Palom, L. L. McNeil – Book Review

Hello humans! Some of you may recall way back when I reviewed the first book in L. L. McNeil’s World of Linaria, series MorodaI really enjoyed reading the story, which has some of my favourite elements including dragons, sky pirates, and shapeshifters. I was therefore delighted to have the opportunity to read and review the sequel Palom. I had the pleasure of getting to say hi to the author at LFCC earlier this year and I know she attends a lot of similar events so be sure to say hi yourself if you ever see her.

Now on with the review, which may have spoilers for Moroda but not for Palom.

palom l l mcneil

Goodreads Summary:

‘Now the fighting’s over, you want to pick up where we left off? How? Everything’s changed.’

Linaria’s cities lie in ruin and her lands are scarred following Aciel’s war. The devastation worsens as dragons turn against the survivors in retribution for Aciel slaying their kin and stealing their power.

As the world attempts to recover from one global war and arm itself against another, Palom, hero and creator of the dragon-forged weapons that thwarted Aciel, flees across the Val Sharis wilds to rid himself of unwanted fame. Overwhelmed by guilt for failing to protect loved ones, his greatest threat is not just the weapons he created, but the new shadow growing over Linaria.

He is accompanied by a dragon hatched in his care – but with the god-like creatures turning against the world, will she be his salvation or destruction?

Discover new friends and rejoin old ones in World of Linaria – Book Two.

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I’m not sure about other people, everyone reads differently, but sequels always take me a little bit longer to get into than other books, it takes me a while longer to re-situate within the world, to remember which characters are still alive, where they all stand with one another and so forth. There is a helpful recap at the beginning of this book (which was much appreciated) but it was still a little slow starting for me, I imagine this wasn’t helped by the fact that I read Moroda back in 2017. Once I had got myself back into this world and the characters were re-introduced to me, that’s when this story really started to pick up.

What comes through in reading these books is how well L. L. McNeil knows her own world, the little details of cultures, the back stories of characters, the geographical features of various places all come through in the writing. You get the sense of her passion for the world she has created which is something I like to get as a reader. If the author cares about their characters then I almost always do as well. There was one moment where something (no spoilers I promise) is destroyed and I was heartbroken on behalf of a character.

The other thing that this book has is the feeling of being part of something much larger. Where some books within a fantasy series feel very self-contained, this feels like a part of the six book series, you can tell that lots of different things are being set up throughout the book and that not all of them are going to be resolved by the time you get to the final page. I was left excited to read the next book, to see what happens to these characters next.

There are still sky pirates, there are still shapeshifters, there are still dragons. All those things that sold me on Moroda continue into this book, but the stakes are higher, the characters are learning that this is just the beginning.

I have a feeling this is going to be a series that goes from strength to strength, with the plot, characters and the writing itself developing with every book. I cannot wait to see what L. L. McNeil has for us next.

Palom is available now!

My rating: 4/5 stars

I received a digital copy of this book from the author for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What say you? Dragons, sky pirates, or shapeshifters? Which one would you choose? Let me know in the comments below!



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