By Julia Bergen
To celebrate Bloodwitch coming out in February, and the Windwitch paperback coming out in October, we’re catching up on where the Witchlanders are! If you can’t quite remember what happened in Truthwitch, go read the .GIF recap for the first Witchlands adventure here.
Unlike Truthwitch, where the characters were headed the same place most of the time, Windwitch breaks everyone all up. Though Iseult and Adeuan get thrown together. So we’re going to recap their stories by team.
Running themes: pirates, explosions, betrayal.
We last left Merik, prince of the struggling/starving kingdom Nubrevna, having just lost his annoying passenger turned almost-girlfriend, Safi, to the Empress of Marstok.
And couldn’t do anything but watch as his best friend Kullen died, consumed by dark magic.
This book wastes absolutely no time in giving Merik even more problems.
Right off the bat, an assassin tries to kill him in the middle of the night. And on board his own boat. Merik kills the assassin, but not before the guy sets the boat on fire.
Merik escapes, badly burned, but decides that instead of telling everyone he’s alive, it’s a lot more fun to pretend to be dead.
Also makes it easier for him to sneak around, investigating who hired the assassin to kill him.
He assumes it was his sister, Vivia, who now has no rivals and can take the throne of Nubrevna for herself.
Merik’s sis, now in charge, is having more trouble leading than she anticipated. She’s in it to win it though, even if her nobles don’t like taking orders from a woman.
Merik’s detective instinct is not exactly Sherlock Holmes level, as it turns out the assassin had nothing to do with Vivia, he actually worked for a Nubrevnan noble who was trying to take the throne for himself.
To get the job done he was working with some pirates, as well as Merik’s bff Kullen, who is not as dead as we all assumed.
Oh he died, alright. But he’s been brought back to life, just like…Merik!
He actually died in the fire on his boat in the very beginning, and through the whole book he’s been in a half-dead half-living kinda situation.
Kullen and Merik fight, but then Vivia steps in and saves Merik. It’s a happy sibling reunion!
Until a pirate ship full of explosives shows up.
The pirates/Kullen/Merik/Vivia battle it out, and yay Merik and Vivia win!
Merik realizes Vivia makes a way better ruler than he does, and goes off to find a cure to his whole kinda-dead-but-not-really thing.
SO MEANWHILE, Safi’s being held by Vaness, the Empress of Marstok, who wants to use Safi’s ability to know if someone’s lying to help her get a handle on her corrupt court.
But boat explosions are the new fad it seems, and Vaness’s boat gets blown up too. It’s the new trend.
Safi and Vaness escape in a lifeboat. Making escaping burning ships the second hottest Witchlands trend.
Their boat washes up in a desolate area, and almost immediately they get captured by the notorious Hell Bards.
The Hell Bards work for Safi’s unwanted fiancé. Remember him from the Truthwitch recap? Also, btw he’s the emperor of Cartorra, the kingdom where Safi and Iseult grew up. Emperor-level creepy.
The Hell Bards find unregistered witches, like Safi. Also they wear neat metal helmets that make them immune to Safi’s abilities.
To get back home they have to pass through a pirate city (yep, same pirates as before). Unfortunately, they want to kill Vaness as part of their world domination plan.
So the pirates burn down the inn where Safi, Vaness, and the Hell Bards are staying. These pirates are really into fire.
The Hell Bards decide they’ll go ahead and help Safi and Vaness, since it’s better than getting killed by pirates.
They fight their way out of the pirate city! Though Safi has to make a deal with one of the pirates that she’ll give her one to-be-determined favor at a later date.
Vaness, Safi, and the Hell Bards, all go back to Marstok. Vaness promises Safi that once they handle her court she’ll give Safi a big ol’ pile of money.
TEAM ISEULT AND ADEUAN (TEAM ISEUAN?)
MEANWHILE MEANWHILE Aeduan’s dad’s friend makes him track Iseult. Which he has feelings about, but he ignores.
But along the way he gets caught in a trap. Which Iseult frees him from.
They form an uneasy alliance to find Safi together. But neither trusts the other.
To get to Safi they have to cross the Contested Lands, a lawless wasteland where they get hunted by, you guessed it, more pirates!
Along the way Iseult realizes she’s not actually a Threadwitch at all – she’s a Voidwitch, a class of witchery similar to Aeduan’s Bloodwitchery.
And the same type of witchery as the Big Bad who keeps invading Iseult’s dreams. Which make Iseult realize she can talk to Safi through Safi’s dreams.
So Iseult and Safi use their dream talk to plan to meet up in Marstock. Maybe it will work out? We’ll find out in Bloodwitch!