Ever since Truthwitch came out, each year I have hoped for either an Iseult-centered book or an Aeduan-centered book, and Bloodwitch has answered our Aeduan prayers!
(Don't get me wrong—I really enjoy Safi and Merik and the supporting characters too, but I instantly felt a deep connection with Iseult and cautiously gravitated along with her towards Aeduan.)
For those as invested in Aeduan as I am, have no fear! His story arc was perfectly done; everything came full circle, and his journey was more than fulfilling. I genuinely teared up twice towards the end—which is a feat no book usually accomplishes with me! (I'm trying to say little here to avoid spoilers! 😬)
Of course, Iseult was great as usual, too. I love how strong and compassionate she is, and that even though people underestimate and overlook her, it usually works in her favor! The development of her relationship with Owl (from Windwitch) was enjoyable to see, and I'm curious what the future will bring for them.
Vivia has also stolen my heart, and her chapters were easily my favorite after Iseult and Aeduan's.
My absolute favorite part of this series, however, is the world the author has created. Above all, Dennard excels at world-building. The world she's created feels truly lived in; it's so expansive and rich in culture and lore. It's as well crafted as the Dragon Age world, which I am now also a huge fan of thanks to Susan! I love the magic system, the different types of witchery; they just make sense in this world. In any case, I'm glad we also get to see it through the many different characters spread out across the world who can each offer their own insights.
With each book, Dennard always manages to surprise me. In a good way. For a series pitched as "best friends saving the world together" (which couldn't be more exciting to me!) I remember being shocked at first that Safi and Iseult spent so much time apart. Now, I quite like the time spent apart, as it feels realistic—each character is focused on their own survival and has their own goals and ambitions—and it makes the reunions all the more emotional and impactful.
The development of the supporting characters is also fantastic. I like how they seem minor at first, but soon their roles become more important and complex enough to be considered a protagonist.
I will say Bloodwitch moves a bit slowly. There are so many characters and separate plot-lines to follow that it leaves little room for major progression, but if you've read the previous two books, you know this already, and hopefully you know that Dennard always makes up for it by closing these books out with action-packed, high stake scenes that propel us toward the sequel.
On that note, if you're looking for romance, well, it too moves quite slowly, but I believe that is what they mean by "slow-burn," and I have a strong feeling if there is any romance to be had, it will be well worth the wait!
I will definitely be seeing this series out! I ended Bloodwitch with an overwhelming need for the next book! Iseult next?? Vivia? (I have a feeling it will be Vivia and then Iseult... 🤞)