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Book review: 'Windwitch' surpasses Witchlands expectations

Posted January 7

"WINDWITCH," by Susan Dennard, Tor Teen, 384 pages, $18.99 (f) (ages 10 and up)

Susan Dennard became a sensation in the world of young adult novels with the early 2016 release of the first book in her Witchlands series, "Truthwitch." Many readers have held their breath in hopes that the sequel will match its predecessor, but Dennard has upped her game with "Windwitch," which focuses primarily on a fan favorite character from the first book.

"Windwitch," which is scheduled to be released Jan. 10, stands apart from the pack with Dennard's unique ability to juggle many characters, who take turns as the protagonist throughout the pages. Deep and convincing character development drives and focuses the plot, preventing it from getting lost among so many different characters. The flow of action feels natural and requires little suspension of disbelief once the reader has become immersed in the Witchlands world.

That world, though, is intricate, to put it lightly. While the characters themselves are well-defined and can be seen individually within the mind of the reader, other aspects are more difficult to keep track of. This isn't uncommon in fantasy series with unfamiliar universes. In the case of "Windwitch," the geography and spacial relationships between the characters can become confusing. However, Dennard seems to have anticipated the potential confusion and has included a map inside the cover to help the reader navigate the story.

While "Windwitch" is an excellent read that will please most of Dennard's fans, it isn't perfect and may leave a few readers wanting. It begins slowly as the reader has to learn to adjust to a new main protagonist, and readers who have hoped for brewing romance won't find it in this installation of the series.

All in all, "Windwitch" avoids the letdown that most sequels fall into and will have readers on the edge of their seats once more for Dennard's next release.

"Windwitch" doesn't contain any objectionable language or sexual content but does include instances of mild violence that is not described in detail.

Jennifer Ball is a freelance journalist out of Los Angeles specializing in food criticism and LDS media.

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