Lena Coakley (Atheneum 2011)(ages 12+). For as long as he can remember, all Ryder has wanted to do is leave his family's remote farm and go to sea. But now that his father is dead, it's up to him to keep the hicca crop and protect the family.
As for the witches in the coven on the mountain that they -- and everyone else in the village -- have to tithe to each year? They're worthless. And he should know, because his mother left the coven many years ago and that's what she says.
When his home is attacked, Ryder knows who's to blame -- the magic wielding Baen across the border. The ones who started the last war. Ignoring the witches' warnings, he sets off on a quest for vengeance, and perhaps something more.
In WITCHLANDERS Coakley offers a well-wrought world, engaging characters, occasional bits of humor, and plenty of action. Ryder and his family and enemies are believable and sympathetic. The plot twists and intrigue are compelling, ultimately satisfying and, in some ways, thought-provoking.