Thursday, October 27, 2011

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

Published: August 2011
Publisher:  Atheneum
Pages: 400
Copy Provided by: Simon and Schuster Canada
Summary: Goodreads


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.


I read this title a few months ago and haven't put up a review for it because I wasn't sure what I should write. Have any of you ever felt that way about a book?  It was an excellent read and I gave it 4 stars on my Goodreads page but still, I just couldn't place a finger on what I enjoyed and what I didn't.  

First let me begin with this.  Lena Coakley is a beautiful writer.  Her words invoked such realistic imagery in my mind that I could imagine being with Ryder in his village, living a simple and humble existence.  I found that the theme of Witchlanders is unique to YA fiction.  I haven't come across another novel that discusses witches  in such a naturalistic sense.  They seem to be born with magic and use elements from the earth to bring about their powers and skills.  The idea of Ryder's mother throwing bones to foretell the future was such an interesting concept to me.  Also, magic is invoked through singing.  Another new concept to me.

So Witchlanders is about a feud between cultures.  Interestingly, they are very similar and sometimes it is hard to see exactly why they don't get along.  Its interesting when you look at cultures and why they fight. Where the power struggles are and the real reasons behind warring states.  Have you ever wondered how much misinformation is passed down through generations sometimes?  I digress....Witchlanders gave me plenty to think about as I was reading and became a fairly involved plot.  I'm looking forward to how Ms. Coakley continues this saga.  Sadly, I was not able to meet her in Toronto at the beginning of the month. Were any of you there?

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