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The Legend of Witch Bane Paperback – January 25, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Chivalry thrives in Kevis Hendrickson's The Legend of Witch Bane. Three young siblings, born of royalty, become the only hope of saving an entire kingdom when evil pervades the landscape. A sorceress has placed a spell upon the people of Kaldan in retaliation for disobedience, forcing them into a deep slumber from which they cannot be awakened. Only Laris, Kòdobos, and Anyr, children of King Falinn, are immune to the charm and have the ability to seek aid.

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


Set in the world of Arva, The Legend of Witch Bane tells of the adventures of three young siblings who set forth on a quest to free their kingdom from a powerful and evil overlord. In their pursuit of a means to break the enchantment on their kingdom, they set into motion a series of events that unleashes a great evil and awakens a great hope. The children not only face forces far stronger and skilled than they are, but have to face fears and doubts within themselves.

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

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (January 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432712985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432712983
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,605,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Toni Gillmore on April 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Well Kevis I for one absolutely loved the art work; I think it is perfect for the book.
I found this book to be wonderfully refreshing, enchanting, and completely captivating to the end. I'm now reading it through the internet to my grandchildren in Virginia every night before they go to bed.
This book is about sibling rivalry, love, and a special bonding that children need more of. The way he has written it with himself as the narrator, makes the book feel more personal to me.
This story has everything that a fantasy reader could ask for: Trolls (or could that be giants)? Enchantment, Evil sorcerers', Dragons, Goblins, Fairies, etc.
This is a wonderful book for people of all ages, the way it pulls you in and you find yourself wanting to help the children.
My physical ability doesn't allow for me to write a lengthy review, if I could Kevis I would write you a twenty pager for I am very pleased with the way you wrote this( in that it is a book everyone can read). Now a day's with so much violence going on in the world, (a lot of the fantasy novels do get very violent and they do it in such detail that I would never read them even to my neighbor. We share fantasy novels together) that it is very refreshing to suggest this book to everyone.
I have been captivated by your story and I can't wait till the next one comes out.
To everyone who reads this review: THIS IS A MUST READ. It was defiantly worth the wait. I did not say a lot of what the book is about because I want you to read it and be surprised as I was. Thank you again Kevis and am faithfully waiting for the next one.

Toni Gillmore
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Format: Paperback
I am not a huge fan of epic fantasy, nor am I a huge fan of middle-grade fiction. So the three-star rating isn't really a bad thing. In this case, it simply means that "The Legend of Witch Bane" wasn't my cup of tea.

I still enjoyed it.

Hendrickson does an excellent job of channeling Tolkien and Lewis without seeming like he's trying too hard. "The Legend of Witch Bane" has the right old-fashioned classic fantasy feel to it. I also felt that the three main characters of Laris, Kobodos, and Anyr were believable and well-developed. I rarely thought, "Um...would a seven-year-old really think like this?" The other characters entered in and out of the story rather quickly, but because the children are on a quest and rarely stayed in one place for long, it never bothered me. I did find it hard to suspend my disbelief that children could accomplish such things, but I have little doubt that if I were ten, I'd be questioning the children's abilities to defeat evil the way I am now at seventeen. Instead, I'd have been cheering them on and plotting my own adventure (can't let fictional characters have all the fun, right?).

Best of all, "The Legend of Witch Bane" would make a great read-aloud, probably for ages six to twelve. It's got its share of darkness and violence, but it's also filled with kids succeeding at various tasks and plenty of funny scenes. It also moves quickly and never has a slow moment. Since the story usually keeps moving forward, there's never any confusion between finishing one chapter and starting the next. Hendrickson keeps readers pretty well-informed, which definitely strengthened the feeling that "The Legend of Witch Bane" screams to be read aloud.

If you're looking for a great new children's fantasy, "The Legend of Witch Bane" would definitely be a wonderful choice.
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Format: Paperback
The battle begins with the typical power struggle between an evil Queen, Rhiannon Eldess, and a kingdom which refuses to surrender its love of right! King Kruge Falinn and his wife are forced to surrender one of their female children to Rhiannon. Kodobos, Anyr and Laris are horrified and want to rebel but are powerless to avoid this evil fate. But the transfer of a magic gem from Anyr to Laris's pocket seals the latter's fate - that is until Kodobos vows to free her. Although he succeeds, the victory is costly with Rhiannon casting a spell of deep sleep upon King Kruge and his entire kingdom.

How will the three siblings reach Rhiannon's domain and seek the power to release their homeland from this awful destiny? Their quest will be daunting as they meet both helpful and destructive characters in their journey, such as Elyndia the powerful elf, a dwarf and ogre giant, goblins, werewolves, ancient water spirits, dragons and more amazing, exciting beings!

Laris, it turns out, has a deep dark secret but it's not the shameful one she acknowledges about her birth which she believes caused her mother's death. She possesses powers she has no idea are just lurking and waiting to explode in a powerful manner enough to sway the riveting conflict between Rhiannon and Laris's siblings. For Laris is related to the most powerful people in the world, a nation that even Rhiannon fears her own dark spells cannot defeat.

A sword which Kodobos eventually takes carries magic as well which displays awesome results in the final pivotal battle, a scene waged wildly and furiously, beyond any previously described war ever told

The Legend of Witch Bane is a finely tuned, explosive page-turning fantasy story that will hold any reader's interest to the last page.
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