416 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 in
September 4, 2012
Atheneum Books For Young Readers
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1442420057
ISBN - 13: 9781442420052
About the Book
Ryder's mother was once a great prophet and powerful witch, but she is slowly losing her mind to griefNand maiden's woe, an addictive flower drug found in the Witchlands. Deadly monsters made out of dirt and sticks and stones are coming, she warns. There is an assassin in the mountains, she cautions the coven. But none believe her. Then the monsters come.
Read from the Book
CHAPTER 1FLOWERS AND BONES Ryder woke to the sound of clattering bones. A red curtain separated the sleeping area from the main room of the cottage, and he could see the faint flickering of candles through the fabric. “Skyla,” he whispered. Even in his sleep he’d known there was something wrong. A feeling of dread lay heavy in his stomach. Next to him in the long bed, Ryder’s two younger sisters were quiet. Pima, the little one, lay diagonally with the covers bunched up around her. Her mouth was open, and she was snoring gently. Skyla was pressed into the corner. “Sky . . . ,” he began again. “I know,” she said. There was nothing sleepy about her voice. He wondered how long she’d been awake. “Why didn’t you do something?” Ryder flung off the bit of tattered blanket that covered his legs. “Why didn’t you wake me?” The dirt floor was cold under his bare feet. He’d grown tall in the past year, too tall for the low door frame that led to the main part of the cottage, and he hunched a little as he peered around the red curtain. Mabis, his mother, was squatting on the floor, picking up bones. A goat’s femur, a horse’s rib. They were dark with age and etched with thin lines. She placed each one into a wooden bowl as large as the wheel of a donkey cart. “Tell me who it is,” she murmured. “Tell me.” Smoke from the fire hung around the room, making rings around the candles. Skyla slipped in beside Ryder, and together they watched as their mother rose from the floor. Mabis looked f
From the Publisher
Some prophecies thwart danger. Others create it. “Fans of contemplative, psychologically rich (but no less action-packed) fantasies à la Ursula Le Guin will welcome this warm, inventive debut” (BCCB, starred review).
High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.
But it’s all 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.
Laced with rich, imagined histories; miles of catacombs; and prophecies true and false, Witchlanders takes place in an evocative, tantalizingly vibrant world and raises equally evocative questions: Who gets to defines history? When does a legend become a crutch? And why does the enemy in war look a lot like the hero? Lena Coakley’s first novel is a lush, chilling story that is sure to send shivers through your finger bones.
"A welcome fantasy debut."
, October 2011