Author: Susan Dennard
Summary: Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…
After and explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak — which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her — yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in the land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge — especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.
Belle Rating: B-
Bookworm Rating: C+
Overall Rating: C++
Target Audience: Young Adults-Adults
D – Alright. This story is going to pull you in about 5 different directions. So we’re gonna do our best to make a lick of sense for you people. The story starts with Merik and Cam, one of the sailors on his ship and the only person who knows he’s still alive, wandering the streets of Nubrevna in search of evidence of his sister’s betrayal.
L – The next bit we follow is Safi’s part of the story (and probably the most boring in the book). Basically she and Vaness get captured by Hell-Bards and are taken to the pirate-lands, known as Saldonica.
D – In all reality, both Merik and Safi’s stories are a bit boring…I prefered what Iseult was going through. She was in the northern lands being hunted down by the Cleaved and getting bombarded by the cray-cray puppet lady. All the while, Aeduan was tasked by Corlant with hunting down Iseult and bringing her back to him alive.
L – Of course, we all know that Iseult is pretty clever and she makes a deal with Aeduan to help her find Safi. They don’t get along at first but they get closer and even save each other a couple times. And of course this means we get to see in Aeduan’s head too. I found him a pretty fascinating character and it was nice to learn more about him.
D – It was about time to get a glimpse as to how his witchery works. And I ship them. I ship them hard. I don’t care what anyone else has to say.
L – Best ship in the series so far. I may have squealed a bit when they held hands…
D – You’re not the only one…it’s what kept me going…anyway, through a series of events each and every one of the main characters ends up working together with their enemies…as stated in the summary…
L – Oh and since part of the book is from her point of view I no longer hate Merik’s sister……as much. Still not my favorite.
D – Oh yes. I’m glad to have something about her that hasn’t come from her brother. It definitely changes the way you think of him too…
L – The story isn’t wrapped up at the end of the novel (probably a few books left to go) but it did end on a somewhat positive note. Just be prepared for a lot of bombshells in the last hundred pages or so.
D – Yea…it gets pretty intense.
L – There were a lot of points of view in this book. But I think Dennard handled them pretty well. Everyone had a pretty unique voice and I always knew who I was following.
D – Yea, I was never worried about getting lost or confused. Everything flowed relatively smoothly. However, content wise, I feel like I’m having the same problem as I did with the first book. The backstory isn’t there.
L – I know that we have several books to go but we need some more info about this world. I only have a basic idea of how it works and I feel like there are way too many open plot points floating around. It’s going to be hard to weave them all together in a conclusion.
D – To be quite honest, the thought of having to read more books makes my brain hurt. There’s gonna be a lot of stuff going down at once and a lot of information thrown at you that should’ve been given to you from the start. It’s gonna be a whirlwind of a book(s).
L -We’ll just have to wait and see if Dennard can pull it off and give us a satisfying ending.
D – As long as there’s more Aeduan and Iseult, I could pull through.
L – The first part of this book was really slow for me. I had to keep pushing to make it through to the stuff i was interested in. I know there are certain things that need to be covered but I felt like it could have been done in a more interesting way.
D – I agree. Some things just didn’t seem that important and could’ve been replaced with information to give the story some depth.
L – The second thing that bugged me was the lack of callback to the relationships in the first book. We never see Safi and Iseult together (which was a big driving force in the first book). Give me my strong female friendships please. And the whole Safi and Merik thing seems to have been dropped. They both think the other is dead but good grief you could at least think about him/her every once in a while. I thought there was supposed to be some sort of bond there???
D – I think that’s why the book was so…bleh…and the author also seems to have steered in the opposite direction when it comes to the plot. There was little information about these special, magical wells in the first book, but we know that they are important and that Safi and Iseult are tied to them somehow. In this book, they are spoken of even less. So where the heck are you going with this?? Don’t stray too far from the main plot!! Especially when we don’t know much about it to begin with!!
L -Even though she hasn’t taken the time to explain everything Dennard has created a pretty vibrant fantasy world with strong characters. If she can work on more important stuff and less….fluff I feel like this will be a good series.
D – I sooo hope that she can pull it off. I want to love this series sooo very bad. And even though she had separated the dynamic duo, it gave Safi and Iseult a chance to develop even further I think. They were able to learn more about themselves and bond with other characters…like Aeduan…
D – Even though it has its flaws, I think I would still recommend this book. Strictly because I don’t know how any of this will play out. If Dennard can wrap everything up in a pretty bow, it will be a great series for any fantasy lover.
L – I agree. It’s not as strong as the first book but it’s still a nice addition to the series. Maybe I’ll like it a little better when I can binge read it and the next book back-to-back?
D – Indeed. We can only hope it gets better…