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Bibliophilic Monologues


Witchlanders - Lena Coakley 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 you that this was not the case with Witchlanders.Another thing you should keep in mind before reading is that Witchlanders is an actual fantasy. High fantasy, I believe the genre is called and not, as is more common nowadays, urban fantasy. The difference lies in the world in which the stories are situated. In urban (or paranormal for that matter) the world is basically identical to the one we are living in except for the odd werewolf, vampire or other supernatural creature. In high fantasy, the world is different. The countries and the people are different. That said, let's move on to the actual review. The world building is off to a great start in Witchlanders as Ms. Coakley lays down the foundation and starts creating the history and mythos for a world where there are two countries: Witchland and the land of the Baen people. The characters are also well developed and the plot creeps up on you as you wrap your mind around a mother who is a witch who doesn't believe in witchcraft and a father who was not a witch but believed in witchcraft. Ryder, his sisters and the relationship between them are the strongest parts of the novel. Falpian and his estranged family are also intriguing. I also loved the dog. For all his silence, he seemed like a major character in the story. The plot has a brisk pace and the descriptions are just enough to draw the world without overwhelming the reader. What I loved about the book was how it tackles some issues that are relevant to society without seeming preachy. For instance, discrimination both racial and sexual are themes in the story. There's also grief and how the failure to meet expectations of parents can hurt the child more than the parent. And then there's the story that is at turns compelling and thrilling. This is one book you should keep an eye out for. In a market flooded with love that occurs too quickly and events that defy logic, Witchlanders is a satisfying read that will leave you wishing for more.