Disclaimer: I was lucky enough, that I was given the opportunity to read this book as an ARC. This will in no way influence my review. This is a spoile...moreDisclaimer: I was lucky enough, that I was given the opportunity to read this book as an ARC. This will in no way influence my review. This is a spoiler free review. ---- This book will be Available November 5, 2013 ---- Kara Magari isn’t normal, even by Ourea’s standards—and in a world of shape-shifters and soul stealers, that’s saying something. To the royalty, she’s a loose cannon. To the masses, she’s a failure. But Kara’s arrival in Ourea started a war, and she’s going to end it.
An ancient isen named Stone takes an interest in Kara’s training, and it turns out he has more answers than he originally led her to believe. In an effort to unearth a secret that might end the bloodshed, Kara instead discovers an ugly truth about her family—and how much she has in common with an infamous mass-murderer.
Braeden Drakonin has slowly rebuilt his life after the betrayal that tore it apart. His father wants him dead, and frankly, his so-called allies wouldn’t mind that either. Private alliances are formed. Secrets are sold. Tension is driving the armies apart. A single battle will end this war, and it’s coming. Braeden may be a prince, but it will take more than that to survive. He must take the fight to his father’s door—and win. Starting with the dedication- I’m already in tears. I could only hope for a love like this. Boycey your way with words is perfect. On the technical side, I will say I love the writing style and it makes me hunger for more. It flows seamlessly and is without flaw. Onto my thoughts. I have waited…. What seems like eons but is really not even a year, the wait was excruciating! In the beginning, back in the days when I first read “Lichgates” I was searching for a reason to be attached to the characters. Well, at this point, I’m so attached to all of them they can’t make a move without an emotional response.
That’s the thing about this book, it is evocative. It makes you smile when they smile, cry when they cry, make random expressions that are relative to the character that you are reading at that time… it sucks you in and you can’t leave until you are done. If there is one thing I hate, it is reflection. I have read authors who take CHAPTERS to reflect on how we got where we are for new readers or as a refresher for those of us who haven’t read the books in awhile. Thankfully, that was not the case in “Heritage”. The reflection was non-existent and she jumped right into the story. However, writing in a style that if a reader had not read Lichgates or Treason after reading a few short pages they’d be on track with what was happening. I love how she jumped right into the action! Not wasting a sentence or a line on anything but rather diving head first into the story! As expected I was drowning in my love for the storyline before the end of the first chapter. When I was on page 101 of 200 in PDF format I had loved it. I was dreading the end. It's like some piece of rare knowledge you fall in love with, and are so eager to learn more of that you can't ever get enough. Or, if you've read the hunger games, Katniss' "hollow days" where no matter how much you eat you're still starving.... that's what reading this book was like to me. Page after page I just absorbed as much as I could, but it was never enough – right down to the very startling end. I am an avid reader. It takes much, to say the least, to take my breath away and yet that is what S.M. Boyce has done with “Heritage”. The vibrance of Ourea has never burned brighter, and the characters never more colorful. There is a raw intensity that jumps out of the pages at you and makes you forget this is a story – in a book – It’s ok. She makes you forget all of that. What is interesting to me is that the characters never stop developing; they grow as the story grows and that is a wonderful thing to watch. To see Kara come into her powers, and Braeden wield his political savvy, the cunning of the bloods, the ignorance of some that cost others their lives, the beauty of alliances forged under the most trying of circumstances… It is an amazing thing to read as it unfolds before me. The ending. I never saw that coming, I didn’t suspect it in the slightest, and when I realized during the epilogue what had really happened during the Stelian attack on Braeden and his recovery, I nearly fell out of my bed in shock and awe. The question is, where now will S.M. Boyce take us, on the road to “Illusion.” Because illusion it is, and illusion it shall be. To quote BFF, Evie, “If I die, please bury me in Ourea.” That is how much we love these books. So I have it in PDF format, now, November 5, I must obtain the physical book for my collection. Thank you, S.M. Boyce for the mental stimulation, and the entertainment, and the roller coaster ride. And thank you, for Ourea.(less)
This review is spoiler-safe, until the link to read the spoilers. So you are safe to read and enjoy!
”Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into
...moreThis review is spoiler-safe, until the link to read the spoilers. So you are safe to read and enjoy!
”Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect Braeden, the one person she has left, she strikes a deal that goes against everything she believes in. But things don’t go as planned.
