Ryder's mother was once a great prophet and powerful witch, but she is slowly losing her mind to grief -- and maiden's woe, an addictive flower drug found in the Witchlands. Deadly monsters made out of dirt and sticks and stones are coming, she warns. There is an assassin in the mountains, she cautions the coven. But none believe her.
Then the monsters come. In the wake of his village's destruction, Ryder heads into the mountains on a quest to find the assassin and destroy the creator of the ghastly monsters. When he finds his twin -- a spirit twin who is not the assassin, but is a sworn enemy of the Witchlanders -- Ryder and Falpian awaken a long dormant magic and become entangled in the stirrings of new war between their peoples.
Laced with rich, imagined histories, miles of catacombs, and prophecies true and false, Lena Coakley's debut novel is a lush, chilling story in the tradition of Nancy Farmer and Garth Nix.