Bloodwitch is the third book in the Witchlands series by Susan Dennard, which includes Truthwitch, Windwitch and the novella Sightwitch. I have already reviewed all the other books in the series, so if you are interested in checking them out click on the particular title. I will try and keep my review as spoiler free as possible but as it is the third book it may not always be possible, so only proceed if you have read the series or have no interest in it. Without further ado!
Author: Susan Dennard
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.
Bloodwitch has surprised me as I thought I would love it much more than the other books as all the questions are starting to be answered, but sadly I felt that it lacked the execution that I have come to expect.
When it comes to the characters, my opinions have changed across the series, and once again, I have very different opinions than I did when I started the book. In every book, a different character annoys me more which is disappointing because it tends to be a character that I have previously loved. In Bloodwitch, Safi was getting on my nerves; she never seemed to think through the decisions that she was making and just kept allowing herself to be influenced when she should have been paying attention to what was going on around her. My favourite characters so far are both Iseult and Aeduan, with a special honourable mention to Owl; I love the dynamic between them all, and fingers crossed it continues in the rest of the series.
In Bloodwitch, Susan Dennard begins to answer some of the questions there since book one, but once a piece of information has been given, it is quickly moved on. Which disadvantages the reader, especially as we move further into the series with unpublished books. I feel like these books could do with a recap initially, as there are so many things you are meant to remember from the beginning of the first book but are not mentioned until they are necessary. Also, I definitely think these books have been designed to binge read all at once, which doesn’t help when the series is not finished.
I liked the plot of Bloodwitch as we got to see a lot more of the characters and how they react when things do not go their way. But I would have loved for the split to have been a little more even. Some of the characters got lots of time, but their stories didn’t seem to progress, but others hadn’t been seen for ages but had done so much. I think this contributed to the strange pacing of the book, as in some chapters, it would fly by, and others would become a bit of a chore.
I think this book has pulled into focus how much the novella Sightwitch is required reading, so I highly stress that if you are going to pick up the series, please pick up the novella. There are so many answers based on information gained through the novella that it would be hard to understand what is going on without it. This does disappoint me because normally in a big expansive fantasy series, a novella is used for a little bit of extra content, not an explanation into some of the magic system.
I am still extremely intrigued by what the rest of the series holds for all of the characters, especially after the ending. I still recommend picking up the series but be prepared that it can be a little bit of a struggle at times.