Hey all, Dani here.
It’s a bonus post coming to you today. Why? Because I am still miserably behind on all of the reviews I need to write for this blog. So I may be utilizing the weekends for a little bit to help me catch up. By my count at this moment, I have 12 manga reviews I need to write up, 22 book reviews, and at least 17 NetGalley books to read and review. So yeah, lots to come here on the blog.
But today I am here with a book that is partially a NetGalley review, because they granted access to a sneak peek of this book before its release last year…and then I just didn’t get around to reading it. Why? I don’t know. It is a novella, and didn’t take me very long to read it all. At least I can say that the next book in the series is coming out soon, so this is a great time to post up a review.
Let’s get started.
From New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard, Sightwitch is an illustrated novella set in the Witchlands and told through Ryber’s journal entries and sketches.
Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch…
Before Merik returned from the dead…
Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.
Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight—and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.
On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.
Set a year before Truthwitch, Sightwitch is a companion novella that also serves as a set up to Bloodwitch, as well as an expansion of the Witchlands world.
Rating: 4 stars
This book was only a couple hundred pages in total, so it really didn’t take that long to read it. Especially when you consider that the whole thing is told in journal entries with artwork scattered throughout as well.
I will say that even though it is set a whole year before Truthwitch, I would read it after Windwitch, just so you appreciate the character moments and you understand the world to a better extent. This novella does not set up the world in a manner that would make it the best first read of the series. However, if you are someone who re-reads, then I could see reading this one first during a re-read so you can read everything in chronological order.
Honestly, I don’t know if I was more interested in Ryber’s part of the tale, or Erydysi’s…I may have like Erydysi’s journal entries more. And I’m very curious to see how those elements influence the rest of the series. Because I’m sure that Sooz definitely has a plan, and certain details of this novella have to be important for Bloodwitch and beyond.
The Ryber and Kullen interactions were really fun too, especially knowing their relationship in Truthwitch. I also liked learning more about the Paladins, and Sightwitches in general, because I feel like these details are all starting to pull together and connect in interesting ways. I like how each installment in the Witchlands series just keeps adding to what we know and understand about the world and its history and its magic. It really is cool worldbuilding.
I guess I didn’t give this a 5 star rating because in some ways, I think I wanted just a little more from this installment. I enjoyed what I was given, and it wasn’t bad by any means. But I think I would have been okay if this had been expanded to more of a full-length novel, perhaps with a bit more focus on the lessons and training before being summoned to become a Sightwitch.
I’ve grown to really enjoy Susan Dennard as a writer. Not just because I enjoy reading her books, but also because of all of the writing advice she gives. She is just so open about her plotting, drafting, revising, and publishing processes, and I really respect that. Since I joined her newsletter, I have saved every single e-mail, in case I need to refresh myself on her words of wisdom.
Where to Buy
You can pick up this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. The third full-length book (fourth release) of this series–Bloodwitch–will be released February 12th.