Braeden Drakonin can no longer run from who—and what—he is. He has to face the facts. He’s a prince. He’s a murderer. He’s a wanted man. And after a betrayal that leaves him heartbroken, he’s out for blood. To survive, both Kara and Braeden must become the evil each has grown to hate.”
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough, that I won this book & the preceding in the series (Lichgates) in S.M. Boyce's Blog Tour giveaway. S. M. Boyce It had been on my to-read shelf, collecting digital dust, with hundreds of other titles for quite a time. Receiving these books in this manner in no way affects my book-review method, or choices; I don’t believe that does the author, or the readers any good, being anything less than honest. Be aware, you are reading a very, honest review.
Wow. Let me say, that if book one, Lichgates, was a 5 star novel, which it indubitably was, then Treason is a 10 star novel. If I am being honest, Lichgates took me a good 50 pages before I could really sink my teeth into the meat of the story; but once I did, I was enthralled with the entirety of the storyline. The twists, turns, ups and downs. I found myself at a loss for words when trying to describe Ourea to those who had not read the novel, and an even more difficult time writing a book review, because how do you critique something that you transport your mind and heart to, more and more with every turn of the page? You don’t. You instead, grasp at words, and try to find sufficient praise for the breakthrough author (who clearly is going to be a stand out voice in her generation) and you hope that other readers out there see your review, and recognize the severe loss for words as what it is: breathlessness. I was thrilled to discover that what was originally “The Grimoire Trilogy” has now evolved into “The Grimoire Saga” and that there will be one more book to add to the collection. I must say, I have found precious few series, where ending at book 3 ends well; seriously. I have no idea what it is about ending a series on a third book - but ending it on a fourth, always does justice to the characters, and the storyline, without the feeling of loss and abandonment that ending on book three often leaves. (Instead, leaving you with a longing, and a hunger for more - an insatiable, unsatable thirst for a world you never want to leave. The mark, of a truly good author.)
"Ourea is not the sort of place you can leave." - Braeden Drakonin
You can say that again. Ourea is a world where everything is alive. The amount of detail written into this world, is like no other that you’ve read about elsewhere. The lands, the creatures, the species, the mounts, even the hierarchy of government is unlike what you’ve read about. The color and brilliance that is painted in your mind is surreal; with so many unforseen changes, and plot twists, it will have you gasping at every corner. I saw another avid, passionate reader make a comment regarding “Treason”, that I am more than compelled to quote, “I am beginning to think that SM Boyce herself is from Ourea and maybe even a Vagabond herself.” -Kelly, on S.M. Boyce, Treason I could not agree more Kelly, I could not agree more.
"In the hidden world of Ourea, there are too many beautiful places to name: rose-covered cliffs tower miles over the valleys and forests below, cities thrive in submerged ecosystems beneath the sea, and the dragons that once ruled volcanoes are now but fossils in a cave. The creatures of human myth flourish in Ourea. Trees are this world’s skyscrapers. Magic is its currency. And while the rest of Earth forgot what it means to dream big, Ourea kept alive its wonder.”
I truly recommend you take a moment, and read this excerpt from the first page of the first chapter, it won’t spoil anything for you, but will instead show you the enticing qualities that Boyce brings to the table. This, you can look forward to, page after page, through the entire 30 chapters in this novel, that you will be breathlessly wishing it had not ended, when you reach the last utterances of words, on the very last page.
(view spoiler)[ Potential SPOILERS beyond this point, I do not recommend reading any further, if you have not read the book!!
To continue, where my book review of Lichgates ended... I left off with book one, hoping that Kara would grow into herself, and get past the "history repeats itself" inner mantra monologue from the first Vagabond, and realize that had the first Vagabond had it all correct, he'd have survived and achieved his goal, and thusly there would be no need for her; allowing herself a chance at happiness with Braeden. Well, throughout Treason, I felt the constant strain and tension of wishing that same thing, although Braeden having been used as a leverage point made for a good argument for the sake of Cedric, the first Vagabond. I wish, that Kara would have seen much earlier that LIFE IS TO LIVE! But Boyce does the character, and the reader justice, taking us through the labyrinth of Kara’s mind, and her inner torment about having the feelings she so desperately tries to deny for the Stelian Heir.
