[Review] Palom by L.L. McNeil

A landscape scarred by hate.
Shadows rising from the ashes.
One man desperate to change his fate.

Linaria’s devastation worsens as dragons turn against survivors in retribution for Aciel slaying their kin and stealing their power.

Palom – hero and creator of the dragon-forged weapons that thwarted Aciel – is overwhelmed by guilt for failing to protect his loved ones.

While the world attempts to recover from one global war and arm itself against another he flees into the Val Sharis wilds to rid himself of unwanted fame.

His greatest threat may not just be the cursed weapons he created, but the new shadow growing over Linaria.

Palom is the second instalment in L.L. McNeil’s World of Linaria series, and what a sequel it was! I absolutely enjoyed this book and returning to the Linaria was a lot of fun. The only way I can describe this book is like returning to the middle of a chess game; all of the pieces are in motion and its all still to play for!

Our original gang are either dead, separated or encased in a giant crystal (Lauren, I can’t believe you did that to us, what a cliff-hanger!). Sapora and Isa are fighting for control as their claim to the throne is questioned; Morgan is captain of the Imperial Guard, Amarah and Kohl seek the wisdom of the Ice Giant’s magic to free Moroda; and Palom – our title character – is trying to flee fame, family and even himself.

The pace of this novel is swifter and more consistent than the first which was great to see. Every time I put this book down I’d come right back to it 5 minutes later to read a few more chapters. All the action sequences were amazing, in particular Amarah’s fight with Jato; it was incredible and very entertaining (with a shocking result!).

The character development in this book was brilliant as well. My favourite has been the change in Isa’s character. She really shines through in this book. In the first novel we’re only introduced to her towards the end so we didn’t get a sense of who she really was then. She lives up to her royal status now and I think she would make a great Princess (and hopefully Queen). Her bravery and integrity to stand up in the face of adversity to protect her allies and people was wonderful to witness. I look forward to seeing what role she has to play in the coming novels.

My only minor issue I had was some scenes either end too soon or aren’t given time to develop enough. I think adding a bit more suspense in between bigger plot points or reveals would have elevated Palom to a 5 star book.

In summary, Palom is engaging from the start and is a really enjoyable fantasy epic. If you haven’t picked up this series I definitely recommend picking this up when you have the chance!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Available formats: Paperback, Audiobook and E-book

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