“When Kara Magari uncovers a secret door in the middle of the forest, she discovers (and trips through) a portal to a hidden world full of terrifying things: Ourea. She just wants to go home, but the natives have other plans for her. She clashes with immortal shapeshifters, is carried off by a dragon, nearly dies on several occasions, and somehow becomes the master of an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire. Every time she thinks she’s safe, her new “friends” show their true colors.
Kara needs an ally, or she might not survive Ourea’s monsters. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this stranded girl, there’s something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.” -Synopsis from Goodreads.com
As readers, I believe we all wish to leave reality and stumble into a magical world, something we achieve through the written word. However, while we romanticize the idea, in actuality, we might enter into a place of wonder, but there is also evil and danger lurking there. In Lichgates, Kara Magari literally stumbles into another realm which changes her life forever.
In an attempt to escape the death of her mother and gnawing guilt, Kara retreats into the wilderness and comes across an unfamiliar path which leads her into Ourea (I can’t help but pronounce it “urea”), a tantalizingly beautiful, yet dangerous land. I am not a risky person and therefore not someone who jumps at the chance to explore the unknown recesses of the forest, so I’ve probably missed out on any chance of entering another world. Darn. Kudos to Kara though.
Her apathy and adventurous nature bite her in the butt when she discovers the grimoire, and subsequently becomes the legendary vagabond, the future savior of Ourea. As vagabond, Kara is tugged around by the various factions vying for her loyalty and her power. Not knowing who to trust, Kara has few allies, the most important and handsome being Braeden Drakonin. Romantic tension and I have a complex love-hate relationship. The coyness of Braeden and Kara’s attraction is infuriatingly wonderful (please tell me you understand this feeling) and has me itching to read the sequel in order to discover the outcome of their budding romance.
All in all, S.M. Boyce has produced a fanciful novel which I applaud for creativity, especially in the creation of the races and their homelands. I really appreciate the centrality that politics has in the plot as Kara tries to become a bridge between nations. The leaders all seem to entertain the same idea; if the vagabond isn’t your tool, they’re your enemy. The novel closes on the precipice of war, one which leaves the question of both Kara and Braeden’s fate.
I thoroughly enjoyed Lichgates and intend to read the second book in the Grimoire Saga. Have any of you read any of the books by S.M. Boyce? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!
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