Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids's Reviews > Witchlanders

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
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Witchlanders is an intriguing, unique fantasy with a richly detailed world that gives the story a early century feel to it. Leno Coakley's creates a strong, believable world that centers on magic, various religious beliefs and fascinating creatures that all tie back into the story's in-depth history with the Ryder's family, the Witchlanders. Mixed into this is an on going war between them and the Baen people, is an incredible journey for two unlikely characters who's paths are brought together through destiny. These two hold the answers that will hopefully end an on going feud between their people. I really liked the way Lena alternates the two different points of view between Ryder and Falpian. I felt I got to understand both guys better, and I liked the way their stories were told.

Ryder is on a journey he never wanted to take, but his quest to have his questions answered leads him to some surprising, shocking answers. Unknowingly, he's the one will be able to save his people, too bad he's spent most of his life not believing in the Witchlanders or his mother's prophecies. He's had to grow up fast and has been responsible for being the man of the house, harvesting the food for his family before the chill comes, taking care of his two younger sisters and dealing with his mother who's erratic behavior and addiction to a power flower has her gift for seeing the future falling onto deaf ears. It's not hard to sympathize with Ryder, his doubts and his unbelief.

Falpian the Baen plays an interesting role in Witchlanders. This spoiled boy has had a life of luxury and while mourning the death of his brother, he's sent to live on his people's border in a quant little mountain cottage. On top of that he has a father who despises him and he's grown up feeling completely inadequate, because he lacks the magic that runs in his family. It's a fascinating twist when Ryder and Falpian are unexpected drawn together with a bond that's held sacred with Falpian's people. Falpian and Ryder are complete opposites in every sense of the word, and even their upbringings have taught them to despise each other, so it's really surprising when they form an unique bond.

There's a lot of great elements that Lena touches on in her debut such as prejudices, acceptance, the aftermath of war, addiction, magic, deception, family dynamics, love, sacrifice and brotherly love. You know the type that you'd do anything for the person you're fighting beside in battle, because you've created an undeniable bond and trust with this person. That's what Lena creates between Ryder and Falpian. With each element that is entriwinted within the pages of Witchlanders, it helps create more twists, reveals unexpected answers and gives way to more surprises.

Witchlanders is unlike any book I've read before and I commend Lena on the way she incorporates so many different elements and themes into her story. This is a book that fans of fantasy, witches and adventure will enjoy. There's magic, battles, character journey's and much more found within the pages of WITCHLANDERS. I'm curious to see what Lena will do with this book, if she'll leave it as a stand alone or create a series around her unique mythology. This is a book I'd recommend to teens and older YA readers.
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