Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Laika in Lisan by Maron Anrow | Review

Title: Laika in Lisan
Author: Maron Anrow
Pages: 280
Publisher: Createspace
Goodreads rating: 4.23 stars
Published: May 2014
Source: Paperback/From author for review


Historian and private tutor Laika Roen has long been fascinated by Lisan, a mysterious country where the citizens worship their despotic leader. When Laika is invited to study in Lisan, she drops everything in her unsatisfying life to pursue adventure. Laika gets more than she bargained for when her trip is disrupted by violence and she's forced to set out on her own. She soon meets Rodya, a man who's living in the mountains to avoid Lisan's oppressive government. With his guidance Laika witnesses firsthand what is normally hidden from foreigners like her: the widespread abuse and deprivation of the Lisani people. Trapped in a maze of moral ambiguity, Laika must choose between her conscience, her feelings for Rodya, and the greater good.

The historian in me really enjoyed this book! And so did the reader! While I normally read paranormal and fantasy and the like, the one was a great not-quite-fantasy-but-not-quite-historical-fiction read. It definitely reads more like a historical fiction than fantasy, but it's technically categorized as fantasy, since it takes place in a fictional world with the country of Trea and Lisan. 

The story follows Laika, who travels from Trea to Lisan doing a scholar exchange of sorts {only no Lisani are traveling to Trea in exchange}. Not even halfway into her trip to the capital, her carriage is attacked and she's left alone in the middle of Lisan, without food, clothes {other than those on her back} or any hope of getting to the Holy City or back to Trea.  Enter Rodya, who saved her life while she's getting ready to starve.

Rodya and Laika form a bond, close to friendship, but without full disclosure and trust.  Rodya helps her get to the Holy City, but not before Laika gets to see what life is like in the rural farming areas of Lisan - something Laika was not supposed to see {and she manages to keep a that a secret so she can continue to teach in the Holy City}.  When she gets to the Holy City, she begins to assimilate into the culture, and eventually gains an audience with the son of the Lord of Lisan.  Things begin getting a little dicey for Laika after that point...

While this isn't normally my type of read, I really did enjoy it.  The plot kept a good pace and it was really well written.  If you're a fan of historical fiction, this might be right up your alley.

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