Author: Lena Coakley
Published by: Atheneum
Released: August 30, 2011
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First there is Ryder, a Witchlander, whose father has recently died and whose mother has fallen into an addiction to maiden's woe. He doesn't believe that the witches who worship the Goddesses, foretell the future, and keep the villages safe deserve the tithes he and the other villagers have to pay.
Then there is Falpian, a Baen--enemy to the Witchlanders, whose twin brother has recently died and whose father has sent him far from home to mourn. He should have magical abilities; he should be able to sing the magic of the God's world.
One day, something horrible comes to Ryder's village; death and fear travel with it. Ryder must find a way to protect his family and community. This may mean working with his enemy. How can he betray his people, but how can he not if it means saving them?
This story is an adventure of magic and other possibilities. Ryder and Falpian are two strong characters whose lives and worlds will pull you in from page one. The boys have family problems that occupy their minds while they must also work to defeat a great evil.
The creation of the Witchlander's world and its politics with the Baen is realistically woven into the story. It made me feel like the world within the book was real. I became emotionally invested in each boy's life and hoped through each scary encounter that they would be able to come together and succeed.