Mundie Moms

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review: Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

Published by: Antheneum
Released on: August 30th, TODAY
Source: ARC from author/publisher for blog tour
4 stars: A Fantastic Debut!
Purchase from: Amazon| Barnes & Noble

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.

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.

The Happy-Birthday-WITCHLANDERS Give-Away!

Win a prize-pack with five of Lena’s all-time favorite fantasies, plus an autographed copy of WITCHLANDERS! If you’ve been following the tour, you know that these are some of the books that inspired Lena to write. Enter to win:

  1. AIRBORN by Kenneth Oppel
  2. SABRIEL by Garth Nix
  3. ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine
  5. NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman
  6. And WITCHLANDERS by Lena Coakley

*Mandatory to enter: (Don’t forget to include your email address and don’t forget to tell us about your extra entries.) **If you already answered via the blog tour post , you don't need to answer again here, your comment will be counted**

*Extra entries:

+5 Follow Lena’s blog at on GFC.

+ 5 Follow Lena and Mundi Moms @lenacoakley and @MundieMoms on Twitter.

+ 1 for every tweet about the contest using the #Witchlanders hashtag

Don’t worry! Your comments are also considered entries to the big Kindle give-away. (No extra entries for that one.) Open to US and Canada. See more about this giveaway here.

**Read our Blog Stop with Lena here and follow the rest of Kismet's Witchlanders Blog Tour.


  1. I'm so excited about this one! thanks for the review. :)

  2. Definitely pitching it. Writing is wayyy easier, I've learned.

    +5 I follow Mundie Moms and Lena on Twitter (@IceyBooks)
    +5 I follow Lena's blog via GFC (Hafsah IceyBooks)

    Total = 11

    Thanks for the giveaway!!
    brainytex@gmail com

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I already answered the blog tour post.

    +5 I follow Lena's blog (GFC: Michelle O'Boyle)
    +5 I follow both on twitter (@OBoyledBooks)
    +1 I tweeted:

    OBoyledBooks [at] gmail [dot] com

  5. I think pitching is harder - I have so many stories and ideas, but to actually have someone listen and accept my crazy ideas is another!

    + 5 I follow both on twitter (@natalievana)
    + 1 I tweeted!/natalievana/status/108542591976476672


  6. Right now I say that writing a book would be harder than pitching it. Writing's always been the harder part for me; I have tons of good ideas, it's just getting them all written down. It's more time consuming too.

    +5 GFC follow for Lena's blog (GFC: Brenna)
    +5 following both of you on twitter (@EverAfterEsther)
    +1 Tweeting!/EverAfterEsther/status/108589172935241728

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I think pitching is harder because u know why you love the book but its hard to get others to feel the same way toy do!

    I follow both mundiemoms & lena on GFC - melissa & twitter mel_91284
    I retweeted!!/lenacoakley/status/108594995157671936


  10. Pitching sounds to be harder than writing. But I'm no writer so maybe it's easier than it seems.
    Thanks for the giveaway!!
    cormier.giselle at gmail dot com

    +5 I'm following Lena's blog.

    + 5 I'm following Lena and Mundi Moms @lenacoakley and @MundieMoms on Twitter.

    + 1 for tweeting:!/Giselleco/status/108606821954093056

  11. For me, definitely writing a book would be harder than pitching it. I've found that I can't seem to develop creative ideas to the point of coherent, worth-while stories.

    +5 I follow Lena's blog (GFC: JessiM)
    +5 I follow Lena & MundieMoms on Twitter (@ReadingCorner11)
    +1 tweet (find it HERE)
    TOTAL = 11 extra + 1 required (12)


  12. Writing would probably be harder for me, although if I had already written the book I would say pitching at that point.

    +5 GFC for Lena - Sniffly kitty

  13. Great giveaway! plus 5 for following her website!

  14. please enter my name in the giveaway

    Joy Andrea

  15. Writing's harder for me. It's difficult to maintain a consistent and clear idea.

    + 5 Follow Lena and Mundi Moms @lenacoakley and @MundieMoms on Twitter.

  16. Pitching it!
    For sure!

    Thanks so much for the contest and the review - you only whetted my appetitefor more, but I am so glad I read it! Thanks! :)

    Ammy Belle
    apereiraorama @ gmail . com

  17. I already answered in the blog tour post.
    Thank you for the giveaway!
    +5 Follow Lena’s blog at on GFC.
    + 5 Follow Lena and Mundi Moms @lenacoakley and @MundieMoms on Twitter.

  18. +1 mandatory entry

    Also, Garth Nix, Kenneth Oppel and Neil Gaiman are love. :D


  19. Please enter me in the giveaway. Lena says this comment will be enough.
    javaintheam at hotmail dot com

  20. +5 following Lena's blog GFC Michele Luker

    +5 following both on twitter under stalkermamma


    jmluker at winco dot net

    gfc Michele Luker

  21. I'm guessing that pitching is harder than writing, though I can't say from experience.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  22. writing would be harder and I follow you bothe from @sharonnelt

  23. I love Ella Enchanted=)

  24. Answered on the tour post! :)

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  25. Thank you to everyone who entered! This giveaway is NOW CLOSED