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[simpleazon-link asin=”1939997062″ locale=”us”]Lichgates: Book One of the Grimoire Saga (Volume 1)[/simpleazon-link] by S. M. Boyce
My rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
I found Lichgates to be a very enjoyable fantasy. Ourea is a beautiful place with very unusual creatures. While there is no outward war at present, the tenuous peace hangs by a thin thread. The plot is filled with treachery, tragedy, uncertainty, and pain as well as humor, romance, and adventure. Not everything is clear, but that is to be expected in the first book of a trilogy. The Grimoire is like a Bible that acts as a guide and counselor. The implication at first is that there can be but one Grimoire that can be interpreted by one Vagabond. At the end of this first book, we learn that is not the case, leaving Kara, the Vagabond, with very serious choices to make. The author paints beautiful word pictures, using nature as her brush. Her characters also make thoughtful and deeply philosophical comments and musings. Boyce, the author, uses brilliant vocabulary that is nevertheless easy to understand in context. She also created words that I looked up because they sounded so real. Real or not, I was able to deduce their meaning via context. Young adults are the intended audience, but adults will enjoy the story as well. Kara is a strong female lead and the chemistry between her and Braeden is palpable. All of the elements of good storytelling are present: conflict, adventure, inner turmoil, romance, humor, and strong-well developed characters. The setting is also quite captivating and makes the reader long to visit. It drags a bit in some places as the author seeks to explain about certain peoples or where the main characters rest until their next adventure, but I have a feeling that the action and the pace will pick up in Book II, Treason.
Examples of beautiful word pictures:”The sun was on its last beams of light here, its burning rays glittering through the leaves as the wind pushed through them” (p. 178). “The bright moon broke in specked waves across the meadow illuminating the freckles on Braeden’s face” (p. 228).
“What a human chooses to see is never all that really is” (p.179).
“Peace doesn’t come without bloodshed” (p.225).
“Don’t lose your faith in life or the world” (p. 258)
Examples of fantastic characters:
Chortle (a combination laugh and snort; I get teased for this all of the time. I did not realize there was a word for it.)
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[simpleazon-link asin=”1938750934″ locale=”us”]Treason: Book Two of the Grimoire Trilogy (Volume 2)[/simpleazon-link] by S. M. Boyce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After finishing Lichgates, the first in the Grimoire Saga, I was pleased but not quite hooked. I was hoping the second book would have more action, develop the relationships, and draw me more into the magical world of Ourea. I was not disappointed. The writing remained beautiful. “Pearl blue light congealed over her fingers until it formed the shape of a sword” (p.10)-a lovely image. The only complaint I had was that the writer played so much with light imagery that it lost some of its magic. Nevertheless, I still found it beautiful. The romance heated up. “Her soft hair pooled against his neck, so he ran a hand through it without thinking” (p.23).
Other quotes I liked were:
“Love isn’t a weakness. It’s not leverage” (p.17)
“Sometimes impossible just means you have to try harder” (p.228)
Also, in this second book to the series, more characters were introduced while the characters the reader had already met became more complex and interesting. There were many surprises and new alliances were formed. Perhaps my favorite new character is a charming little “red teleporting ball of fur” named Flick. He’s called a Xlijnughl (pronounced Zyl-LEYN-guhl). A big name for such a little guy, but he often came in handy. I have decided that I want one.
I also liked the vyrn – a large, fast, potentially dangerous creature that is fiercely loyal but cannot be tamed. She can read thoughts as well. I pictured it as looking like a graceful buffalo. An oxymoron, I know, but that’s the image I got in my head.
I also have to include my favorite simile because it was a great image without any cliche: “Her tangled hair clung to her face like a deflated tennis ball” (p.261). I nearly laughed out loud at that comparison.
The most engrossing part of the book had to be the huge battle that erupted between the kingdoms. It contained bravery, surprising alliances, sacrifice, and was prefaced by unbearable torture. There is plenty of good versus evil in this saga, but what makes it unique is that it is impossible to trust most of the characters. All the more excitement for the next installment.
In summary, I enjoyed the book very much and the series is definitely one I would recommend to fantasy lovers. As I understand it, there are two more to come in the saga. I expect the story will only get better as there are more battles on the horizon and love will continue to bloom.
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I was given a free e-copies by the author in exchange for honest reviews.
For previous posting about the first two books in this series. Click here. Please note that the giveaway has ended, but this post contains a great summary of the books.