Rachel O'Laughlin grew up writing adventure stories in which heroines tend to get their hands dirty, bad guys sometimes win, and someone always gets kidnapped. Her passion for history morphed into a love for fantasy in her mid-teens, when she took a brief pause from reality for utter immersion in the arts and a hands-on education in sustainable living. Lattes and The Fray are daily dwellers in her home in New England, where she lives with her husband and two boys.
Coldness of Marekby Rachel O'Laughlin
Serengard has been under Orion rule for centuries-centuries of insufferable adherence to laws and traditions that its people no longer believe in. Raised by her scholarly grandfather in the fiery southern city of Neroi, Trzl is dedicated to turning the monarchy into a free society where knowledge is king
She wants to destroy the monarchy. He wants to preserve it.
Serengard has been under Orion rule for centuries-centuries of insufferable adherence to laws and traditions that its people no longer believe in. Raised by her scholarly grandfather in the fiery southern city of Neroi, Trzl is dedicated to turning 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 new power that entangle her in a dangerous web of emotions, appearances and alliances. Even as she plays to the attractions of Hodran, a rich nobleman who wants to aid her cause, she is drawn to Mikel, a loyalist farmer who hates the rebellion but just might be winning her heart.
When Trzl realizes she is in too deep and seeks refuge near the chilling Cliffs of Marek, she isn't prepared to meet one of her old rivals and rekindle a political game she thought she'd won, but the dark mess of betrayal and lies they've created propels them both into a dangerous standoff. And this time the stakes are far too high.
In the thrilling first installment in the Serengard Series, Rachel O'Laughlin delivers mystery, suspense, and romance, set amid a fresh new fantasy world where tradition and art are the victims of progress.
- Dublin Mist Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)
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I received a copy of Coldness of Marek for an honest review. Trzl has been a part of the rebellion since she could remember. Under the wing of the leader, Trzl’s grandfather Trzl feels very strongly about the cause to remove all the Orion’s from rule. At a meeting one night she meets Mikal who Trzl immediately falls for, but their beliefs are different and those differences separate them by worlds. Still the two can’t stay away from each other. When the time for the rebellion to strike comes Trzl tries to save Mikal and ends up finding his true identity, the Prince. Now Trzl must flee and runs into the arms or Mikal’s enemy. For ten years Trzl believes Mikal dead and tries to move on with her child and away from the new rulers. When Trzl and her son Malcolm are kidnapped and taken into the mountains their capture is someone Trzl never thought she’d see again someone who was supposed to be dead. Mikal or rather Lord Makal is not the same man Trzl knew so long ago and with secrets and lives keeping them apart Trzl must do everything she can to protect Malcolm. When Malcolm is kidnapped and sold back to the people Trzl was running from it’s up to Mikal to save her son but he may not make it out of the city alive this time. I had such high hopes for Coldness of Marek but alas this book did fall short of expectations. Throughout the entire story I was completely lost. I felt there were so many characters, places, name of things, traditions, plans and just overall everything revolving around this story that I had a hard time keeping track. Another thing is the point of view, throughout most of the story I had absolutely no idea whose pov was being told. Almost every character got their pov told I think and I wish there had been some indicator as to whose perspective was being told. None of the characters were all that relatable but I did like Trzl the most out of the characters even those she was selfish and rude most of the time. Overall, Coldness if Marek had many flaws but regardless I would still like to know what happens next with Malcolm, Trzl, and Mikal/ Marak. I feel as if Coldness of Marek is definitely one of those love it or hate it books. I hope everyone will at least check this book out.
If you enjoy fantasy, you will love the Serengard novels. They're set up in a way I've never seen before, and it makes reading them an adventure of its own. I've been priviliged enough to already get an eye on a section of book two and a section of book three, and from what I've seen all three will make you love the characters, get you invested in an incredible world, and touch your heart for good... and sometimes ill. As for COLDNESS itself, this is Trzl's story. I wasn't sure I liked her at first read, but because the story and the writing were so engaging I kept on. Eventually Trzl won my heart with her love for her son, and I was amazed at how much she grew and changed throughout her experiences. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say this: COLDNESS OF MAREK ranks up there with my favorite fantasy novels. Serengard is a detail-rich land, and the characters (Mikel in particular) completely won my heart. (We don't get Mikel's whole story until book three and I'M DYING TO READ IT.) Overall, I loved it. That's all I have to say about that.
I've been struggling with fantasy novels lately. Nothing has really drawn me in. Until this. I couldn't stop reading. Absolutely wonderful book. Loved it. LOVED.
I haven't felt this immersed in the world of a book in a long time. I couldn't put it down. Rachel O'Laughlin's attention to detail is amazing. She doesn't spend pages upon pages describing the world to you, but does an excellent job of letting you see it all through each character's eyes. The changes in POV were fluid, the overall voice never faltering, but still giving you a feel for the differences in the characters and their views. There were times I would come back from a reading break and forget that the story wasn't written in first person because of how strong of a feel I had for the characters, particularly Trzl. The story has a great build, right from the action at the beginning. The intensity never seems to let up as you piece together what happened in the 10 years since Trzl and Mikel first met. I love the changes you can see in Trzl from that stubborn and somewhat naive rebel using her feminine wiles to aid the cause she so believed in, to the protective mother she is today, willing to anything and everything to keep her child safe. Reading the fight scenes felt like watching a dance. They were easy to follow, but not mechanical in any way. Some writers can get a little too caught up in the action, making the fights too busy. But Rachel did an excellent job writing descriptions that might cause you to wince, but not scratch your head in confusion. The romantic undertones were very well written and distinguished from the usual cliches you might find in fantasy novels. Trzl is not a damsel in distress by any stretch of the imagination, and Mikel is very much so the reluctant hero. The conflict between these two somehow manages to play a minor and major role in the overall story. It is a card that is never over-played by Rachel, which made the story all the more enjoyable. There might not be any actual hope for these two to get together with everything that has happened, but watching them fight against their own hearts is very compelling. I was also very pleased with how Malcolm was written. He's a brave young boy instead of one hiding behind his mother's skirts. I loved how tough and intelligent he is. He picked up on a lot more than the adults gave him credit for, with the exception of perhaps Marek. The minor characters were all very well distinguished from one another, with their own sets of goals and problems. The twist with Tev really caught me offguard, which was great. There isn't a dull moment in this book. Every chapter, every scene--something is always happening. I really can't sing enough praises for this book. I can't wait to see what happens with the sequel!
I’m so thankful to have gotten the chance to read this book twice (once as an earlier draft, and again as an ARC) because COLDNESS OF MAREK is such a beautifully written adventure of a story. First of all, I should mention that I haven’t read a lot of epic fantasy, so I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to get into this story. I was so wrong! I was drawn into the story world so deeply that I remember the characters as though I’ve lived a lifetime with them (twice!). I even dreamed of epic sword fights. Seriously. It’s so easy to picture the scenes Rachel paints as though they’re happening right in front of you, and it’s so easy to get lost in them (in a good way). The characters are realistically flawed, interesting, and well developed. The story is just wonderful, from the overall plot to the tiniest of details. Rachel has truly created a world that will live on in readers’ minds and make us eager for the next installment in the Serengard series. I, for one, am eager to see how things turn out for all these characters.