Rise of a Sky Pirate by L. L. McNeil (L.L. MacRae)

At fifteen, Amarah ran away from the mage city of Berel, her birthplace.

Unable to use magic and unable to read, she flees to the other side of the world to forge a new life for herself.

But all she manages to do is serve Goldstone nobility and sweat in kitchens—hardly an improvement.

When an opportunity to escape servitude presents itself, Amarah cannot resist the temptation to take it. Yet there is no reward without risk, and the Varkain lurking in the city’s shadows are sure to make her aware of her folly.

Amarah will have to use all her cunning just to survive, and bravado is not enough when it comes to thwarting the sky pirates who are trying to steal from the most sacred – and dangerous – place of all: the dragons.

Discover Amarah’s journey from street urchin to sky pirate set twenty years before the events of WORLD OF LINARIA Book 1: MORODA.


My Review

Rise of a Sky Pirate is a prequel novella available by signing up for L.L. MacRae’s newsletter here which tells the story of how Amarah, a character from the full length novel, Moroda, (which I recently read and loved) came to be a Sky Pirate.
Amarah is only fifteen in this story, yet she is already plucky and determined, having left her family home and travelled across the world to start living her life on her own terms. She is unable to read and has no magic, yet grew up in a country of magic and dragons, where she felt that she did not fit in.
The main story concerns a group of pirates planning to steal eggs from dragons, having press-ganged Amarah onto their crew, much to her dislike – both about being press ganged and the ridiculous plan to take on dragons.
The descriptions of life aboard a pirate airship are evocative and you can easily imagine the stench and the filthiness.
The story has plenty of action and I found myself on the edge of my seat on more than one occasion:

“Amarah screamed—a gurgle of pure fear and panic. Fire and smoke blazed across the wood, the ship groaned, splintered, and then dropped from the sky.”

The crew seems to have underestimated the fire power and general awesomeness of dragons:

“To her left, the dragon stood, its bulk filling the space. Inside, its scales seemed to burn low red, like embers in a dying fire pit. The spikes running along the length of its back and tail glistened wickedly in the low light, and it lashed its tail like an angry cat.”

I highly recommend this story – I have loved everything I have read by L.L. MacRae so far and this was no exception. Available by registering for L.L. MacRae’s newsletter.


About the Author

Lauren is a fantasy author of character-driven stories and epic adventure. Her books usually contain dragons, eclectic characters, and are typically fun and hopeful. 

She lives in a tiny village in the UK, has a degree in Psychology, and was a professional copywriter before going full-time as an author—swapping corporate copy for magic and dragons!

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