‘After an 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 a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.’ (Goodreads) (384 pages, January 10th 2017, Tor Teen)
There may be small spoilers ahead…
I got this feeling with this book that a lot of stuff were happening, but that nothing was happening at the same time. I feel it sets up the story for the third book. A typical problem most second books have. But I did enjoy it nevertheless, because it gave me another story in the world of The Witchlands. All the characters were on the road, they were travelling and setting things up for the next book. A lot of events happened and I did enjoy spending more time with the characters, but we get more questions and I would have liked to have some answers or more information on what is going on.
Safi was captured by the Hell-Bards together with Empress Vaness. On their way in the land of the pirates, she kept trying to find different ways to escape, not knowing and wondering what the empress was thinking. It’s at the end of the book that we see the relationship of the entire group switch and turn around. Here we get some information about the Hell-Bards and who they are, how they work, how they exist. I do feel that Safi, as well as Isuelt, kept trying to channel and be the other person. The entire book Safi was wondering what would Isuelt do and then tried to channel her Threadsister. I love Safi for her strength and for the power she has to just jump into things and her trying to channel Isuelt just didn’t always give me the Safi I enjoyed so much in the first book.
Isuelt did the exact same thing. She was also on her way to find Safi again and in that way reunite the Cahr Awen. I found her interactions with Aeduan, the Bloodwitch, really interesting and to read more from his point of view gave me a bit more understanding of his character. Though here we got more questions as well. Why does he have a weak spot for children? Why does he pursue this one scent whenever he smells it? Why? Why? Why?
Merik underwent a disaster of his own and has been trying this entire book to find out why his sister tried to kill him. In his endeavors, he has been accompanied by Cam, a girl who finds it easier to go through life as a boy. I do have to say that his story arc was the least interesting of this book. He just was this Fury the whole time and trying to find a way to find out why his sister tried to kill him. Cam told him at one point to look at what was actually there, and not what he wanted to see and at that moment I shouted ‘Amen, Sister’! This was the feeling I had the entire time reading his story. He just kept tapping into his temper, going through his story not caring who he hurt in the process and that isn’t the Merik from the first book.
A nice new addition to the different Point of Views is the story of Vani, Merik’s sister. We get to see the same things happening in their country, in their city, but from her point of view. And an interesting one it was. She keeps trying to be some-one she’s not and the difficulty she has trying to fill her brothers and fathers shoes is incredibly heart wrenching, because you feel with her and you want her to succeed, but at the same time you’re screaming at your book because she makes all the wrong choices.
In the end I felt the ending left me where the first book left me, at a starting point. They all had a few more adventures, met new people, made new friendships and alliances. We do get a bit more information about what is going on, as well as getting a character back we sadly had to say goodbye to in the first book. But I do feel that we didn’t get further in the story. I still look forward to the other books, because of the world Susan Dennard created, but I hope we get some revelations and get further into the stories.
3 out of 5 stars