Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley (Atheneum, 2011)
Summary from publisher:
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 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, have 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 himself will change when he discovers that the prophecies he's always scorned...
are all about him.
This was another one of those can't-put-them-down titles that I didn't think I'd like when I first picked the book up. Holy cow! Coakley does an amazing job of creating this world of Witchlanders and Baen, of villager, magician, and witch. I enjoyed seeing both Ryder's story and Falpian's and how they two came together. There was just enough action and suspense to keep me reading, and my seventh grade students will be happy to hear that there is no love triangle!
This definitely read like a stand along book, and as far as I can tell, there isn't a sequel (although, the way YA publishing is right now, it's probably a trilogy). I do like the idea of stand alone books right now; I have series fatigue!
This book will appeal to both boys and girls (but why there's a girl on the cover is beyond me when both main characters are male), especially those who like fantasy and adventure stories. There's just enough sword fighting to make it exciting!
This is one of those rare YA books with no swearing or sex, and it was a refreshing read!