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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,725 ratings  ·  450 reviews
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

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Luthien If you haven't already decided, and having read both, I would definitely say Witchlanders. It's more suited to younger readers and reads almost like a…moreIf you haven't already decided, and having read both, I would definitely say Witchlanders. It's more suited to younger readers and reads almost like a fairy tale. That's not to say it's "dumbed down," but if you're eleven, it's the one to choose!(less)

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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,725 ratings  ·  450 reviews

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Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of high fantasy
I am going to open this with something a tad irrelevant, but I kind of do that all the time huh? Anyhow, when I first put this book on to-read I took a quick glimpse of the cover and thought it had an ice landscape as the cover, and low and behold when I actually get the book I find there is an actual GIRL on it! On that note what a cool cover right?

This book, goodness..., it was just great. Ok I need to do better than that *shakes head*. I haven't read any hardcore fantasy in a while but this b
Amelia, free market Puritan
Reasons why this book looks amazing

1. It sounds like the MC is a guy! I ALWAYS love those in fantasies! :D
2. It sounds like it's a high fantasy! Don't see enough of those!
3. witches and magic in a non-boarding school setting - immediate WIN!
4. there is a freaking SWORD on the cover. LEGIT!
Viktoria Winter
“The Great God Kar sings the world into being. He is singing even now. If he stopped, everything from the mountains to the oceans to the ink on this page would disappear. Kar’s magic comes from harmony, and yet the God is alone, singing with his many mouths and tongues, watching mankind with his thousand eyes.

Once, all men could hear his songs. They joined their voices with their brothers, imitating the harmonies of creation, until they made a magic that rivaled Kar’s. And so the jealous God se
Sarah Maas
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning. The world, the characters, the writing--it all left me breathless. One of the best fantasy novels I've read in a while!!! ...more
One of the best YA books I've read in ages and one of only a handful of novels I've read recently and didn't skim.* But there's not much to skim here: no extraneous details, no pointless action, no characters who don't actually advance the plot. Instead, there's an original, interesting story, well and concisely told.

There are enough well-placed clues about where things are headed that readers can feel smart for figuring things out, but there are also some very nice surprises, so that it's actu
Zoë Marriott
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Synopsis:

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 villa
Before I begin discussing the story, let me point out that the cover is entirely misleading. At least, it misled me into believing that the main character would be female. He is not. He has two sisters though, who might end up having their own stories somewhere down the line but Witchlanders has a male protagonist. Over at my blog, I confessed how more times than not, I feel disconnected from male protagonists and how this results in me not enjoying the book as much I could. I am glad to tell yo ...more
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finish reread one of my favourite book! Witchlanders is really one of my favourite. Wanna know why? It's is all because of the soulmate theme.

So what do you think of soulmate? Is must be that someone that are meant for you. The person is a part of you. No matter where you are, the person will be there for you...

Romantic right?

But have you wonder what would happen if your soulmate is the same gender with you!? What if each of us is way too different? Or worst each of us are suppose to be ene
Ashley Daviau
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely adored this book! I was completely hooked from page one and couldn't put it down, It was such a fresh, original take on magic. I loved the concept of bone-throwing and the idea of spell weaving through singing. I also loved the main character Ryder. It's rare that I read a book with a male main character so it was a nice change from the usual. And I quite enjoyed that there was no love story, it allowed the book to focus solely on world building (which was spectacular!) and developi ...more
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, reviewed
Witchlanders was a really interesting read, and very different from a lot of the books that I’ve read recently. First of all, no romance. (Thankfully, that means no love triangles, either. Am I the only one getting tired of them?) Secondly, no weird paranormal beings popping out of nowhere. (Well, okay, there are witches. But I mostly meant there are no vampires or werewolves. I’m kind of sick of those too.)

I found both the cover and summary to be a bit… lacking. First of all, as pretty as the c
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
I totally thought this was a paranormal novel when I first glanced at the cover. I mean, it sorta reminds me of witches and vampires for some strange reason because it doesn’t give off the aura of “Hey! I’m a fantasy novel!” which this is. High fantasy, to be precise.

