know what’s going to happen to him next!
Like I previously stated, I think the only issues that I had with this story was due to the length of time since the previous book. There’s so many different plots in this series, that it’s very hard to be able to keep track of and remember them all. This caused me to take a longer time really getting into the story, as I was fairly lost for the first 100-150 pages (yes, really that long). I highly recommend doing a reread or recap of the first two books in the series before picking up this book. It’s also probably a good idea to read Sightwitch as well since the story in that novella actually affects the overall plot, which isn’t always the case when it comes to novellas. I know I’ll definitely have to do an entire reread of the series before the next book is released next year… not that I’m complaining!
Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars
Have you read Bloodwitch yet? If so, what did you think of it? Did you have a hard time remembering what had happened in the previous books like I did? Which POV did you enjoy the most?