Why I Didn’t Enjoy Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

21414439Published: January 5th, 2016

by: Tor Teen

Genres: YA, Fantasy

Format: ebook

Source: Library

My Rating: 2 Stars


In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.


My Thoughts

giphy (28)Thank the gods that I didn’t buy this book. I should have known that there was something fishy about it. So, the majority love this book. It is not a bad book, it just didn’t deliver what everyone has been gushing about in their reviews. It’s hard to ignore the hype when a book has a cover like this one. Do I love the Throne of Glass series and Grishaverse (though I’ve only read Shadow & Bone and Six of Crows)? Yes! Red Queen, Falling Kingdoms, Snow Like Ashes? Yes! Do I love all things witches? Yes! Am I a fan of YA fantasy? Yes, yes yes! Then why didn’t I love this book, you ask? Because EVERYONE claimed it’s so epic and different from all the other books they’ve read. If I could count how many times the witch gangs on Twitter and Goodreads said this book is different, I’d still be counting right now. This book is no different from the other YA fantasy books that I love. That’s why I didn’t like it! I wanted it to be different, but I know that there had to be something similar. But still…….. I have no reason to start another series with the same things going on in the other series that I’m obsessed with. No reason at all. It’s time for a change. No more raving about these books that keep giving me the same insta-love and special heroines that make stupid decisions. Trust me, after I finish with the many series I’m obsessed with now, I’m gonna take a step back and just let everyone else keep going. 

Reasons why this book failed IMO……. This is not a review, but a rant.

– Safi and Iseult could have been the baddest chicks to ever grace the YA fantasy genre. Why aren’t they? Well, In the first few pages that seemed possible, but it took a turn for the worst. Safi is one of those heroines that do things on impulse that make no sense whatsoever. This girl flees the people who try to protect her. Where they do that at? She’s the Truthwitch everyone wants. Why? I haven’t a clue. If there was a hot commodity floating in this world, I would want the antagonistic Bloodwitch. Who gives a hoot about truth and lies when war is imminent? Give me the person who can fight in battle. Screw the politics – kill them all. Iseult should have been the special heroine all by herself. I’m not sure why that isn’t so, since she obviously has the power. This was so backwards.

– This felt like a sequel, because the author wrote this book as if we already know the hows, whys, whats, and wheres. No 2 sentence explanation about a specific witch will suffice for me. I want to know on a deeper level what they are and how all this came to be. We don’t know anything about the Witchlands or anything else thrown in, because it’s all explained in little detail. Maybe there should have been a prequel novella or something for this. Venaza City is what? Why are the people from Nomatsi treated poorly? So much world and people, but we have no clue as to what it all means. I’m wondering if we had to pick a team and play the witch games on the website before reading this book. It sure seems like it. 

– I want there to become a time when a heroine doesn’t need a hero to shine. I knew as soon as Merik entered the picture, he’d become something to one of those girls. He’s too ambitious not to be considered for the job. He’s not a bad character, but I just wish he wasn’t even included; or at the very least, be uninterested in Safi. They are in love and it’s so strong that the force will knock you over. No lie. It was instant and that saddened me because there was just no need for it. And let’s not forget the moment that they saw each other. Flying through the air with his shirt open? Really? Because bare chests are not uncommon to make girls swoon. It did not work this time. I’ve read enough of it.

This book is not at all like I thought. I had reservations about it before deciding to borrow if from the library, but I ignored my gut. If you are looking for something epic and different, this book is not it. However, if you are quite happy with the same-story-different-book thing, then you will not be disappointed in the least. There are a lot of things I could say were good about this book, if I was looking to read another one like all the rest. That’s the problem, I was looking for different and got nothing. I need more, and I’m quite sure book two won’t be read by me. You guys can have this one. See that gif above? That’s how I felt about this. I could have just finished reading the Grisha trilogy or read my copy of Glass sword, for all the good this book did me. If you loved this book, then good for you. If you haven’t read it, then think about it before you do. It’s not all bad, it’s just another story with an overshadowing romance and stupid heroine. Hell, I like Aeduan – the Bloodwitch. At least he takes no BS.