The book is told through alternating viewpoints of Ryder and Falpian. (When I first saw his name, the image that came to mind was of fallopian tubes… Don’t judge. LoL.) But what’s great about them is they’re both distinct character
Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
Sep 08, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: own
How gorgeous is this cover?!

May 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, arc
*** this review will be posted to Bookish on August 20th ***

Lena Coakley uses her writing to weave a potent and unforgettable story, filled with magic, adventure, love, betrayal, revenge and long-buried secrets. Witchlanders is not only beautifully written and absolutely compelling, but with its unique take on witchcraft, fantastic characters and exquisite winter scenery, it is a true gem among the Young Adult fantasy books of recent years.

The main protagonist, Ryder, works hard in the field
Jul 16, 2011 rated it liked it
When I read the first couple of chapters I kept saying to myself: "I think I'm going to love this book...." but then it tapered off. I loved the fantasy elements of it and it reminded me of what I've been missing lately. What with all these dystopias and urban fantasies that have taken over my to-read pile. This was exactly the sort of book that I hoped would be positively refreshing and full of magical elements. And it was full of magic...but the story just didn't pull me in as much as I would ...more
Jan 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
I usually don't go for books rated below 3.8-3.9, as generally I have been disappointed ( with some few exceptions; e.g. Talon by Kagawa and Everneath by Ashton). But, Witchlanders looked like an intriguing book, promising rich magic, deep characters and a plot filled with twists and turns, so I decided to give it a go. It did not deliver.

Ryder, our MC, was very wishy-washy and undecided, a massive whiner and had the depth of a teaspoon. I had hoped that, after the first few boring chapters, he
Erin Bow
Ah! Here is the truly original, sweeping yet intimate high fantasy that I didn't know I was craving. Beautifully imagined, beautifully written. I need to let it sink in and/or get my brain back before I can say anything useful about it. For now: if you're a fantasy fan, absolutely, read it. I'm sorry I missed it when it was new and I'm going to go get Worlds of Ink and Shadow as soon as I can. ...more
Whitley Birks
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Confession time: I picked up this book expecting it to be bad. But, you know, one of those enjoyable bad books that people love to snark at. I WAS WRONG. IT WAS AWESOME. Despite a cover that looks like it’s going to be all about a sad witchy girl finding love in the middle of winter and ignoring the plot, it’s actually about two boys from different sides of a building war and romance isn’t anywhere to be seen.

Really! Romance is nowhere to be seen! Now, I like me a bit of romance, really
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers

Since his father's death, life for Ryder, his mother, and two younger sisters has been unbearable. Not only has harvesting the hicca farm before the start of the winter's deadly chill become near impossible, but Ryder's mother, Mabis, has lost her grip on reality. Formerly an iron-willed woman who would laugh about the silly superstitions of the valley folk and the witches that portend to throw bones and foretell the Goddess's will, Mabis has turned in on
Melissa (i swim for oceans)
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ryder doesn't believe in the power of the Witches that govern his mountain homeland. He longs to escape the hard labour of his family's farm in favour of a life by the sea, but his plans change drastically when he loses his father. Left to manage the farm, care for his eccentric mother and younger sisters, he is forced to accept the life he doesn't want. Falpian lives a very different life with the Baens. While mourning the loss of his twin brother at sea, he's sent to live alone in a tiny cotta ...more
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
In short: Witchlanders by Lena Coakley is a fascinating and original high fantasy debut with a refreshing Bromance.

The synopsis for this book is a bit misleading. You would think the story was all about Ryder but it was really about two main characters and their relationship: Ryder, a Witchlander, and Falpian, a Baen. The synopsis also suggests, to me anyway, that romance is likely between Ryder and this "beautiful and silent witch" he must confront, but there is barely a hint of such a thing. A
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it

That word doesn’t reference the content of this book, but instead how I feel about it. In particular, I am in love with the world of the Witchlands, with its red zanthia trees, its fields of hicca, the verdant valley and the mountainous backdrop. Lena Coakley has imbued the setting in her debut novel with something magnetic and deep, full of possibilities and beauty and peopled with flawed, courageous and mad characters. I am so very happy I read this book!

Witchlanders is, without a doubt,
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Awesome lit lovers
Recommended to Emilija by: Anonymous
I'm having a hard time expressing my feelings for this book. So in conclusion - this book was... stunning.