I had mentioned hoping that Braeden would continue to grow in a positive fashion. In Treason, we have the stark pleasure of being fully aware that with him being heir to the Blood of the Stele - he could go either way and he learns how to bend, so to speak. He embraces who he is, for all the right reasons, in all the right ways, shirking any pretense of caring what anyone thinks any longer - because the one person he genuinely cared what was thought of him, accepted him exactly as he was, in his Stelian form, Hillsidian form, Losse, or Kirelm... she saw Braeden as Braeden, and in doing so, gave him the step up he needed to see himself as he really is.
Ah, my feeling about Blood Gavin, and Twin. I didn’t think Twin could be trusted, and I had thought that there was a deal made between Twin and the Blood of Hillside.... What can I say, when I am wrong, I am wrong. I was not wrong about Blood Gavin, and he is nauseatingly villainous in this book, and I found myself teetering between absolute pity for the man that he was dwindling away from being, to sheer outrage to the man he simply chose not to be. He is colorful, to be sure, and it is painful to watch all of the ways he rejects Braeden, and tries to have him killed; and the part he plays with Kara being abducted by Aislynn & just following suit with the other Bloods... it was disgusting. His political agendas are all strictly personal, and vendetta related, and having no heir, he proves himself selfish, caring naught for the Hillsidian people he is above, throwing himself in the throes of battle, passionately and recklessly, not giving a second thought to the fact that if he is killed in this “war to end wars” that he will put an end to the Hillsidians, entirely... It is a sad, and accurate reflection of facets of literal politics in our own time. I will say this, I still feel the transgression of Kara taking Twin, and making her a Vagabond was forgiven awfully easily, and with Twin having had Flick this whole time, and Gavin knowing where the Vagabond’s village is... I just don’t know for sure that I believe he really had scouts follow them; I still think there is more there than meets the eye. Who, me paranoid?
I made mention, of two specific things. 1) I'd really like to know what Kara's father wanted her to retrieve from the cabinet. 2) Kara is going to have to face blunt realities; that I am not sure if she can... the way that "her toes tested the water" in Lichgates leads me to believe Kara is going to develop into a force to be reckoned with.
Ask, and you shall receive! WOW I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING! As it turns out, the item in the cabinet that Kara’s dad wanted her to retrieve in the battle against Deidre was, of all things, an Isen bracelet, to help her control her Isen powers. That’s right... ISEN. She was an unawakened Isen this whole time, and it is revealed to us, however briefly, that her mother too was an Isen, and the real reason she died was because Niccoli had her killed for refusing to give up her life in the human world and returning to Ourea. Kara had blamed herself for her mother’s death for the entire past year, and this awakened a flood of emotions within her that gave her a whole new purpose. In short, Stone awakened her, against her will, though it turns out to be the best thing that could’ve happened for her. Remember I mentioned that it was hinted at, that Kara would be a force to be reckoned with? Well, we are only seeing the very beginnings of this. Kara is being trained by Stone, how to control her Isen powers, and she revealed herself to the army of Vagabonds that Twin had made, back at the Vagabond village. Only a handful gave up on the cause. Twin gave her a surprising, uplifting speach that seemed to make all the difference in the world in Kara’s heart:
“We vagabonds are a part of this now, and we have a chance to make things better. Maybe we can make the world a little brighter before we die. At least, that’s why I’m here. I’ve always wanted to make people smile. But for the first time in my life, I’m powerful enough to do more. I can help change things. You empowered us, Kara. Don’t give up. The rest of us need you to believe, or we’ll lose faith completely. We may have Grimoires too, but there is only one true Vagabond.
Kara faced her fears, about being rejected by Braeden for being an Isen - the one thing he hates, and hunts, being rejected by Twin and her fellow Vagabonds, and was prepared for the worst. Braeden admitted he loves her, no matter what, and she allowed herself to admit that she loves him - despite everything that had been said previously to Cedric, the first Vagabond. When Kara died, to become awakened as an Isen, she had to meet death himself, and explain why she wanted to come back. I am not sure, she herself knew, right up until then how much she wanted to live, and what was worth living for - but it is an eye opener, that really makes you look introspectively.
As was with Lichgates, Treason too was filled with life lessons. Be on the lookout, and listen with your heart. There are more in these pages than words to a beautiful story in a beautiful world. (hide spoiler)]
Thank you, S.M. Boyce, for Ourea. For Kara, and Braden, and Losse, and Hillside, and the Blood, and Flick... and all of these incredibly described facets of a world I was able to lose myself in, in the best and worst of times. I will never forget it, or forget you. Now if you wouldn’t mind, would you PLEASE publish Heritage and Illusion?? I just don’t know if I can stand the wait!!
