Hi people. I hope everyone is doing well.
It’s been a somewhat busy month. At least, it’s been an annoying one for sure. I’m currently dealing with some personal stuff that has been stressing me out all month. Plus a bunch of writing for my creative writing seminar. Which is also stressing me out. But that’s a whole other situation that has unfortunately led to me not getting any real work done on my current WIP. (I’ve had to move my self-imposed deadline back . . . twice. Cue the self-disappointment and frustration).
HOWEVER I’ve made time for reading this month–a lot of it. It’s been my saving grace (not to mention my mental health). Aaaaaaaaaaand in my stolen reading time, I managed to finish Sightwitch!
I adored this book for many reasons (which, duh, I’ll list here)(well, the spoiler-free stuff anyway). But before I get into why everyone should read the amazing Susan Dennard’s latest work, let me tell you what the book is about.
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.
Are you excited yet? I’m going to pretend you’re nodding. I know I was excited. It was a good story and here’s why I think you should read it seventeen times.
The drawings create another layer to an already detailed story. For being a novella there’s a lot going on. I can’t really say much about specific artwork without getting a little spoiler-y (I mean mostly)(but this is also something that you really need to see for yourself). The drawings and diagrams add more depth to the different storylines. Plus they’re done very well.
In addition to the artwork, one of the main reasons I loved Sightwitch was the POVs. Where Ryber’s story is not as prominent in the other Witchlands novels, the whole point of this prequel is to learn about her, and what’s really going on in the Witchlands. Not only is it cool to hear from Ryber’s POV, but we hear a little from Kullen’s–whose introduction was hilarious, brilliant, and one of my favorite parts of the entire novella–and a few other characters who I can’t name (but who are definitely going to be important later on I think).
In line with those people I can’t tell you too much about (I know, I suck, but I have a bad habit of giving stuff away and I want you to read it too) I can tell you Ryber’s story is mirrored nicely to theirs. The parallels drawn to fill in the holes in the readers’ minds are beautifully done and one of my favorite structural parts of the novella.
While I will rave to anyone who will listen about Sightwitch and the other Witchlands books, I do have one bone to pick about it: IT WAS ONLY A NOVELLA.
Okay, that’s not a real bone to pick I guess. Truthfully it’s just me being selfish. I know Susan’s been working her butt off to get us this story, and next Bloodwitch, and to get them as perfect as she can. There were a few points I would’ve liked to know more, though. Some stuff was just a little ambiguous and (while it totally sucked me in deep) I wanted MORE! It’s the only real issue I had with the book, and it’s a pretty small and silly one considering we’re getting Bloodwitch next year where hopefully my questions will be answered. The length was probably perfect for the story itself, I just always want more when it comes to a Witchlands story. (I adore the Witchlands world you guys so much).
I’m very curious, knowing what I do now, about how these stories play out in the Witchlands series. I want to know if what we learn here has as far an impact as I think it will. I do think some of the questions left unanswered was a little frustrating, but not nearly enough to diminish my impressive love for Ryber’s story. Overall Sightwitch very much so stood up to the standard I hold Susan’s books to (and the drawings made it even better). I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
So finally, this isn’t a part of my review, but I’m going to leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes from the novella:
“‘But maybe the marked path isn’t the right one. Maybe . . . there isn’t one set path at all.'” (159)
“You’ll understand once you’re Summoned? Well, is Summoned myself, and now I did understand: paths do not come to you. You have to find them for yourself, and sometimes, you have to carve new ones entirely.” (230)
And with that I say goodbye. I’m off to give more notes on my classmates’ work. I hope you enjoyed my (kind of scattered sorry) review and found it helpful! If so, leave me a comment or talk to me on Twitter. Bye!!