Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
Genre: YA fantasy - Publisher: Simon & Schuster - Publication Date: August 30, 2011 - Pages: 411 - Source: Simon Pulse It
Words cannot accurately describe how much I adored this book. Infused with rich and powerful history, touching relationships, and crazy plot twists, Witchlanders is a book I'll be sure to read over and over again. Coakley did a marvelous job tugging at the heart-strings and weaving a beautifully horrific world where wonderfully terrible magic exists.
I'll admit, I was certainly reluctant to put the goodreads summary on this review, because in my opinion it is extremely misleading. "The beautiful and silent witch that holds all the secrets." That just screams romance, doesn't it? No. This book has absolutely no romance in it whatsoever. It does, however, contain beautiful friendships and familial relationships that'll bring you to tears.
I haven't got a single quibble about Coakley's writing. It was fabulous. She captured me with the powerful emotions and melancholy tone. The story began a bit slow and slightly confusing, but the plot picks up and everything is explained and I couldn't tear my eyes away from the words! This is by far one of the best witch-themed stories I can think of. The world was sad and complex, but it was explained in little pieces, rather than a large info-dump, which nobody really likes. The fabulous imagery was addicting, as were the strong emotions emanating from all of the characters. I was deeply connected to this story and often found myself tearing up.
This book is very clean, suitable for all ages, and very creative. It was very fast-paced and exciting, each chapter leaving me with a craving for more. The action was tense, but not gory. Coakley has a way of building you up for something wonderful to happen, and then crushing your hopes as a new problem arises. A natural rise and fall of action, problems, and solutions. Her use of witchcraft was original in ways that left me breathless! The rivalry between the Baen and he Witchlanders was brilliantly created and portrayed.
There were a load of twists and turns in this book that I never saw coming, and I was incredibly impressed with the struggles that the characters barely managed to escape.
Witchlanders is unlike any magical story I've read before. There are strong, irreplaceable bonds, magic, war, original creatures, and a flawless altering between two pained boys in narration. I'm not sure if this book has a sequel, but it definitely needs one!
- The narration. I've always claimed to love make narrators. This book doesn't just contain one fabulous male narrator, but two! And it was perfectly executed. I felt the sorrow of the two boys seep into m bones, and I just fell in love with both of them. They were strong and smart, and I seriously enjoyed diving into their minds.
- The world. I've said it once, I'll say it again. I love the world in this story. It is devastating and tough and I could not get enough of it. Not even the religious stuff bothered me! And though there were a lot of confusing aspects involved, it was explained clearly and effectively.
- The different themes. Coakley touches on a lot of common issues that we have in our society, though not as heavily. Wars, trust, family, friendship, illnesses, deceiving leaders, betrayal, prejudice, money struggles. There's a ton more, too, I just can't think of any.
- Overcoming differences. Ryder and Falpian are technically rivals, but their souls disagree, as they are brothers of the soul. At first they are extremely wary and afraid of one another, but over time they begin to trust and care for each other in ways that seriously touched me.