Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
The Witchlands book 3. Tor, 2019. ISBN: 9781447288855.
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Witches and warlocks, Battles. Fans of the first two books in the Witchlands series, Truthwitch and Windwitch, will welcome the story of Bloodwitch Aeduan, who has joined the Threadwitch Iseult and the strange little girl, Owl to fight the raiders who are destroying the countryside. However he will have to come to terms with the actions of the Raider King, his father. Meanwhile the Windwitch, Merik, is held by the Fury and must try to save his friends' lives and Safi the Truthwitch is with the empress who is trying to uncover a rebellion in her kingdom.
The world building in the Witchlands series is fascinating: it is easy to believe in the court life of the empress that Safi serves as well as the bleak countryside, the awful slaughter and the strange monks and monastery. The cover too, will have instant appeal.
These books need to be read in order as each follows the other and builds on the motivations, courage and perseverance of the main characters. There is action aplenty in this complex series and the growth of the characters' understanding of what each stands for and believes in, stands out. The author brings the series to a satisfying conclusion, but not without some surprises and heartbreak. This series will have broad appeal to readers of fantasy.