57 thoughts on “Why I Didn’t Enjoy Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

  1. Oh man, I absolutely love your rant.

    “No more raving about these books that keep giving me the same insta-love and special heroines that make stupid decisions.”

    I just about stood up and cheered.

    “Who gives a hoot about truth and lies when war is imminent? Give me the person who can fight in battle. Screw the politics – kill them all.”


    Your whole rant is spot-on, and much more enjoyable to read than the book itself. (Though I’m sorry the book disappointed you!)


  2. Sorry to hear this book didn’t live up to the hype for you. 😦 I hate when that happens. I’m still on the fence about reading this one. I actually own a copy that I got from a friend of mine. So, I’ll probably get around to reading it sometime down the road but I’ll probably wait until I forget what all the hype was about so that I don’t go into it with high expectations.


  3. I was halfway between “meh” and actually liking this one. I agree the hype was hard to get away from, and I always find it hard to not think, “Well, it’s not THAT good” when something has as much hype as this one did. But even though Truthwitch has some great things going for it, I never really connected with the characters the way I hoped, and I think Dennard went overboard with world-building details that weren’t really relevant to the story.


  4. Lekeisha, I am so sick of all the false hype. It’s gotten pretty crazy this year especially. It’s not that I don’t believe the book can be good, but when everyone raves that its the best book ever, I’m gonna expect the best fucking book ever when I read it. And if it’s not even close, I’m gonna be pissed and question the reviewers and their motives.
    I had gotten the audiobook but ended up deleting it from my phone because I just didn’t want to waste my time…


  5. Yeah, the hype can really mess with your mind sometimes. Too bad it wasn’t as good as all those epic reads.


  6. Ah thank you for this review Lekeisha. I have been having the same problems with a lot of books lately, am I’m glad I’m not alone. I’m sorry this book was such a bust for you. I’m glad you wrote this review, I will definitely not be checking this story out.


  7. Oh wow! Okay I am really going to have to re-evaluate my decision to read this or not. Most of the things you listed will for sure bother me as well so I’m thinking maybe I should either pass completely or at least wait until the next book comes out….So sorry this one didn’t work out for, but I know what it’s like to be the lonely one on the island who dislikes a book so you are not alone. Great job with your review and I’m very thankful you posted your honest thoughts. =)


  8. Sorry to hear this didn’t meet your expectations. I read somewhere that the world building isn’t very clear either. I’m even more curious now, it’s great when someone calls out the hype, puts things in perspective for me.

    Thanks for going against the grain ;P


  9. I read this a long time ago now, and before there was any hype (I guess I didn’t realize there was any hype, I guess the blogs I read just didn’t read it). I liked it a lot and thought it was different from others. But I’ve definitely not read every fantasy out there or anything. I did have some issues with some of the characters though. And my favorite is the Bloodwitch and I want to see how things play out in regards to him and what I figure is an inevitable romance. I’m sorry this one was disappointing to you though.


  10. I love the cover of this book. I’m sorry this one didn’t work for you. I completely understand grabbing a book because of people’s raving and being sorely disappointed. I get super annoyed with MC characters (particularly women and girls) who make impulsive and stupid decisions.

    And I agree, don’t write a book as if I already know what is going on. If you’re going to bring me into your book world, do some damn world building!


  11. Great Review! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one. I keep seeing mixed reviews on this one, so I’m not sure if I will like it or not. I think this would definitely have to be a library borrow for me.


  12. LOL Lekeisha, I like the rant, you definitely did not like this book 🙂 Sorry about that though. I have never read any fantasy novel so I wonder if I would like it because I have nothing to compare it with. Hope your next book will be better than this.


  13. Oh no 😦 I have this book on my TBR but it sounds like it doesn’t really deserve to have a place there. I am gonna have to think of crossing this one off the list. I really like books about witches and fantasy and all that sort of thing, but I don’t like insta love at all. I do love good world building but every world needs to have an explanation so you don’t feel dumped into it straight away.


