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.
Why I read this book: High fantasy. That's all i have to say. I LOVE high fantasy books!
Review: What is with the girl on this cover, there are only a few girls in this book, none of which play massive parts the the plot, the two main characters are both boys so why use a girl on the cover! Gah!
Now that that is out of my system, I'm going to actually review this book. The moment that I saw a review calling this book high fantasy I knew that I had to read it. I am a massive high fantasy fan and Witchlanders really id all the things that the genre is meant to. Cloakley gives us this brand new world without giving us paragraphs full of world-building. I loved the magic, the covens, the whole fantasy element of it.
The plot is fantastic. I love how original it was and the climax at the end had me gripped. I did find that the whole book was slow for me, it took me a few days to read it and I read four books in between, maybe this is because I was reading on my laptop but this has never been a problem before. Cloakley has a talent with writing though, her narration was beautiful.
The issues that I did have were with the characters. Falpian and Ryder are nice characters on the surface but I couldn't find anything deeper, I never learnt their secrets, or their fears or their dreams and this made them a little flat for me. I also feel that while Ryder was portrayed as a male convincingly, Falpian was a little weak and seemed more like a girl to me. I did love the relationships though, they had this awesome bromance thing going on.
I've also read a few high fantasy books where the magic came from singing, and while this book used this plot differently, it still drew some originality from the whole book.
Overall, Witchlanders had a fantastic plot that was supported by Cloakley's amazing writing, which I totally loved to read. Unfortunately, the bad pacing and flat characters lowers the rating for me. I will be reading the sequels and I recommend this to high fantasy lovers.
Overall Rating: B-
Stand Alone/S eries: First in a series
US Release: 30th September (No UK release date)
US Publisher: Simon and Schuster (Atheneum)
Book received as an eGalley from Simon and Schuster Galley Grab