by Susan Dennard
Tor Teen, 2016. 415 pages. Young Adult
Nineteen years into a 20-year truce, trouble is brewing in a land ruled by three empires and Safiya and Iseult, threadsisters bonded together for life, are unwittingly at the heart of the trouble. In the Witchlands, some people are born with magical skills. Hot-headed Safi a noblewoman of the Cartoran empire was born with the incredibly rare ability to tell if someone is telling the truth or lying. While quiet and scheming Iseult is a Threadwitch, despised for her Nomatsi ethnic heritage but able to perceive the emotional ties between people seen as colored threads.
Safi and Iseult just want to live their own lives, but Safi’s ability makes her target as empires jockey for position and power. Chased by the near indestructible Bloodwitch Aeduan, who can track a person across empires once he smells their blood and trying to keep from being caught up in the political machinations taking place, Safi and Iseult flee on a ship with Prince Merik, a Windwitch and admiral of Nubrevna who is trying to save his people from starvation after a horrible drought.
Told from the alternating points of view of Safiya, Iseult, Merik, and the ruthless Bloodwitch Aeduan, this book is loaded with political intrigue, magic, thrilling fight scenes, mythical creatures, action-packed adventure, and romance. I think most people will be happy to overlook the novel’s few flaws.