New Release Review: Marella by Morgan Sheppard
Today is the release day for Marella a prequel novella of the Wraidd Elfennol series by Morgan Sheppard. In today’s post you will find all the book details, my review, and a tour wide giveaway!
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy
Marella has grown up on the island of Wraidd Elfennol, where humans, animals and the very Elements live in harmony together.
Since she was a youngling, the draw towards Water has always been the strongest. It is one of the reasons Marella wants nothing more than for that Element to be her Primary, so she can become a Water Weaver, gifted in hydromancy. Each youngling goes to the main village of Charon for the Test to find out which of the Elements they are strongest in, which in turn, will determine their futures.
Marella’s best friend since childhood, Daren, is also going for his Test. They have been best friends since childhood, getting into many adventures together, as their families spend rest days together.
Yet when the day comes where their fates will be decided, doubts and insecurities creep into Marella’s mind. What happens when you don’t get what you wish for? And what happens if you do? At this time of their lives, when their paths are about to take Marella and Daren to different places, will they get what they wish for?
Bradan gave Marella a beaming smile, “I knew I liked you for a reason. Orabel may be mischievous, but I couldn’t have asked for a better Partner. I know you will be happy with yours, even if you aren’t lucky enough to have a duck,” he said, all the time smiling.
Marella laughed and said, “Somehow I don’t think it’s just Orabel that is mischievous. I think she’s a lucky duck.”
Riva gasped, Edlin laughed, and Bradan coughed, as he tried to get his laughter under control.
“Oh, I bet you’ve had your hands full with this one,” he said to Edlin and Riva. “No chastisements necessary, Riva,” he added. “You’re quite right, Marella. In my youth, I did get up to some pranks, which I really couldn’t tell you about now that I’m a mature and sensible adult,” he said hurriedly, as he saw Riva looking at him with a gleam in her eyes.
“Hmmm,” said Riva and continued down the hallway.
“Come and see me later and I’ll tell you some stories,” whispered Bradan to Marella, eyes twinkling and a smile across his face.
“I heard that,” said Edlin with a serious look. “You’ll do no such thing, Marella…,” he added and paused. Then as a smile broke free, he whispered to both Bradan and Marella, “…unless I can come with you.”
“This is my last night as a child. I’ve had thirteen birthdays, and tomorrow I take the Test.”
Marella by Morgan Sheppard is a sweet, vivid prequel to her first novel, Water Weaver. In the prequel, Marella is on the cusp of adulthood, having turned the ripe old age of 13. She is about to take the Test that every “youngling” her age must take; this Test will determine which element is they are strongest in, and, in short, determine the rest of her life.
I really enjoyed this story. Morgan Sheppard creates amazing worlds; she did this in Water Weaver and does so again in Marella. I can’t get the images out of my head! She also perfectly captured the nervousness that any child would feel on the cusp of an event of this magnitude. She’s worried because she doesn’t know what is going to take place, and she is scared that she will be a failure. So much is riding on her shoulders, and this is translated perfectly by Ms. Sheppard.
I absolutely adore Edlin, Marella’s father (and I did in Water Weaver, too). He is a peacemaker, a sympathetic shoulder for Marella against the harshness of her mother, Riva. I also have a soft spot for Nixie, Marella’s Partner…who is also an otter. He’s a voice of comfort and reason in Water Weaver, and in Marella we get to witness their tender introduction.
Though you can technically read Water Weaver first (as I did, accidentally!), you should start with Marella. Though things won’t be ruined if you read them out of order, it will be more fun to read about the characters as “younglings” and then see how they have grown when you read Water Weaver.
4/5 Stars: Richly detailed, intriguing (loved the mythology and the Welsh influences throughout the book), engaging, and just plain sweet. I highly recommend!
Edlin turned to face Marella properly and said, “But you do now what there is nothing to worry about, don’t you?”
“So you keep telling me, Papa,” said Marella. “But you won’t tell me what happens. No one will. I don’t like not knowing what will happen.” At those words, Riva burst out laughing, shooting an apologetic glance to Marella who didn’t understand why she was laughing.
“You’d better get used to that, little one,” said Edlin. “You won’t know what’s going to happen throughout most of your life…”
Marella couldn’t believe how it felt, she could hear his thoughts, and she could feel what he felt. It was incredible. It felt like a part of her that had been lost, that she wasn’t even aware of missing, had been found and put into its rightful place. The feeling suffused her soul and filled her with such contentment. (On meeting Nixie)
I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and a lover. I am many things, been given many labels, but I can say that I am just ‘simple complicated me’. Always a prolific reader and dabbler in my younger days with short stories, poems, and limericks, I am now creating my own fantasy worlds.
Favourite quote is “You have to “aim high and reach for your dreams”
Favourite colour is rich purple
Favourite food would be chocolate!
Favourite time of day is nighttime and I love the moon in all her beautiful phases.
Favourite season has always been Autumn/Fall. I love the rain and thunderstorms.
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The young maiden, Marella, was born to the island of Wraidd Elfennol, a place balanced by the four elements of nature – Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The essence of each element contained in sacred artefacts ensuring the balance of life.
Every year, the community from across the island gather for the Summer Solstice. It is at this celebration the Lords and Ladies of Wraidd Elfennol make an astounding announcement. The sacred artefacts are missing. They then proclaim that four individuals, along with their animal Life Partners, will be selected to restore the balance.
Marella and her otter, Nixie, are chosen because of their link to the element of Water and along with her, three others – each in-tune with a different element.
Together they embark on a quest to either find the missing artefacts or somehow create new ones. As the world around them changes, danger lurks with every challenge the group face. They must hurry as the elements need to be restored before a year and a day have passed.
Failure is not an option or the world as they know it will cease to exist.