2015 Feature: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

This next book in my 2015 feature doesn't even have a cover yet but that doesn't mean I'm not already super pumped about it. Once you read the synopsis and the interview Susan and I have lined up for you, you'll be all over this one and cursing its Fall release date as well.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard.

First in the Witchlands series.
To be published Fall 2015 by Tor.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Garth Nix meets Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The series is set in a world where three empires rule and every member of the population is born with a magical skill set, known as a “witchery.

Now, as the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries-long war is about to end, the balance of power will fall on the shoulders of two young women, who must accept their fate, and themselves, to survive.

Here's my interview with Susan wherein she shares more then enough amazing reasons why you will want to dive into Truthwitch right now:

Jess: Welcome, Susan, thanks for joining me! Can you start by describing Truthwitch in 5 words or less.
Susan: Epic, sweeping, swashbuckling fantasy.

J: Some of my favourite words! 
Truthwitch is being pitched as Garth Nix meets Avatar: The Last Airbender. Can you explain that a little?
S: Well, I didn't come up with that comparison--my agent did. I actually usually say, "Avatar meets Assassin's Creed." But that's only because I would never deign to compare myself to the King of YA Fantasy, Garth Nix. ;)

The reference to Avatar is because the magics (called witcheries) are linked to six different elements--Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Aether, and Void--and so many of the epic battle scenes played out in my head like an Avatar episode. ;)

The Garth Nix comparison is because there are swords and sorcery, monsters and magical creatures, darkness and alternate worlds, and strong--like, amazingly strong yet still feminine--heroines.

And then I always say Assassin's Creed because the world is renaissance-like set in an alternate Venetian empire. Plus, there might be assassins involved. ;)

J: I don't think you could have sold me any faster once you started elaborating on those. That all sounds AMAZING.
What would you say is your main character Safiya's best quality? What is her worst? What about Iseult?
S: Safiya's best quality is that she's deeply emotional and driven to act now--no waiting or waffling. This is also her worst quality, though, since she can be hot-headed and prone toward stupid decisions—all because she didn't plan ahead.

Iseult, Safi's Threadsister (a.k.a. best friend in the whole world), is the perfect balance to Safi: she's cool under pressure and excellent at planning. Of course, Iseult's strengths are also her greatest flaws because her logic and stoicism keep her at a constant distance from other people, and she is often too slow to act when split-second decisions are needed.

J: Which of your other characters are you most excited for readers to meet?
S: I'm really excited for readers to meet Merik, another POV character. He's a Windwitch and the prince of Nubrevna--one of the few nations that has managed to maintain its autonomy in the face of the three empires.

I'm also SUPER excited to introduce Aeduan to everyone. He's a Bloodwitch, and he's hell-bent on claiming the bounty out on Safi's and Iseult's heads.

J: Sure sounds like we're in for a fantastic cast with this series! 
Can you share a bit about the three empires that rule Truthwitch's world? Will we experience one more than the others in this first installment of the series?
S: The three empires, Cartorra, Dalmotti, and Marstok, are loosely (very loosely!) based on the Austrian, Venetian, and Ottoman empires. In book 1, Truthwitch, we'll see a lot of the Dalmotti Empire as well as glimpses of Merik's homeland, Nubrevna. In later books, readers will get to explore the other empires as well as other still-independent nations too.

J: What was the strangest thing you came across in your research for Truthwitch? What was the most interesting?
S: While I was researching, I found this thing called the Twelve Year's Truce -and I thought it was AWESOME. The idea that everyone would just put their wars on hold and intentionally resume 12 years later? I knew right away that I had to use that in the book. Hence, the Twenty Year Truce was born! In Truthwitch, the Twenty Year Truce is about to end, and the empires are preparing to return to their war-mongering ways.

J: Can you share any secrets or fun facts about the book?

S: Hmmmm, secrets or fun facts? Well, I suppose it's not a secret really, but the book is very, very, VERY much focused on friendship, and the reason I wanted to write about friends is because of my very, very, VERY close BFF-ship with Sarah J. Maas (author of the Throne of Glass series). We're like sisters, and it was from that relationship that the term "Threadsisters" arose. :)

J: I love that! Thank you very much, Susan, for joining me and for your exciting answers! 

To say I'm excited to read Truthwitch is a major understatement. I think this one will be on a lot of people's must-have lists for next year... and with good reason! It's definitely on yours, right?

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