The story of Witchlanders was not what I was expecting, but I always enjoy a good fantasy novel. The idea that magic and music are connected I’ve only encountered it once before. But the way that Lena Coakley has worked it here was so enchanting. The echo sites and the different musical keys were pretty clever. However the plot runs pretty slow and I would have liked it to have a bit more action.The summary implies a romance element with a “beautiful and silent witch,” but there is no romance in this book. Rather it focuses (in alternating POVs) in the bond developed by the two main characters. One is Ryder, a witchlander boy, who doesn’t believe in the witches that look over the lands. He is soon to be proven wrong, but not in what he suspected. The other one is Falpian, a Baen youth, left alone in the mountains for his period of mourning. He is very desperate for his father’s approval, and so when he learns he has a special mission he tries very hard to complete it, even if it means going against what he believes is right. The two young men develop an unlikely bond, despite being from opposite cultures that hate each other. Overall I very much liked the fantasy elements presented: the witches and their cultures, Baen magic, and all the past history that has led to the present events. The descriptions of the places were superb, especially of the mosaics and the room in the witch catacombs. And though the ending leaves room for a second book, I was glad that it can also be read as a standalone novel.