So it is with these events that the destiny of the people of Kaldan falls into the hands of the three children. Each weapon-wielding child possesses his or her own unique talents to contribute to the battle against the sorceress Rhiannon. The youngest, Anyr, has the patience and agility of an adult when using her bow and arrow. Kodobos is more impulsive, but as heir to the throne, he strives to become a great knight who will instill honor in his kingdom. As the oldest, Laris holds more knowledge about the dangers they will face, and uses her twin serpent swords with the adeptness of a master.
Though this is a children's book ripe with magic and fantasy, there are some very serious threads running through the story. Much of the controversy centers on Laris, who is but half-sister to Kòdobos and Anyr, born of fairy blood. After her mother's death, Laris was sent to live with her father, King Falinn, who didn't even know of her existence. She is still in mourning and doubtful of her father's love for her. Her many secrets will become evident as the story progresses, but her childhood is a tale of bigotry, ignorance, and deception. With this basis, Laris is also easily manipulated, which results in terrible consequences for the children.
The grandeur and pace at which the children flit from incident to incident is very reminiscent of Peter Pan. In one chapter, they might be outwitting a giant, while in the next, they're battling werewolves or befriending dragons. In fact, Hendrickson has included nearly every mythical being ever found in literature and lore: dragons, fairies, giants, ogres, vampires, and many more. Popular fairy tales are woven into the story under a new guise. For example, The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe becomes Hazel, abusive housemother to hundreds of Kinderlings.
The events that transpire indicate there will be a sequel to The Legend of Witch Bane, which is good news. There are so many routes a sequel could take, and Hendrickson has already introduced some elusive antagonists. This will be an excellent series for young readers. The book is truly a tale of high adventure, and reminds children that being pure of heart is a virtue. The Legend of Witch Bane is classic literature for a modern audience.-- Sabrina Williams --Front Street Reviews
Kevis Hendrickson's maiden foray into the fantasy genre is an action-packed adventure loaded with epic themes, and yet is still very accessible to a younger audience. The story is packed with many fascinating creatures, from the classic werewolves and dragons to odd ones like the immortal Kinderlings and the forest gardener called a Kifflewop. The story is told from the perspective of a child. I feel this will resonate with younger readers, perhaps inspire them to reach high in their own pursuits. A lot of that has to do with the main protagonists: Prince Kòdobos and Princess Anyr.
The youngest princess, Anyr, is not only the "heart" of the three adventurers, but it is through her that younger readers can relate most to the story. Loved by her two elder siblings, Anyr's contribution to the quest lies in the love she deepens for them, her kingdom, and the people and creatures she encounters. She speaks plainly and frankly, very much like Alice of Alice in Wonderland, and like Alice such plain speech gets her both in and out of trouble with equal frequency! It is her honesty, forthrightness, and prosaic nature that keeps her safe, protects others, and moves her forward despite hardships - all qualities that inspire young readers to commit to Anyr's quest.
Kòdobos, Anyr's full brother, is surprisingly the "head." Surprising because he's the one that rarely thinks before diving into the fray, his passions always propelling him forward even before he understands the situation. But in Kòdobos we will see the transition, the growth: he develops from a young boy with a half-thought plan to save his kingdom, into a determined boy-king. Aware of his enemy's strength, knowing that failure is possible - but not acceptable - for the sake of those he loves and protects. Younger readers straining to "grow up" will be able to relate with Kòdobos struggles, failures, and insights.
There is a third sibling, a half-sibling, who stands as the most tragic creature of this tale. I am especially moved by the pain in the life of the half-fairy Princess Laris. Ostracized by everyone, she feels prejudices keenly; exploited by those who knew of her nature, she becomes distrustful of everyone; and orphaned by those she held dear, she grows bitter and frightened and determined to be alone. She is a lesson for all readers of this tale - the fantasy genre equivalent of teen angst writ large, causing great suffering as she attempts to understand and transcend all the pain in her life.
I enjoyed Hendrickson's tale for the sadness and poignancy that gives character and personality to an otherwise excellent swashbuckling adventure. I was entertained by his way of keeping the adventure awe-inspiring, while at the same time accommodating silliness and interesting twists. I encourage readers of all ages to sample the wonders of Arva and hear the amazing tale of these unique children.-- Celina Cuadro
This book is a very fun read, with a cast of very interesting characters.
In a style reminiscent of J.R.R. Tolkien, author Kevis Hendrickson weaves a masterful narration sensitive to a young audience yet engaging for adults to read.
The story is about sibling rivalry, love, power, commitment, perseverance, betrayal, courage, strength, and magic, just to name a few.
The Legend of Witch Bane follows the three siblings on their journey to save their parents and the Kingdom. The Kingdom fell under a spell that did not affect the three kids. Read morePublished 16 months ago by K Flynn
A fantastic read the story follows 3 small heros as they struggle against evil to save their to save their country and their parents. Read morePublished 22 months ago by lady g
It's been a long time since I've read a midgrade or young adult novel this complex and carefully planned. Read morePublished on March 21, 2012 by L. M. Ironside
Book Review: "The Legend of Witch Bane" by Kevis Hendrickson
I couldn't finish this book. I really tried, as he had plenty of 5-star reviews on it, but I just couldn't. Read more
Happy Thursday everyone! I'm going to deviate a little from the norm today, but only slightly. For those of you that have been following me for a while now you know that I am an... Read morePublished on April 17, 2010 by Misty Baker
As an adult reading this book, I could not help but be touched by the author's ability to capture the childlike wonder and hope for a better future that seems to escape us as we... Read morePublished on March 23, 2010 by David J. Guyton
Although this book is geared towards a younger audience, I really enjoyed the numerous adventures that took place in this book. Read morePublished on March 16, 2010 by peace
As in the title of the review, well...
Let me get this straight. It was GOOD. The battles especially. Somehow, for me though, the narration fell a bit flat. Read more
Kevis Hendrickson's "The Legend of Witch Bane" is both a homage and a wholly original work. Clearly inspired by the fairy tales that came before, yet unafraid to forge his own... Read morePublished on September 16, 2009 by CS