Exquisite storytelling plus atmospheric worldbuilding equals one stunning teen debut.
Ryder wants to harvest his family’s hicca before the chilling arrives in Witchland, but now his mother, a rebel witch addicted to a mind-altering flower, has thrown the bones and seen a vision of an assassin in the mountains. Meanwhile, along the border of the Bitterlands, Falpian hopes to find his own magic as he mourns the loss of his brother and awaits an assignment bestowed by his father. As these two distrustful strangers begin to share each other’s dreams and find a magical connection through music, enemies from their rival, warring lands—with radically different religious systems—have been stirring up trouble. In Witchland, this trouble takes the form of gormy men, pretend creatures normally used to frighten young children, which have come to life. When Ryder’s and Falpian’s destinies collide, they use their burgeoning knowledge of magic to destroy the gormy men and expose evil Witchlander forces. But their mission is not as straightforward as it may seem. Both young men grapple with loyalty and their faiths and experience how fear and secrets have shaped religion and culture. A sequel to this thought-provoking fantasy is certain, as is a broad fan base.The rich language will enthrall female and male readers alike—if the latter can look past the extremely feminine cover. (Fantasy. 12 & up)