The writing was beautiful and it flowed smoothly. It never felt as if the book was disjointed - in other books it's sometimes so clear like bad jump-cuts in movies that make no fucking sense, but in Witchlanders I never even considered the thought. The plot was just outstanding. There were unexpected twists and turns, it made my heart race at times and that was freaking awesome. One of the b
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review, e-book
Imagine two points of action, like the ends of a string, fluttering around in a breeze and slowly drawing together. Suddenly they meet with fireworks, explosions, and huge bursts of color. For me, that just about sums up the POV within WITCHLANDERS by Lena Coakley.

Unlike the cover of the book might lead one to think, the main POV in WITCHLANDERS is not a female, but a male. More to the point, it's actually two different males. We switch back and forth between the stories of Ryder and Falpian, en
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Cover Blurb: I really like it. I love the ice-blue, the red banner, the sword - which is rather prominent in the story, - and how when you look closer, you notice the girl in the background. I love all these little hints about the story itself; it’s well done.

What I Liked: Both Ryder and Farien are very good male protagonists. I loved observing their developing friendship, how they came to realize that they were, despite being enemies, very much alike, and also accepting their differences. I als
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
I was really fortunate to notice this title in this month's S&S Galley Grab. Definitely one of the more enjoyable books I've had occasion to peruse this year, and one that I highly recommend. I hope that there will be a sequel.

Ryder has a lot on his plate - a farm that he has to tend alone after the death of his Fa, a so-called witch mother addicted to the maiden's woe that both incurs visions and an early death...and the dreams. There is a Baen in his head, that he is sure of - an enemy witch,
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Ryder is a farmer on a rocky terrain. He is trying to get the crops in before the winter freeze and take care of his sisters and his drug addicted mother. She uses a plant to enhance her ability to cast bones and see the future.

The future she sees is grim. It fortells disaster and death. In an attempt to let her coven know, a message is sent using fire to call her coven to her. Her message falls on death ears and disaster ensues.

This takes Ryder on an adventure that he didn't want. Leading him t
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, rev, ya
This was really lovely, and reminded me very strongly of Ursula Le Guin's YA books in its deceptive simplicity and personalization of themes like war and prejudice and entrenched cultural conflict. I'm saving my full review for my day job, but I can't recommend this enough. Strong writing, interesting characters, compelling conflict, complex themes, and lots of action -- this has everything.

Edited to add: the plot resembles very little the description given in the jacket copy. I rolled my eyes a
Mili Fay
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, fantasy
I LOVE this book!

I sat down yesterday in my backyard and began to read, I did not stop (except to have family dinner) until it was done. The characters in this book are wonderful. Ryder is my favourite character of all time. He is the older brother I always wished I had.

What I love about this book is that even though the story has familiar fantasy elements and the common "two houses divided" theme, the twists and turns, and adventures have kept me mesmerised. However, the crowning achievement is
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As they watched, the chilling clouds parted, revealing a patch of brilliant sky. They both stared—stars were a rare sight in winter. Ryder knew he should be moved. "Yulla says that when the Goddess made the world she threw the stars into the sky like a casting, and that the witches of old could read a person's destiny in the stars the same way they read the bones."
"Any star tries to tell me my destiny, I will wrench it from the sky."
Skyla laughed at that. "Of course you will."

Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2020
was not expecting to like this even as half as much as i actually did. my enjoyment certainly might be influenced by the fact that i haven't let myself indulge in fantasy for a while? it's a different experience to reading books that are more on the literary fiction end.

but this was a seriously entertaining read. the summary is misleading. there are really two main characters, and any ryder-related "prophecy" mentioned in the book is vague. maybe coakley just didn't want to spoil things?

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Lena Coakley is the Toronto Star and Globe & Mail bestselling author of Worlds of Ink and Shadow, a YA portal fantasy about the young Brontë siblings and the imaginary countries they wrote about in childhood. It made both the CBC and Quill & Quire’s Best Books of the Year lists.

Her previous novel, Witchlanders, was called “one stunning teen debut” by Kirkus Reviews, won the SCBWI Crystal Kite awa

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