  14. That’s too bad it feels like the same ol stuff. I haven’t had much desire to read it because I have a couple series in this genre to finish anyway. I’d rather stick with those for now.


  15. This one is on the end of so many mixed reviews, so I can totally understand! My own thoughts fell squarely in the middle, as usual when it comes to hyped YA. Personally I didn’t think it was anything special, but I did like it enough that I am open to continuing the next book. It was fun though, just nothing spectacular.


    • And that is really why I don’t like it. I think I will just finish the other YA fantasy series I have, and hold off on reading any new ones. Give me enough time to cool off, and then maybe I’ll like all these new stuff.


  16. I’m here for all of this rant. I totally felt like a sequel which frustrated me to no end. I think the people who truly enjoyed this book followed the campaign very closely, so they got more world info than we did


  17. Gave it 1 star myself! I do not understand the hype AT ALL. The two girls are so annoying, I couldn’t tell one from the other 99% of the time. And yes, this book feels like a sequel, there are so many things the author just throws at the reader and doesn’t bother to explain—this is absolutely terrible in fantasy books, I felt like I was reading in code or something. Also the humor felt so forced to me… remember that scene when one of the girls gets bird crap on her head or something and they all laugh and I was like…??? this is supposed to be funny??? I barely managed to read a few chapters of the preview and then gave up. So happy I didn’t get a copy either. Next!


    • IKR! All so the guards would be distracted, and they could get by. I feel like something epic could have been a distraction. Heck, I would rather they fought their way through and ran. They both ran a lot anyway. Every time they get to a place, they are fleeing. LOL


  18. Sorry this one didn’t work out for you but I totally get it — if a book is super hyped (and this one has been hyped FOR MONTHS!!!!!!!) then I am expecting something epic. It’s almost always hard to live up to that hype but that doesn’t mean we should expect anything less! I appreciate your rant and don’t think I’ll be picking this one up!


  19. You know what’s crazy? When I read Shadow & Bone, I thought it was good but I rated it 3 1/2 stars because it reminded me of Throne of Glass. The world was different of course, and so was the magic system, but I couldn’t help feeling as though I was reading a Sarah J Maas title with different characters. (Alina doesn’t have shit on Celaena but you get my point) I want to start this only to see what the hype is about. Not too many ppl dislike it, which often means, something is wrong with it lmao. Your rant basically proved that the hype of a book means nothing. I wish these authors would get more creative, and insta-love? No fucking thanks.


  20. I have felt like this with a lot of hyped books this year. I feel like so many titles are overhyped way before publication and they don’t deserve the hype at all.
    Anyways, I was super wary about this one and I’m honestly glad I stayed away from it. The world building part, especially, would annoy the heck out of me. I have no interest in wanting to be confused while reading a book. That’s not really good writing.
    Sorry this wasn’t for you, but thanks for taking one for the team!


  21. I thought I might give this one a chance, but I’ve seen too many mixed reviews on it. I already have a troubled relationship with Fantasy YA, I definitely don’t need anything to hurt it more. Also, great Jughead gif. LOL.


      • Honestly, I haven’t read much of the popular YA fantasy. I think the most popular things I’ve read recently have been The Queen of the Tearling, Storm Siren (and its sequel), and the first book in Snyder’s Healer series, whose name I forgot. LOL. But I think I’m definitely going to trust everyone on this one and stay away.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. This happens to me all the time! I’ll jump on the bandwagon and pick up a book that everyone’s been raving about only to walk away wondering what I missed that made said book so epic. Ugh! Sorry you didn’t love this one!!!


  23. LOL! You are allowed. This reminds me of the discussions about hyped books and reader expectations playing a role in the enjoyment. It’s certainly true of me. I read fantasy for the worldbuilding so the lack of explanation would have been enough right there, but then to have the heroine treated and acting like she’s a special snowflake and then the instalove? Killer.

    Back to your others. 🙂


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