By Lena Coakley
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9781442420045, 400pp.)
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
List Price: $16.99*
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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.
She studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and writing for children with Peter Carver in Toronto, Canada. Her first picture book, On the Night of the Comet, was published in 2004, followed closely by Mrs Goodhearth and the Gargoyle in 2005. She has twice won second prize in the Sunday Star Short Story Contest.
Lena is available for school and library visits across Canada and the US. Her website is www.lenacoakley.com.
* "Takes on faith, doubt, and dualities, exposing their flaws and strengths alike. Plot twists unfold at a riveting pace, the boys' characters are compellingly sketched, and Coakley explores her subject matter masterfully without falling prey to safe plot choices."
-- Publisher's Weekly July 11, 2011 *STAR
* "The rich language will enthrall female and male readers alike.”
-- Kirkus, July 15, 2011 *STAR
* "Coakley’s world comes to life with exquisite detail and imagery; readers will feel the chill of the frost and smell the crackling bonfires. High fantasy lovers will gobble up Witchlanders."
--SLJ, December 2011, *STAR
"Fans of contemplative, psychologically rich (but no less action-packed) fantasies à la Ursula Le Guin will welcome this warm, inventive debut."
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A welcome fantasy debut."
--Booklist, October 2011