Witchshadow by Susan Dennard

July 10, 2021 Reviews 0 ★★★★½

Witchshadow by Susan DennardWitchshadow (The Witchlands #4) by Susan Dennard
Published: June 29th 2021 by Tor Books
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Purchased
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4.5 Stars

War has come to the Witchlands . . . and nothing will be the same again.

Iseult has found her heartsister Safi at last, but their reunion is cut short. For has to flee Cartorra while Safi remains, or her life will be forfeit. And although Iseult plots to save her friend, she'll need to prepare. For she'll have to summon magic more dangerous than anything she has attempted before. The Bloodwitch Aeduan is pursuing schemes of his own. And Vivia – rightful queen of Nubrevna – finds herself without a crown or home.

As villains from legend are reawakened across the Witchlands, only the mythical Cahr Awen can stop the gathering war. Iseult could embrace this legendary power, healing the land. However, she finds herself questioning that path. And she must decide on which side of the shadows her destiny lies.

I sped through Witchshadow, despite my best attempts to savour the experience of reading it. I love this story-world and its characters, and happily devoured the fourth instalment of the Witchlands series.

As with each book before it, Witchshadow builds on the existing world by enriching its history and revealing a few secrets. The emergence of the oh-so-mysterious Paladins adds a new dimension to the story — not only do readers have to keep track of an ever growing cast, they now have to remember how each character fits into the complex mythology of this world. It can be exhausting at times, but I feel the author supported readers well by giving lots of clues and reminders.

Each book so far has followed a key character, so it’s not surprising that Iseult’s book would separate her from Safi at first opportunity. Iseult’s journey to come into her own is, necessarily, a solitary one. However, I still missed Safi, and am looking forward to seeing the girls, now much-grown and wiser, take on the world together. I also missed Aeduan. I was hoping he’d feature more heavily in this book, but I guess this gives me something to look forward to in the next instalment.

It came as a bit of a shock when Witchshadow reminded us that it had only been a matter of months since the events of Truthwitch. So much has happened in that time, and so much is yet to happen. (I only have myself to blame for my assumption that this is a four book series.)

I can’t recommend this series highly enough. The action does not let up, the world-building is superb, and the writing is exquisite. I can’t wait for the next book!

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