High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.
It’s all a fake.
At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?
But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—
Are about him
Simon and Schuster Canada sent this book to me a couple months ago. It was another one that I knew nothing about, but am glad that I got to read it. I found the synopsis of this novel is VERY misleading. But don't let that deter you from checking it out. It is WAY better then what the synopsis tells you. A fast past read, that is full of laugh out loud moments, and times where you'll feel annoyed with yourself for not reading faster.
The story is actually about two boys. Ryder; a Witchlander boy who has spent his life away from the coven and the witches that have been ruling his life for as long as he can remember. There is also Falpian, a Baen boy who is mourning the death of his twin brother. These two boys have a connection, and it's discovering what the connection is that makes Witchlanders such a fantastic read. Falpian and Ryder are sworn enemies. Years before there was a war that took place between the Withclanders and The Baens. Now there is a very distinct boarder that separates the Bitterlands (Baen land) and that of the Witchlanders. And very strict rules that the two peoples are never to meet.
Lena Coakley's debut novel is one of the best books I have read this year. Witchlanders is pretty high fantasy- which is not a genre that I enjoy reading. Although Withlanders is high fantasy it's not so fantastical that it is unrealistic. It is ultimately a tale about brotherhood and learning to trust yourself. It's totally a coming of age novel, that takes place in a fictional world. It is an amazing adventure. Ryder and Falpian get to know one another, they learn to like each other, but do they learn to trust each other?
One thing that always truly amazes me, is when a person has enough imagination and ability to create a whole new world. A world that has societies, and rules, and a hierarchy. There are so many details involved in creating a such a place, and I find that incredibly fascinating. I have read novels where this is done so poorly you wonder how the book was even published. However, what Coakley created was so intricate and complex you would think it would be impossible to do well. But, she did it. She didn't miss one single thing. There were no holes in her details, and you didn't need to stretch your imagination to much to believe what she was tell you, I was so impressed by this. The world she created wasn't trivial or clichéd, it was majestic and beautiful. I cannot explain how magical it was.
My favourite thing about this novel was the male point of view. Coakley wasn't writing just one male POV, but two. I loved the male perspective. I have sometimes read what was supposed to be a male POV, but found it to be very feminine. This was not something that I experienced with Ryder or Falpian. They were boys, and I never forgot that. I also was never confused when she would switch perspectives. It was always very clear who's mind I was in.
Although the synopsis alludes to a romance, Witchlanders contains none. I had no idea that I was getting sick of paranormal/contemporary romance, until I read this novel. I think that those who NEED a little romance in their books will enjoy this one, because of the way that Ryder and Falpian's relationship (which is TOTALLY platonic) develops. It is so endearing that you won't mind that lack of "sexual tension" that happens between the boy and the girl.
There are a lot more great things I could touch on when it comes to Witchlanders. But I think you need to experience it yourself. There a few bloggers giving away copies of Witchlanders and I think you should head over to enter. If that's to much work, I think you should just go out and buy the book. It is really a fantastic novel. I can't wait to read more about Ryder and Falpian's adventure.
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~Happy Reading Everyone!