Today, two short reviews.
Sightwitch (The Witchlands #0.5) by Susan Dennard – Preview
Sightwitch is a prequel novella to The Witchlands series – it’s set before the beginning of Truthwitch, and it follows one of its side characters, Ryber.
Ryber has lived in the Sightwitch monastery for years, but she’s still a serving sister: goddess Sirmaya hasn’t chosen her yet, hasn’t given her the sight or silver eyes. The novella starts with Ryber’s threadsister, Tanzi, being chosen. Then things get… interesting really quickly: Tanzi disappears. And she isn’t the only one; soon Ryber remains alone in the monastery.
The storytelling is non-linear – some parts, which are told in Tanzi’s PoV or through excerpts from the diary of mysterious Eridysi Gochienka, are set in the past.
My favorite scenes were those set in the crypts. They were the right level of creepy, and I loved The Rook, who is probably immortal and totally not what he seems.
Ryber remains one of my favorite side characters from The Witchlands series (my absolute favorite is Cam), and this was an interesting look not only into her backstory but also in the complex worldbuilding of The Witchlands.
My rating: ★★★½
The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, #2) by Renée Ahdieh
The Wrath and the Dawn should have been a standalone.
It could have been a perfectly good standalone, and many of the things I hated about it – the useless side PoVs, the love triangle, Tariq – wouldn’t have been there: they existed in the first place just because the author wanted a sequel.
The Rose and the Dagger is useless. There’s little development for the main character, and many of the threads this book had to wrap up didn’t need to exist.
Tariq, especially, didn’t need to exist. The conflict in the first half of this book is caused by him being his useless self. Without him, there would be no second book, and I would have been happier.
This isn’t a bad sequel. I liked the characters – actually, I liked them more here than in the first book, because Khalid has finally learned to do something other than brood – so I’m not giving the book a low rating. It’s just fine, forgettable in every way.
The atmosphere and the descriptions are still lovely.
The writing was good, but it wasn’t anything special – just like the rest of the book – and I still think most of the side PoVs were useless – just like the rest of the book. I liked Irsa as a side character, I didn’t need her point of view.
My rating: ★★★