What the heck? Posting on Sunday??? What’s wrong with me? Well, truth to tell, I’ve been a sloth of late. Seriously. I have this List of Things to Do and I stare at it, thinking how nice it would be to cross something off, and not really wanting to tackle anything on it. Not that I’m sitting around in my pink bunny slippers, my hair in curlers, eating bon-bons and watching soap operas. I’m busy. (Probably too busy, which could be the root of the problem.) Just not on the things I should be busy on. (Update to that, I did get to cross off two things on my list . . . three after this post. *happy dance*)
So I owe the marvelous Rachel O’Laughlin a serious apology. I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Rachel’s book Coldness of Marek, which I thoroughly enjoyed. You may remember seeing the cover reveal, and my interview with Rachel. If not, go take a look. I’ll wait. I have half a box of bon-bons to finish . . .
Okay, not really, more likely some coffee, tea, lemon water, or an adult beverage, depending on the time of day. But go anyhow. I’ll just watch this adorably cute and funny video while you’re gone.
Good, now that you’re back we can continue on. Anyhow, I meant to do a review of Coldness of Marek way back when I finished reading it. It’s been up near the top on the aforementioned List of All The Things I MUST Do for quite a while. Shame on me. Rachel, my sincerest apologies. The rest of you, if you enjoy epic fantasy, you need to pick up this book. Truly.
Let me start with what I didn’t like about Coldness of Marek. What?!!? I didn’t like something? Hey, no book is perfect, right? The problem with CoM is — it ended. Okay, you in the middle row, third from the left, I caught the eye roll. “That’s soooooo cliché. How many reviewers have said that about how many books?” I don’t know. I don’t keep track of statistics like that. Quite frankly, I don’t give a hoot. It’s true. I became immersed in the world and story Rachel created and then . . . it ended. Quite abruptly, I might add. I don’t mind cliffhangers, truly, but . . . well . . . ARGH!! And for the record, there are very few books I enjoy where I’m happy to reach the end. Even when the author wraps everything up with a nice, shiny bow. If I love the story, the characters, the world, then . . .
So, what put CoM on my list of books I loved? Excellent writing, in depth world building that gave just enough and didn’t overwhelm with extraneous details, characters that I loved and didn’t, situations I felt pulled into, and a deft handling of politics and intrigue which is something I normally don’t enjoy. Overall, the story sucked me in from the word go and kept me there. I admit, as with all books (yes, ALL books) tere were some hiccups, some spots where maybe I didn’t agree with how things played out, but, hey, it’s not my world. I’m visiting. And Rachel’s writing is so strong, her voice so clear, that I never strayed for long. She deftly wove a complex tale of rebellion, love, treachery, and deceit told through the eyes of several characters, and managed it all with a clear vision and a steady hand.
If you’re looking for a book to get lost in, read mine. Ha! Kidding. Not really. Except this post is about Coldness of Marek so get your copy and lose yourself in the world of Serengard.
Serengard has been under Orion rule for centuries. Centuries of insufferable adherence to laws and traditions that none of its people ever asked for or agreed to. Raised by her scholarly grandfather in the fiery southern city of Neroi, Trzl is out to turn the monarchy into a free society where knowledge is king and no one has to be subject to the whims of an Orion.
As the rebellion escalates, her choices have an eerie impact on the revolution at large, elevating her to a position of influence she has only dreamed of attaining. But there are downsides to her power: appearances and alliances that must be upheld. One of them is Hodran, a rich rebel who wants to aid her cause, and another is Mikel, a loyalist farmer who wants to destroy it… and who just might be winning her heart at the same time.
By the time Trzl realizes she is in too deep, she has an infant son and a dark mess of betrayal and lies. She runs, to the farthest corner of the kingdom, in hopes she will be left alone with her child. But she has a few too many demons. Someone she once trusted takes her captive among the chilling Cliffs of Marek. She is thrown back into the political mess she helped create… at the mercy of a man she never wanted for an enemy