Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch…
Before Merik returned from the dead…
Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.
Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight – and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.
On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.
Length: 295 pages
Sightwitch is a novella set before Truthwitch, the first book in the Witchlands series. It was published, however, between Windwitch and Bloodwitch, and I think this is the best spot to read it in. It answers a lot of the questions from Windwitch and Truthwitch, and expands on the world quite a bit. It does assume knowledge of the world, however.
The story follows Ryber, a seemingly inconsequential side character in Truthwitch, and explains her backstory, including how she met Kullen, her ‘heart-thread’. It’s told from a first-person point-of-view, which, for me, vastly improved the writing style from the previous two books. As I noted in both reviews for them, I’m not a fan of the way Susan Dennard writes this series, but the change to first person point-of-view in Sightwitch really improved the writing for me.
Though the main story is told from Ryber’s point of view, there is a secondary timeline introduced later on, in order to fill in some historical background to events in the novella. I don’t often like when books do this, but in this instance it worked for me. The information felt pertinent, and the characters in those sections were interesting enough to keep me invested in the story.
I really like Ryber’s character and the development she goes through in Sightwitch. The way Susan Dennard portrayed her as a small character, almost forgettable, in Truthwitch, then reveals her to be quite significant to the overarching story is really clever and well done.
Sightwitch, though a novella, is important to the overall story. It answers a lot of questions that we’re left with after the first two books in the series. And it’s left me quite excited to read the next book, Bloodwitch. If you’re going to read this series, you need to read Sightwitch, and preferably in the order of publication. I’m feeling more invested in the series the further I get into it, issues with the writing aside.