Thanks to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for providing me with an Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is the third book in Dennard’s Witchlands series. The digital copy of the ARC itself was really muddled and difficult to read which hindered my reading comprehension at certain points. I think the file itself must have been corrupted in some way as some letters were missing and the text was mixed up. I’ll be buying a physical copy of it upon release though.
This book throws you right back into the action of the Witchlands series. It’s definitely not a book to read unless you have read the previous books in the series as you’ll be completely lost. The bonus is that the series is really, really good so you should check them out if you haven’t already. This is not the book to start with however, and you may even want to re-read them if you have read them previously because the story doesn’t allow for recap and I found myself having to re-read parts of the previous books to remember the context.
Bloodwitch, if anything, is even better than previous instalments. Dennard is a fantastic world builder; her characters feel vibrant and real and you will likely become genuinely attached to them. The story follows on shortly after the events of Windwitch and focuses mainly on Aeduan, the eponymous Bloodwitch as well as Safi and Iseult. There are a lot of supporting characters to keep track of which makes for a bit of a whirlwind reading experience. Dennard doesn’t coddle her readers which I personally appreciate, but others might struggle a bit with the pace of the narrative and the number of alternating points of view. Some character arcs are more interesting than others, but this is down to personal preference rather than a flaw in the book. Some of the chapters felt like Daenerys chapters to me. If you’ve read Game of Thrones you’ll know what I mean. I don’t really subscribe to trigger warnings…it’s a book series set in a fantasy world, there’s going to be violence. Some parts make for difficult reading so if you’re sensitive to that, keep it in mind.
I really enjoyed this book and in my opinion it’s the strongest in the series yet. The character relationships and dynamics are as compelling as ever and the narrative itself is gripping. If you haven’t read the previous books now is the perfect time to pick them up. It’s always tricky to write a review about a book that is part of a series because people who haven’t read the series are unlikely to start with it, and those who already read and enjoy it are likely to read it no matter what. If you’re a fan of the series pick this one up!