Moroda: The World of Linaria, Book 1

Book Reviews / Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

By: L.L. MacRae
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Self-Published, L.L. MacRae
Published: May 30, 2022 (Second Edition)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Content Warning: Shown on page: Mild to moderate violence; Some swearing 

“For all her brave talk, Moroda was the same helpless child she’d always been. She’d always needed someone to look after her, and a year of forced independence hadn’t changed a thing.”
L.L. MacRae, Moroda

Moroda is the first entry into a very enjoyable fantasy series by LL McRae, The World of Linaria. There were so many unique and wonderful elements in this epic fantasy. The characters were well-developed, there were several different magic systems, and each was unique, and the was the world building was beautiful. Ms. MacRae created several different races of people, each with their own amazing characteristics. I was thoroughly impressed with the imaginative world she brought to life, with beautiful cities, airships, and to top it off, dragons. I love fantasy with dragons. The variety of characters Ms. MacRae put into this novel was amazing. Besides humans, there were the Varkians, who could shape shift into snakes, the Ittallans, who could shape shift into a specific animal, and the Arillians, who were both winged and had various magic powers. While dragons are revered, they are peaceful and leave Linaria alone. It’s the people of Linaria that harbor animosity towards each other, especially the Arillians who were defeated in a war and banished to their sky islands. A change has come and the dragons are attacking and war has come to Linaria, led by an Arillian who has the power to compel. The main protagonist, Moroda, now finds herself and her sister thrust into the coming battle. Moroda was a thrilling novel from start to finish. I loved all the elements of this world and Ms. MacRae is so creative as she takes the reader into Linaria.

The characters were absolutely wonderful. In addition to the main protagonist, Moroda, there is her sister, Eryn, a sky pirate, Amarah, an Imperial Gurad, Morgen, a Varkian, Sapora, two Ittalans, Paloma and Anahrik, and a dragon hunting Arillian, Kohl. Through a series of events, all of them end up on Amarah’s airship. She fully intends to just drop them all off where they came from, but this rag-tag group of misfits come together and join the battle. There is distrust among them, bred from years of hatred and previous wars. While the distrust doesn’t truly go away, they manage to work together. Even though there was this animosity, there was still chemistry between the characters. The magic comes from the characters, as mentioned previously, where many of the inhabitants have innate magical characterisitcs. Moroda’s arc over the book was very well constructed. Once a pampered wealthy young woman, they lost everything, but she is still viewed as she once was, much to her dismay. Moroda’s grows from a frightened, indecisive woman, to one who overcomes her fears, and learns magic along the way.

“The tour, though brief, had opened her eyes and mind to the wonders of Linaria, and she yearned to know understand more.
It had proven how little she knew, how sheltered her life had been.
More than that, it made her realise she wanted to make a difference.”
LL MaCrae, Moroda

The pacing and prose were spot on. I was drawn right into the story. The airships, dragons, different cities, and the characters were all sewn together to make a rich, enticing world for the reader. Each city had its beauty and reflected where in Linaria it was. Niversai, where Moroda came from, had a very Euro-centric feel. Berel was a peaceful, beautiful desert city. There were mages, magic, and large university. One could imagine walking the streets with arches and bridges, a magical lake, and beautiful architecture. It was a complete contrast to Niversai. They finally arrive in Taban Yul, another city of Linaria, which was described as fairly ostentatious, but did boast beautiful architecture, a fabulous palace, and markets. There was also the underground city where the Varkian lived, Sereth. Vastly different from any other, it was a network of tunnels where the Varkian lived and worked, and there was a palace there as well. All of these cities were different, vibrant, and easy to be swept away in. Magic was described beautifully for those whom did not possess it naturally, but it could be learned.

“How do you do that?” Moroda asked.
“It’s just energy.” Topeka smiled. “It is the simplest of magic. Our children learn this technique. I am moving the energy from here,” he pointed, “to there. No more. Anyone can learn to do this, not just the Samolen. Everyone has innate magic. We are all of Rhea’s creation.”
LL MacRae, Moroda

The narrative is told from the third person of most of the characters, even though Moroda is the main protagonist. In addition to Moroda, we hear the perspective of Amaraha, Palom, and Sapora. It was an interesting choice not to have the narrative of the others. As the story unfolded, it becomes clear as to why and it was the best way to move the plot forward.

Overall Thoughts

Moroda, by LL MacRae, was very enjoyable epic fantasy. The world building, character development, and chemistry were a strong point in the novel. Ms. MacRae created many unique races that live in the world of Linaria. There were humans, shape shifters, a race that turned into snakes, and those that could fly and possessed powerful magic, and of course, we cannot forget the dragons. While Moroda did not possess magic, over the course of the book, there is something special about her. The various races hold a deep mistrust for each other. However, Ms. MacRae created a situation where an individual from each came together on an airship, owned by a sky pirate, to work together in a coming war. There was Amarah, the cynical sky pirate, Moroda and her sister, Eryn, who detest killing and have led a sheltered life, Paloma and Anahrik, the protective shapeshifters, Sapora, the cunning snake, Kohl, the quiet and reflective one who could fly, and Morgen, an Imperial Guard. I loved the characters, their banter, and their chemistry. Moroda goes from meek to gathering strength so she can make a difference. The various cities that are visited in Linaria are as diverse as the characters and are beautifully crafted. The story is fantastic, wonderfully paced, and seamlessly told in the third person narrative from some of the characters. Moroda was an excellent fantasy and I highly recommend it. I am looking forward to the next book in the World of Linaria.

Summary (from Escapist Tours)
In Linaria, dragons are revered as gods.
Airships command the skies.
And across the land, war is brewing.

Devastated by their father’s death, Moroda and her sister struggle to make ends meet. Things go from bad to worse when a rogue dragon destroys their city.
Fleeing on a sky pirate’s airship to escape the chaos, the sisters find themselves penned in by untrustworthy companions, a bloodthirsty warlord, and dragons on the rampage.
For Moroda, who would do anything to protect her sister, nowhere is safe. Not even the sky.
The balance of power in Linaria is tipping. Can one woman make a difference?

If you love dragons, airships, and sky pirates, you’ll love discovering THE WORLD OF LINARIA.

Find out more about L.L. MacRae on her website:
Purchase Moroda on Amazon

Lauren is a fantasy author of character-driven stories and epic adventure. Her books usually contain dragons, eclectic characters, and are typically fun and hopeful.

She lives in a tiny village in the UK, has a degree in Psychology, and was a professional copywriter before going full-time as an author—swapping corporate copy for magic and dragons!

She has previously published under the name L.L. McNeil.

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