Jun 15, 2021

ARC Review--Wtichshadow by Susan Dennard


Susan Dennard's New York Times bestselling, young adult epic fantasy Witchlands series continues with Witchshadow, the story of the Threadwitch Iseult.

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 brief. For Iseult to stay alive, she must flee Cartorra while Safi remains. And though Iseult has plans to save her friend, they will require her to summon magic more dangerous than anything she has ever faced before.

Meanwhile, the Bloodwitch Aeduan is beset by forces he cannot understand. And Vivia—rightful queen of Nubrevna—finds herself without a crown or home.

As villains from legend reawaken across the Witchlands, only the mythical Cahr Awen can stop the gathering war. Iseult could embrace this power and heal the land, but first she must choose on which side of the shadows her destiny will lie.



I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


After a brutally long wait, we finally return to Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series and it’s Iseult’s turn to shine in Witchshadow! I can honestly say the wait between books and its epic length and fantasy saga made it a little hard to get back into. I was still enjoying myself and the story at large, I just couldn’t put two and two together to remember what has already come.

Things are pretty much chaos in this one. Iseult is on the run, Safi is trapped in a forced marriage, Aeduan is no longer himself…it’s utter madness! I’ll also admit I wasn’t quite sure what the main goal was here. I forgot how many points of view there was in this series, that even though we deem this “Iseult’s book,” it’s not her story as there is still a lot going on with all the other characters. I kind of wanted to just stick with Iseult to be honest, Aeduan was another point of view I enjoyed! To be honest, Aeduan and Iseult were my favorite couple of this series, so I would be happy just sticking in their heads all day!

As I said, the length of time between books and with how long this one took me to read it, I couldn’t quite grasp what everyone’s goals were. I took notes still and such, but I guess I should not read two epic fantasy series back to back and having waited more than the standard one year for its release.

Iseult is on the run from pretty much everyone. Iseult’s mastering her abilities and is becoming a target for a lot of unsavory characters. All the while she just wants to get back to her Threadsister. Meanwhile, Safi is trying to break every rule that she can to make her “husband” upset. She wants him defeated and she wants to find her uncle and keep everyone she loves safe and sound.

There were these random chapters that I eventually grasped that happened in the time we left the Witchlands series and from when our story started. There’s a lot of chaos to say the least! There were also many things happening with Vivia and Vaness, and Ryber and Stix. Characters I could vaguely remember but not entirely, so that also didn’t help matters. It seemed every time I was getting into Iseult’s side of things we left her and circled around to all the other characters. I mean in some sense, I get why we have to see what’s happening with all the characters, but in another I just wanted to stick around Iseult, Safi, and Aeduan. Our other favorite hero, Merik, was sorely missing in action and mention for that matter.

By the end, I gathered that we reached a happy sort of medium. We’re in no way done with the story but with all that happened, all the was resolved, I’m still a bit baffled to know what other chaos is about to hit the fan.

I don’t want this to come off as me saying I didn’t enjoy this book, because I did. I really, really did! It was just hard trying to keep facts straight, timelines straight and all those glorious details when I read this in short grabs throughout a week and half, which is highly unusual even for me. Little time to read made it hard to remember everything that was happening in this one book alone! Sometimes I wish authors who write these epic sort of fantasies, and even more so when they don’t release once a year, should include character guides so you can remember the who’s who. Who you should root for, who you should hope dies a most painful death, etc. A short recap wouldn’t hurt either, but honestly…I’ve only ever seen one author do that and it wasn’t even a fantasy series!

Witchshadow was still read to keep you firmly planted on the edge of your seat. The characters remain my favorite part of the series, even if some of the lesser known ones are harder for me to remember after two years and a hundred or so books later. I am very much looking forward to seeing where Susan will take this series! All in all, this was a fun and exciting read! Though it can be a bit chaotic if you’re not a lightning reader or have a shoddy memory like myself, but you can still find yourself enjoying the story of the moment! This is a series not to be missed by fantasy fans for sure!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars


Witchshadow releases June 22, 2021






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