Thursday, September 22, 2011

"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.” -goodreads

Hello there, epic like complicated fantasy novel, a variety of book I almost always seem to fall for. “Witchlanders” is fantasy, people. The fantastical world within is amazing; reminiscent of the worlds “Eragon“, ‘Narnia‘, or “The Lord of the Rings“, and I totally loved those. No one is flying dragons, there’s no talking lion, and there aren’t any hobbits to be found, but it’s the feeling. A whole different world, with magic and its varied abilities,  a broad sense of imagination where you never know what’s going to happen next-- what character will discover their magical ability or what new creature will appear. It makes you want to know more, more about what their magic is, what the singing is, what’s up with the witches shrinking coven, what is going on with Ryder and Farien? Main character Ryder is excellent too. I was kind of confused about Ryder; he’s a great main character and I really liked him but the cover has a girl (I presume his sister, Skyla, but not sure), and I don’t know I just expected the protagonist to be a girl for some reason. I’m entirely okay with it being Ryder though, he was really interesting, and determined.

An interesting thing I noticed throughout the book, is that some things, especially the characters, aren’t physically described much. At the beginning that actually annoyed me, but then as I read on, I unintentionally formed my own picture in my head and it was crystal clear. I don’t know if this was intentional on Lena Coakley’s part or not but it was brilliant and I’m guessing it was. The pace was good overall also, it did seem a bit slow at times but I think that happens in all fantasy books…

I’m also not sure if there’s going to be a sequel to this one or not, but I hope there is! It didn’t really seem like a stand-alone with the ending, but more importantly; I want more of the world in Witchlanders and Ryder’s adventures!
Thank you Simon&Schuster for the opportunity to review this book.

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