Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Admittedly, we were unsure whether we were going to like this series, as there was a lot of hype surrounding it (and you know what they say about hype). Boy are we happy we did. This book was a joy to read; it had a great plot, complex characters, political intrigue, an interesting magic system and easily relatable themes. The action/adventure sequences are fast paced and frequent. There are even some moments of reflection by characters; but they are never morose or sappy.
The plot moves along fabulously, and each surprise revelation makes the unfolding tapestry all the more interesting and wonderful. The themes of friendship and family are the cornerstones of this book; especially the bond between Safi and Iseult. However, the other supporting characters are also interesting, especially prince Merik.
A story is more intriguing when an author has thoroughly fleshed out characters, and the story is easily followed. However, a bit of mystery is appreciated as long as we that bit by bit, mysteries are eventually revealed.
Susan Dennard has definitely delivered with this story.