The Grimoire: Lichgates - S. M. Boyce
The Grimoire turns its own pages and can answer any question asked of it, and Kara Magari is its next target. She has no idea what she's getting herself into when she stumbles across the old book while hiking a hidden trail. Once she opens it, she's thrown into Ourea: a beautiful world full of terrifying things that all want the Grimoire's secrets. Everyone in this new world is trying to find her, and most want to control her.
Braeden Drakonin grew up in Ourea, and all he’s ever known of life is lying. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. He has one question to ask the book – one question that can fix everything in his broken life – and he’s not letting Kara out of his sight until he gets an answer.
There’s no escaping Ourea. There’s no going back now.
My Review: 5/5*
Amazing, amazing, amazing! I am SO glad that I requested a copy of this to review: a book hasn’t captured me so much since Rowling’s Harry Potter. The book tells the tale of the twenty year old figure of Kara Magari and the shocking world she stumbles upon unexpectedly on one of her many hikes. She is thrown into the wonderful, dangerous and beautiful world of Ourea: a world in which she now carries the heavy responsibility of restoring the world’s peace. She has been chosen as the new Vagabond.
Throughout the book, we are introduced to many of Boyce’s creatures: yakon, races which make up Ourea, isen, the soul stealers, and the drenowith, the muses. These characters make up the hierarchical world of Ourea in which Kara must travel and battle against in order to complete her task. We are introduced to three of the ‘worlds’ within Ourea on Kara’s journey in which she is given the task of uniting the Bloods (what would be a King) to the same cause as that of the Vagabond herself and the skewed motives of the Blood, Gavin – that of war against the Stelian race.
This novel absolutely blew me away. Boyce manages to capture the magic of this world perfectly, making the reader aware of the dangers surrounding the task forced upon Kara. The characters themselves are far from transparent allowing me to completely empathise with the struggles facing both Kara and Braeden. The relationship which develops between these two characters is strong and unwavering. The trust issues held by Kara was refreshing to read, so different from the majority of books that I have read lately in which the female protagonist instantly trusts the new male figure which comes in their lives. The struggle captured between both characters is hypnotic as we watch Kara struggle to adjust to this new world and her new responsibilities, and Braeden struggle to fight his what seems to be inevitable rise to become the Blood of the land in which Ourea is hoping to war with.
The main thing which relieved me with the book, as I will admit that I had my worries upon reading that Kara was now to be the next Vagabond, that she did not dwell on the fact that she was now given this role. Boyce successfully provided the right amount of confusion, frustration and terror into her discovery, but kept the figure of her protagonist as a strong, feisty figure who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in. Kara, despite being in an unfamiliar world, never once succumbs to the ‘proper’ rules of the world and maintains her modern-world female attitude: her biggest rebellion being that of continuing to wear trousers. This may seem as something trivial but this is just the beginning of the readers introduction to the strong, passionate figure of Boyce’s heroine.
This book was truly incredibly and I don’t feel that my review or any review can do it true justice. I cannot wait to read the second book of this trilogy: Treason.