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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Thoughts: Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

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 clich├ęd, 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.

Witchlander Giveaways:
YA Booklover Blog
The Zealous Reader
Rayment's Readings, Rants, and Ramblings

~Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. This sounds like a really amazing read, I must get this on my TBR immediately :-)

  2. This sounds like a really amazing read, I must get this on my TBR immediately :-)

  3. Mmm... interesting, I'm starting to hear good things about this book... I'll add it to the maybe pile, I think =)

  4. Thankyou for this AWESOME review! I keep seeing this one about on people's IMM, and from the synopsis I wasn't sure. But after your recommendation I definitely want to check this one out!

  5. Thank you for a fantastic review! You are right, the summary doesn't sound interesting at all. I'm a total fan of love stories, but the brotherhood sounds like a great thing to read about.
    I also love the books that you didn't intend to read before, read anyways because someone you trust suggested it or you got it from a publisher, and love them in the end:)

  6. Can has? I've been tracking this book for a while and I have A MIGHTY NEED TO OWN!

  7. Great review! I haven't read this book yet, but it sounds great!

  8. Wow! I love books with witches and this sounds purely amazing. I will definitely be checking this out. :)

  9. Me too! I love books about witches! Witches are the coolest supernaturals! I have to check this out! :)

  10. WOW what a cover!! Looks really nice and I like your review!!

  11. I enjoy fantasy and supernatural beings. The characters sound great and I'm sure I will love this book.

  12. After every paragraph you listed I thought this review cannot get any better. But it did. I almost squealed with excitement because every paragraph of your review contained something I love; high fantasy from male perspectives with no romance. Yes please. I also love stories about brotherhoods and friendship. Definitely adding this to my TBR.


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