I've heard mixed reviews about Witchlanders, but I wasn't sure what to expect. I kept an open mind so that I could enjoy the story. I enjoyed the history and the folklore of Coakley's story. I enjoyed the plot, as well as the characters. But, I felt like something was missing. There were times when I felt that pieces of the story were disconnected from the others. And there were times when I felt like there was too much, and others times when it was too little. I connected with Falpian, but not necessarily with Ryder. I was confused at times with Ryder's goal in the story, of where his character was headed. He has so many internal struggles, and I wasn't sure if they were going to be resolved by the end of the story. Falpian was enjoyable. I felt connected to him, maybe through his disappointments, but he seemed real and tangible. He seemed realistic enough that despite the fantasy setting of Witchlanders, I understood where he was coming from and where his character was supposed to go. I appreciated the ending. It was clean and resolved, but I still had questions. What happened to the others and what happened to her, or even them? At the end, I still wanted more. Updated: Review posted on Dark Faerie TalesWitchlanders by Lena Coakley is a world filled with magic and fantasy. Not only does Witchlanders contain witches, but it also contains a very detailed world and a culture full of religious beliefs. We begin the story with Ryder, the eldest son of a witchlander, who lives on the hills between the coven and the town. Along with his two sisters, they care for their land and also for their mother. One evening, Ryder finds his mother reading the future through bones thrown in a bowl. Regardless of the promise to never throw those bones again, she seeks for signs of danger in their future. In the midst of an ongoing war between the Witchlanders and the Baen people, Ryder is caught between his mother’s beliefs and his own. But who will he believe? What will he do to save his town from danger?A decision creates a ripple as fast as fire to dry bush, and Ryder must take a journey and own up to his responsibility and his actions alone. There are questions left unanswered, and some answers too surprising even for Ryder. Ryder grows up a lot on this journey, accepting changes physically and spiritually. Never believing in his mother’s beliefs, he finds that he holds magic, and possibly share the same beliefs after all. Falpian is the Baen is a young boy who has it all. Spoiled by riches and luxury, the one thing that he covets is his father’s approval. Without it, he feels he amounts to nothing. He mourns the death of his brother, and is somewhat exiled at the edge of the Baen border. Living in solitude, Falpian must find who he is and what his purpose in life is. Falpian meets an unexpected stranger and learns truths that shake the very core of his being. Who will he choose to trust and will he survive the journey to the truth?Coakley surprised me with the world that she created. I must be honest and say that I was expecting a female protagonist. Only because of the cover art, but that is either here nor there. Coakley’s world is so imaginative and detailed, that it became real. The hills that belong to Ryder, or the landscape that Falpiano saw each morning, I was there alongside them, taking it all in. The alternating point-of-views were a little confusing. I felt that a majority of the story belonged to Ryder, and that Falpian was an afterthought. I would have liked to understand Falpian more, and delve into his past and what past experiences made him who he is today. Both Ryder and Falpian each have their own struggles, and despite my wants and needs for this story, Coakley did a fantastic job writing their differences and conflicts, yet putting them in this linear timeline. They had symbolic parallels, adding to the engaging experience of the world.