Sightwitch by Susan Dennard

June 4, 2020 Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Sightwitch by Susan DennardSightwitch (The Witchlands #2.5) by Susan Dennard
Illustrated by Rhys Davies
Published: February 13 2018 by Tor Books
Format: Paperback, 240 pages
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Purchased
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5 Stars

Sightwitch is an illustrated novella set in the Witchlands and told through Ryber's journal entries and sketches.

Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch...

Before Merik returned from the dead...

Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.

Years pass and Ryber's misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight--and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.

On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.

Sightwitch is a clever prequel told from Ryber Fortiza’s point of view that sheds light into the events of Truthwitch and Windwitch. Although it’s a prequel, I think readers are best placed to read it after the first two full-length novels.

We met Kullen’s Heart-Thread briefly in Truthwitch, and this book takes us deeper into not only her history but that of the Witchlands. She’s as nuanced as the protagonists of the main series and her character shone through the diary-style narration of this novella (which reads like a full-fledged novel!). Dennard packs a lot of depth and character growth into Ryber’s journey through ice and rock to find her Sightwitch Sisters. I especially liked the illustrations and annotations — it gave the story a lot of heart.

The diary entries written Eridysi, the strongest Sightwitch ever born in the Witchlands, gave us a much-needed glimpse into the histories and legends of the land. The world-building in this series is amazing. I confess I’d been so caught up in Safi and Iseult being the Cahr Awen than I’d overlooked the importance of the Twelve Paladins. Now I have lots of questions and I hope Bloodwitch holds some of the answers.

Though romance wasn’t the focus of the story, I enjoyed learning how Ryber and Kullen met and seeing how Ryber’s unexpected appearance in Windwitch might lead to a way to save him.

Now more than ever, I’m looking forward to the next instalment! I think this series is perfect for fans of YA fantasy and a must-read for anyone who enjoyed Truthwitch.

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