Mark of Oldra by Georgina Makalani

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This is a book that I really enjoyed, but I have to warn you, the first chapter is quite confusing and I almost put it aside, not wanting to have to delve into ‘What could the author possibly mean?’ kinds of thoughts. When I finished the book, I went back and reread the first chapter and was glad that all my questions had been completely answered in the following chapters.

The story starts with Gerry, a young woman who is drawn into a different existence by the voice of the snow, and no, I don’t know why there is talking snow. Keep in mind, this book is fantasy and many things are accepted as commonplace in the writing. The voice in the snow is one. The snow seems to entice her to go into the woods, where she enters another world, very different from her own. When she arrives, she discovers that there are dark shadows that are a menace to all who live there.

Gerry meets Pira, who is chief of the Penna tribe, while she is lost in the snowbound forest. He introduces her to his people and she is quickly drawn into their lives. She is quickly accepted by the women in the tribe, which adds interest and action to the story. It is with these people that she finds safety from the dark shadows. Gradually, she learns she is accepted as a leader of the tribe and has, interestingly, acquired many talents that could possibly save these people and their way of life.

Many aspects of the story are introduced through her visions and dreams. It does become repetitious and at one point I realized that I never wanted to hear our heroine mutter, “I’m not ready for this,” one more time. Her doubt then required others to bolster her confidence, which was okay a time or two, but overdone for the most part. That said, she does manage to accomplish many of the needs for the tribe. So, I decided to overlook her self-worth deficiency and move on with this rather fascinating tale.

Pira is an interesting and rather secretive fellow. I wondered why he didn’t just tell Gerry what her part was supposed to be in the tribe. As I read on, I discovered that she is in the dark partly because Pira fears she will want to return to her own world, and also, she is about to learn she has a very big and overwhelming job to deal with, being leader and savior of the tribe. Pira becomes a huge part of Gerry’s life as she accepts the tribe as her family and, of course, he hopes to be even more to her.

Overall, I liked the supporting characters. There was enough diversity and interaction between them all that my interest never really strayed. One minute they are showing Gerry how to shoot arrows, and the next they are pelting her with snowballs as she is trained to fight the dark shadows. There’s quite a bit of action in this book and little down time. I recommend this book for those who enjoy fantasy and a very different approach to life. FYI, this is a cliffhanger.

Now, the rating:

  • Genre and general reading age – Fantasy, as previously stated, and it’s good for older teens and adults.
  • Level of sexuality – Just a snippet and it was tastefully done.
  • Was there graphic language? No.
  • Did I cry? Nope.
  • Is this part of a series? It’s definitely not a standalone. I mentioned the cliffhanger.
  • Did I laugh? Some. It was an entertaining read.
  • Level of character development – I enjoyed the characters and think they were well done.

I am happy to give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.

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