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Hullo, hullo, hullo! It’s Saturday everyone! The weekend is finally here and to celebrate I’ve read another book! Today’s ARC up for review is Witchlanders by Lena Coakley. It’s expected publication date is August 30th from Simon and Schuster and it’s a book I was dying to read from the moment I read its description. Make yourselves comfortable and I do hope you enjoy the review.

WitchlandersHigh 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.


General Comments

When I finished this book I wanted to sigh and have a dreamy, faraway look on my face. Then I wanted to be able to twirl a bit of my hair and start talking about it in soft, enlightened tones. But I’m not really one of the overly enlightened so I can’t properly express how this book really made me feel. What I can say is that I felt very serene, and deeply satisfied. It’s a beautiful feeling, truly.

Critical Review

Author’s Voice/ POV:

This story was told from the third story POV and rather than feeling distanced from our protagonists, I think I actually felt closer to them just because of it. This can only be described as a stroke of genius on the part of the author, who also told the story from the perspectives of her two male protagonists. The switching of viewpoints was handled very well. It was both smooth and easy to follow.


Ryder is the first character we meet and immediately he grabs us. We’re drawn in by his wariness, his heavy feelings of responsibility, and at times his confusion and despair. Over the course of his adventure, we watch events occur which change his perceptions of the world and make him accept what he should consider blasphemy. In the end, when he finds peace, it feels like as the reader you’ve found peace with him.

Falpian is a very different kind of person. He is confused, a little naive, and driven by the idea that he needs his father’s approval. These feelings constantly appear throughout the story trying to undermine everything he does and we wonder if he’ll ever be able to overcome them even after all he’s been through. At one point of the story his cluelessness seems too forced. It just seemed like the author was asking too much of us by suggesting that he was literally the only person who did not see what was happening and that irked me just a tad.

Storyline/ Plot:

First, I loved the idea of magic in this world. Witches in the Witchlands who cast bones to tell the future and the black magicians from the Baen who sing their will into existence. It felt like a lovely breath of fresh air into an old concept. Then there was the very apparent lack of a romance but focus on a very different but equally powerful relationship. I thought this was beautifully done and so new. The novelty alone was invigorating.

Cover & Blurb:

I thought this was a pretty cover even if it seems meaningless.Once I had finished reading I understood why there was a sword, the red cloth, and the ice, but the girl just seemed a little random. From the description, I thought maybe it was ‘the beautiful and silent witch’ but that somehow doesn’t seem quite right.

Highlight of the Story

One part of the story that really stood out to me was the incredible world Lena Coakley has created. There are two interesting societies which are at each others’ throats. We can see where different aspects in their common histories overlap and how elements of stories are changed to paint the other society in a negative light. By the end we see how they both come together and it makes them so much more realistic and alive to us. It was a joy to discover more about the two different cultures.

Rating Conclusion

I really can’t find anything truly negative to say about this book. It had an excellent flow, it was well-written, I would re-read it in a heartbeat. That being said, I’d have to say Witchlanders is the first book that gets a solid five star rating from me. I honestly don’t believe in perfect scores but I think everything about this book was just right for this book. It was truly a joy to read.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed today’s review and some of you might consider reading this book in the near future. You won’t regret it.

Enjoy your weekend!

K, the Popinjay.

Disclaimer: This story was received from the publisher, Simon & Schuster, in exchange for an honest review.