|Posted on January 9, 2014 at 5:30 PM|
I have known author Marie Bilodeau for many years. She is a local Ottawa fixture and a well loved storyteller. Funny thing is, I had never read one of her books. Then we had a chance to visit at the most recent Ottawa Geek Market. While chatting, I mentioned that I hadn't read her books and she mentioned that she didn't realize I did reviews. It was a literary match made in a fantasy land far, far away.
Right then and there she gave me the first two books in her Destiny series.
The main character in the series is Layela Delamores. She is a gentle woman. In the first book in the series, Destiny's Blood, all she wants in life is a few plants to take care of and some peace and quiet. After years of thieving with her twin, Yoma to survive, she finally has enough to live her dream of owning a simple flower shop. But just as business starts blooming (yes, I went there) her sister disappears. Layela soon finds out that she and her sister are something special and a peaceful life is just not in the cards.
The sisters are connected not only by blood, but as well through their ability to see the future. The only problem is that Layela's nightly visions have been vague at best recently and now she's terrified that her sister's disappearance has something to do with them. As she tries to find out what's happened to her, Layela's dream life explodes and she is thrust into a world of smugglers, intrigue and a universal struggle of mythical proportions that only she can stop... but will it end well if she does?
In the second book, Destiny's Fall, the reader comes into the story 5 years into the future. There is new life on Mirial, and many species are growing strong once more. But there is a dark threat from the universe's ruling empire, as well as a usurper within, and Layela finds herself once again in danger. This time though there is much more at stake then her life alone.
The world Marie Bilodeau has created is a wonderful mix of science fiction full of high tech, space ships and aliens, but it has a feel of myth and legend about it. Although I kept reading about metal ships and computers, I kept seeing in my mind's eye great old galleons and quaint villages, castles and magic. It's a fabulous bit of storytelling and it's very distinct from anything else I've read.
I really like her alien races. I also like that they are all connected through their mutual life force - ether, while the humans are not and care more about technology and control. They are essentially the villians in this series. I would love to know if the author meant for the alien races mentioned to be elemental representations. Mirialians - air, Slontes - water, Kilita - fire and my favourite race the Berganda - earth. Sentient plant beings. Think friendly Triffids in a more human form.
The really wonderful thing about the series is the thread within about brothers and sisters, family and the importance of holding on to that love, and using that support to get through dark times.
I would definitely recommend Destiny's Blood and Destiny's Fall. They were a treat to read and a great escape from the bleak cold outside.
There is one more book in the series, Destiny's War. It is currently available as an Ebook. The print copy will be released on January 31st.
If you would like the first two, just click on the teeny books...
All the best, your GG