Author Susan Dennard
Publisher Tor Teen | 2019
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. (from Goodreads)
Beware: This may contain spoilers for the first two books in the series!
“He was born a monster, he will die a monster, and monsters do not get to have friends.”
What is happening. If I could sum up this book in one word, it would be frustration. I started with a 3-star rating, but after writing this review I realized that was too frickin’ generous. There’s so much I want to talk about, so let’s dive right in.
After really enjoying Truthwitch, my main problem with Windwitch was that all the characters I loved were separated (with Iseult and Aeduan being the one exception and bright spot of the book). I hoped that this book would be different, but it actually only got worse. This book just felt like one loooong struggle. Towards the middle, I was getting so annoyed with how slow-going everything was that I started skimming just so I could get through it faster. There’s a lot of points I want to cover, so I’ll break it down.
What I liked:
Iseult, Iseult, Iseult. Iseult SAVED this book for me. If it wasn’t for her, I would have DNF’d this so fast. She has definitely become my favorite character in this series, and her plotline remains one of the most interesting and cohesive. Her relationship with Aeduan was once again the highlight of the book, but I also really enjoyed seeing her interact with Owl!
Aeduan— with this being his book, I was expecting to finally get some backstory, and boy did we! It was definitely tragic to hear about his childhood, and more about how he views himself and his own powers. It’s so funny to see him and Iseult act as pseudo-parents to Owl, and to also see him navigate his feelings for Iseult. I also really enjoyed his interactions with Lizl!
Leopold…? Yes, Leopold! Prince Leopold returns to the fray and my god, does he make an entrance. I LOVE HIM. His friendship with Iseult was another bright spot and I’m so happy about where he ended this book (wow, can you tell that all the good things have to do with Iseult? Coincidence, I THINK NOT). I really really hope he remains a prominent character in the next one, because he is a delight.
The final 10 percent. I started this book and said, OK I better get some reunions FAST. Like, 50% is my limit, but I need something by 30% or I’ll die. And then… I had to wait 90. EFFIN’. PERCENT. Oh my god. It had me hyped though. There was A LOT happening at once, and though some reunions were FLEETING AS F***, it still ended on a… kinda-sorta bright spot? Who knows anymore.
What I disliked:
Plotline. What are we even working towards anymore? I have no idea what the end goal of this series is. I feel like we might’ve been going somewhere in Truthwitch, but I’ve lost all sense of what the endgame is. To defeat the Fury? Esme? The Raider King? THE ROOK KING? There’s so many effing villains/maybe-villains that I have NO IDEA WHAT WE’RE DOING. Help me.
POVs. Aside from Iseult/Aeduan, all the other perspectives just felt like trudging through mud. Even Safi, whom I love, was hard to be interested in. I don’t know what she’s doing, besides making a Truthstone and protecting Vaness. She just felt rooted in place. Merik was stuck somewhere, too, but all of his chapters were confusing because NOTHING IS BEING EXPLAINED CORRECTLY. I like Vivia, but by the end I was just skimming her chapters. The random chapters in Stix’s perspective were weird and confusing as well.
Worldbuilding. It might’ve been a nice footnote that we would have needed to read the Sightwitch novella to even have a semblance of WHAT THE F IS HAPPENING. We kept talking about and going through magical doors and not explaining what they are or what they mean or where they came from. I cannot tell you anything about how the doors work. Literally, nothing. The monks, Evrane, the Origin Wells, the treaty, the Rook King– all things that are there, and have significance, but I don’t know WHAT. I feel like there’s so many intricate pieces going on that nothing is fully having an impact. It’s all just confusion.
The ending. I feel as if all the characters have spent the last two books walking in place. Nothing has happened? Everything has been leading up to Safi and Iseult reuniting, but… what has happened between then? Everyone has just been running around to random places, or stuck in a random place that I don’t even know what the point of it all has been. The only thing that has signigicantly progressed is some character relationships. That’s it. Ugh. It’s all just so baffling.
Overall, I’m just really let down by this series. It started out strong but it’s only gotten more convoluted as we’ve gone on. I’m in it solely for the characters, but even that isn’t looking too promising at the moment. I will still give the next book a chance, but if it’s more of the same, I’m not sure I’ll continue on– though the ending of this HAS to be a good sign… right? RIGHT?!?!?