May 14, 2014

Book review: Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

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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.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Witchlanders got off to a slow start for me. The first third of the book was a bit too long and uneventful, and while I thought the writing was good, I was afraid that this book was going to be a dud. Then the story picked up. The action increased. The plot became more interesting. I started to really enjoy it.

In the end, Witchlanders turned out to be a pretty good read. In addition to the writing, I thought the two main characters, Ryder and Falpian, were well developed. I found myself becoming sympathetic to both of their sides. Additionally, the author did a good job of revealing more of the history one layer at a time, keeping me guessing through the second half of the book.

I'd rate this book 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. If it weren't for the slow start, this book could have rated higher, perhaps 4.5 stars. However, it was still good overall, and I recommend it for fans of YA fantasy.

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