- Title: Moroda
- Author: LL McNeil
- Series: World of Linaria, #1
- Genre: Fantasy
- Publishing Date: May 1st, 2017
- Publishing Co.: Indie
- Length: 400 pages
- Format: Kindle Unlimited, Audiobook, Paperback
- Acquired: Given free paperback copy in exchange for an honest review
- Amazon Link: Moroda
A city burned to the ground…
Stolen dragon magic…
Can one woman make a difference?
Risking everything, Moroda escapes her home’s destruction on a sky pirate’s airship. Suddenly thrown in with people from across Linaria, she quickly realises just how dangerous her world is.
A vigilante is on the warpath—stealing the power of dragons and bending people to his will. It’s only a matter of time before she, too, is forced to submit.
With war nipping at her heels and danger lurking in her adversaries and companions, Moroda must quickly learn about herself, her world, and the dragons so intent on reducing it all to ash.
Final Judgment: 3 Stars out of 5
Trigger warning: Adult language
Set in a world of magic, dragons, and war, Moroda must find a way to stop the battle before the entire world is set aflame by dragon fire. A leader of the flying race–Arillians–has been stealing the power of dragons and forcing people of all races to join his cause of world domination. Moroda and her small band of newly found friends are the world’s only hope for survival. But what can a sky pirate, two weaponsmiths, a run-away soldier, a filthy Varkain, a cast-off Arillian, and two former Goldstone sisters do against the power of dragons?
The world building of this novel is absolutely beautiful. There are several different races:
- Arillians have wings and can harness the power of the weather/storms. They were also banished from the world due to an earlier war among the races
- Itallans are able to shapeshift into one animal when they are old enough
- Varkain, a distant cousin of the Itallans, are able to shapeshift into a snake when they come of age
- Samnolens are able to feel the power around them and manipulate energy
LL McNeil is able to beautifully craft several different races and weave them together within the story seamlessly. The reader is able to naturally come upon each of these different races in time, and learns about each in a authentic way that keeps the world alive. Additionally, the world itself has been well-built. The only thing that I wish had been included is a map of the world, for added visual effect.
The classes of the various main characters are also intertwined to create a rich world that is both relatable and entertaining. Moroda and her sister, Eryn, have fallen onto hard times after being overly rich (Goldstones), and their interactions with Amarah, a sky pirate who steals and cheats for food and shelter, add a comedic and yet sympathetic air about the characters. It is interesting to see how their thoughts and actions differ because of how they grew up.
The story itself has a lot of potential. As stated above, the world building is amazing and I want to explore it further. However, the storyline tended to be too easy and superficial. I had a hard time understanding the characters’ motivations, and they seemed to change their mind on a dime. Some came upon decisions that did not make any sense, and most of the events/action seemed forced to move the plot along. The plot, especially with these characters, felt awkward and not at all believable. The characters themselves were the same way; why did Moroda have the biggest role? She was not a leader, she did not make good decisions, nor did she hold any (real) power. She seemed to be inconsequential, and yet she was supposed to be the protagonist. Also going on a little side rant, Eryn, her sister, seemed to also play zero role in the novel. Her character was flat and honestly annoying.
I also think this would be better as a YA novel, if the adult language was taken out. Moroda especially seems to be very young in mind, even though (I think) she is an adult. But the way she acts and thinks, it feels more like a teenager making decisions. Similarly with the other characters, they blow up over trifles. I understand that there is tension between the races, and they have been thrown together (for some reason) to take on this quest, but their angry outbursts at each other tend to seem silly and petty to me.
Moving on to the writing style, I liked most of it. The author tended to use a lot of ellipses and question marks needlessly, and there were frequent typos/grammatical errors, but other than that, the writing style kept me engaged in the story.
Overall, I think that this is a good book to pick up if you are into YA fantasy, but don’t mind some cussing. This is only the beginning of a larger series, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that the characters will grow with the other books!