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.
I picked this up as an audio book because it’s narrated by one of my favourite people (the gorgeous Georgie Leonard) and I remembered her saying how much she enjoyed it while she was recording it.
I am SO glad I did! I really enjoyed it and I might not have come across it otherwise.
The world of Linaria is quite complex, and I like that we learn bits as we go along and that there’s still more we don’t know. I also like our rag tag bunch of heroes.
My favourite is Amarah! Awesome female sky pirate badass! 💙 I also liked the main character, Moroda, and the interactions between the two. Moroda and Amarah have such different backgrounds, and yet while not always agreeing, they manage to form a respect for each other and look out for each other. I like that Moroda is brave and wants to help her country, despite everything that happens to her, and despite the fact that she’s not a fighter.
Aciel is an excellent bad guy! Moroda’s fear of him comes through really well, and his power makes him a tough guy to beat.
The rest of the crew were a little up and down – I loved Eryn at the start of the book, but found her a little weak willed the rest of the time; I really liked the two Itallans, but Palom was a bit single minded at the end (though with reason!), though I loved the shape shifting and their lore behind it; I actually really liked Sapora – love a good morally grey character, and his and Isa’s relationship was awesome; and Kohl and Morgen faded a little into the background for me, even though Kohl has quite a bit going on.
My main niggle was the pace near the end – it ends so suddenly! I know that’s because it’s not over and it’s also to set up book 2 (which I am DEFINITELY reading) but it was SO sudden I was convinced I’d missed something. Though I do absolutely love that McNeil had the courage to end it the way she did despite it being super sad.
The other thing I want to mention is the deaths in the book. I’m not going to spoil, but there are a couple that felt very sudden, and despite there being reaction to it, it was just “oh X died” and it didn’t hit home the way I wanted it to. However, that’s pretty minor in the scheme of things, and I felt the grief was really well written.
I also want to talk about the DRAGONS. Because dragons are awesome, and I super loved the lore about these ones. I am really looking forward to seeing how that plays out in the next book, given the foreshadowing. They are fab in this book – it gives a good flavour of their power, and what you can use it for.
It’s a great fantasy book (and currently free of a pesky romance sub plot 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻) and I’d definitely recommend it to other fantasy lovers!
Buy Moroda from Amazon UK (affiliate link)