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Coldness of Marek (Serengard) (Volume 1) Paperback – August 6, 2013
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
About the Author
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.
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Top customer reviews
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On the downside - I felt it could have used a bit more polish, especially at the end. I was jarred out a couple times by transitions, and unclear on a few motivating factors.
All in all - small gripes on the otherwise very enjoyable book!
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!
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.
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.
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