Review: Witchshadow by Susan Dennard

Series: The Witchlands #4
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Tor Teen
Released: June 22nd, 2021
Received: Own

It’s here! It’s finally here! And boy, was it worth the wait! Witchshadow is the fourth novel in Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series, an absolutely delightful series that I cannot recommend enough! I’m so obsessed with this series.

Did I mention that Witchshadow is Iseult’s perspective? I’d say finally, but that would imply that I was upset with the previous ones, and I certainly was not. Still, I have been waiting for this moment. I know I’m not the only one.

The Witchlands are being torn apart by war and destruction. All Iseult wants to do is find a way back to her heartsister, Safi. Yet to do that, she must stay alive, which means facing off against untold magic and danger.

There are forces at play in the world. Ancient forces that are going to further complicate Iseult’s journey. Some will act to aid her, while far too many will seek to get in her way.

“May the Moon Mother light your path.”

There are no words to express how much I loved Witchshadow. It is a novel that has been years in the making – literally. It feels like every book has been building up to this moment (because they have, obviously). But, let me tell you, all of that tension and built-up has been well spent.

Iseult’s perspective was everything I could have asked for, and then some. I’ve been so anxious to learn more about her powers. More accurately, I’ve been anxious to see how far she can push them – including how far she was willing to go. Now I know.

For me, this is the book where SO many pieces of the story just clicked. While not every question has been answered (that would require the ending of the series), it was satisfying how much was explained here.

At times Witchshadow feels disjointed – yet there is a clear intention behind that. Not only are perspectives swapping (yes, Iseult is the primary perspective, but all of the other leading characters get a say as well), but there are so many flashbacks as well. Those flashbacks serve a purpose. Ultimately, I really enjoyed the transition that happened within this book. It really did feel like we were learning alongside the characters.

“Her magic cursed her from the day she’d been born, but only when she did not have it had she realized how much her curse had meant to her.”

Speaking of other characters, let us not forget many of our other favorites! Naturally, Safi and Aeduan feature heavily alongside Isuelt’s story. I adored the new direction Safi’s story went. It was intense in ways I hadn’t expected, yet it forced her character to grow so much.

As for Aeduan? Wow. I’m not sure I can talk about that one without giving up some spoilers, so I’m just not going to do it. But I will say that his plot added so much to the story, including some additional emotional turmoil.

Lest I not forget, these three are not the only characters to make appearances in this novel. I feel like my review would end up being the same length of the novel if I keep talking, though, so I’ll try to keep it short. Vivia, Vaness, Stix, Ryber, and many others all make their appearances. I promise. I think what I love the most about this varied cast is that Susan Dennard knows that while we are desperate to see them all – we don’t need them all to provide their own perspective. So she carefully groups everyone whenever possible.

Witchshadow is not a novel that Witchland fans are going to want to miss. The journey of Iseult and her heartsister is rich, intense, and will compel you to keep on reading. No, seriously. I stayed up way too late last night simply so I could finish it all in one go. No regrets. (And yes, I am going to reread it ASAP).

Long story short: go read Witchshadow. It’s perfect, and you’re going to love it. I know I did.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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