- Quick Facts:
- my rating: 4 stars
- published by: Self-Published
- genres: High fantasy, adult
- diverse: no
Linaria is a world where dragons are revered as gods, where airships rule the skies, and where war is stirring.
For Moroda, a former Goldstone, her life of luxury ends following her father’s sudden death. When her city is destroyed by a dragon, she and her sister ally with a sky pirate and narrowly escape the carnage—only to find a vigilante from an exiled race has left a trail of destruction everywhere his growing army has travelled. With compulsion at his fingertips, he strengthens his hold over Linaria’s people by stealing the power of dragons. It’s only a matter of time before Moroda, too, is forced to submit.
With war nipping at her heels and danger lurking in her companions and adversaries, Moroda must quickly learn about herself, her world, and the dragons so intent on reducing it all to ash.
Moroda, a high-fantasy action story is L.L McNeils debut novel, and set to be the first book in an epic six book saga. It features an ensemble cast, comprising of a variety of “races” of creature within the fantasy world of Linaria.
When Moroda’s city is destroyed by a dragon, she and her sister are thrown into an unlikely alliance with a sky pirate called Amarah and a dragon-killer called Kohl. Moroda sets out with her new friends to discover the truth behind dragons and to hopefully prevent the war being stirred up by Aciel – the leader of the Arillian people. She is joined by others – Itallan traders Anahrik and Palom, as well as Sapora – one of the dreaded and hated Varkain. Together this rag-tag team will travel across the world to try and protect the peace and save their people.
The expansive fantasy world was my favourite aspect of the book. The novel features a variety of races, some of which have magical abilities or can shape-shift. There is tension and political conflict between each of the groups, and this gave the world depth and intrigue. This is a world that features magic, vast kingdoms, pirates, dragons and warring races and that kind of fantasy setting really sold me on reading the book.
The world of Linaria also places great focus on dragons and dragon lore – in this world, dragons are said to have created the world and so are revered as gods. The way dragon lore played into the world was interesting and unique, and definitely gave the world a charm.
The ensemble cast was also a big pro for me. I love larger casts, and the mix of characters and personality types within the main group made it dynamic and interesting. I liked reading the tension that came with co-existing, but also the bonds they developed throughout the story.
The main ensemble features representation from each of the races of this world – the Varkain, who can shape-shift into serpents – an Arillian, winged beings who can conjure storms and ice and the Itallan who can transform into different animal types. There is also the humans. I thought the main character, Moroda, was very well written. Some of the side characters lacked in presence, but generally they were all well written and dynamic. I also loved there was no romance in this story!
Action scenes and writing were also appealing to me! I thought the action was very well written and genuinely exciting, and these were the scenes I enjoyed most. Unfortunately, I did have some issues with the dialogue heavy style of the writing and that there was sometimes a lack of description of some elements of the world building.
Overall Moroda is a fun and exciting debut, and a great addition of the fantasy genre. I am definitely looking forward to the sequels, and seeing more from L.L McNeil in general. Linaria is a fantastic new high-fantasy world to discover, and Moroda is a female protagonist to watch!