For all you readers out there - If you stuck with this review - good for you. Quick! Add these titles to your must read list:
S. M. Boyce["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. 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 human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough, that I won this book & the following in the series (Treason) in S.M. Boyce's Blog Tour giveaway. S. M. Boyce It had been on my to-read shelf, collecting digital dust, with hundreds of other titles for quite a time. Receiving these books in this manner in no way affects my book-review method, or choices; I don’t believe that does the author, or the readers any good, being anything less than honest. Be aware, you are reading a very, honest review.
Wow, the synopsis says it all - and yet barely scratches the surface.
At first when I cracked the cover, I had a hard time sinking my teeth into it. I was looking for a reason to become attached to Kara, or Braeden, or anyone... for that matter. It took about 55 pages, and I was in - hook, line, and sinker.
There is a bit of a lead in to get to the meat of the story, but it is absolutely worth the dedication. Boyce has a stellar talent, and a writing style - and a voice demanding to be heard that would rival any fantasy writer, bestseller on the market.
Every chapter in Lichgates is filled with new, unique monsters, races, and lands. None that you've ever encountered in any other novel, however. They are all very, very colorful, and vibrant - and even the land is very much alive and filled with it's own persona. The adventure literally never ends. It is so richly detailed, that I dreaded the coming end of the story.
- - - - - Other notes. (Spoiler alert, beyond this point!) -I truly hope, that Kara gets past this "history repeats itself" inner mantra monologue from the first Vagabond, and realizes that had the first Vagabond had it all correct, he'd have survived and achieved his goal, and thusly there would be no need for her, .... allowing herself a chance at happiness with Braeden. -I'd really like to know what Kara's father wanted her to retrieve from the cabinet. -I hope Braeden continues to grow in a positive fashion. With him being heir to the Blood of the Stele - he could go either way; I hope he learns the patience to wield his power for good. -I have a feeling... deep in my gut, that the saga with Blood Gavin, and Twin is far from over; and as much as I want to trust Twin - I can't. I can't help but feel perhaps a deal has been struck, in the arena of magic, promising something of the return of her sister, perhaps, feeding her naive desire to regain that which is lost. -Kara is going to have to face blunt realities; that I am not sure if she can... the way that "her toes tested the water" in Lichgates leads me to believe Kara is going to develop into a force to be reckoned with. -There are "morals to the story" ... written into almost every page in this book it seems. Be on the lookout for excellent quotes, and life lessons to be held near to your heart, and applied here in the real world.
Thank you, S.M. Boyce, for Ourea. For Kara, and Braden, and Losse, and Hillside, and the Blood, and Flick... and all of these incredibly described facets of a world I was able to lose myself in, in the best and worst of times. I will never forget it.
Now, If you'll excuse me, I am off to read book 2 in the Grimoire Trilogy: Treason.(less)
*Review to come. these are simply errant thoughts that need be organized.
I've seen so many people,write about Paganism, and try and write it the Olde...more*Review to come. these are simply errant thoughts that need be organized.
I've seen so many people,write about Paganism, and try and write it the Olde way, or the new and call it Wicca - neither is right nor wrong. This collection is beautifully written, and mixes the old with the new. It touches on a way of life older than Wicca itself (What is it labeled, 1954?) True practitioners will tell you, (and those who believe in the premise of what Wicca is) is that it is the Olde Religion. The old ways, things older than time. Wicca as a title is a lovely thing, as a belief is lovely too - and I in no way dismiss it. I think however, the things written in these great many pages span things older than we fully comprehend, as well as that which is well understood by those initiated and uninitiated alike. Along with a healthy dose of pure fiction.
Wiccans and non Wiccans alike read and review this series.
//more to come; just purging a few thoughts a.t.m.(less)
I have never been so genuinely disappointed in a book, or an author, in all of the thousands of books I've read in my life. A real review to come when...moreI have never been so genuinely disappointed in a book, or an author, in all of the thousands of books I've read in my life. A real review to come when I'm off work; for now... just, wow. What a disappointment. CH - What gives?(less)
Caution... here there be spoilers! But hidden below synopsis.
"Dagger Brotherhood series continues as a vampire warrior crosses the line between life a...moreCaution... here there be spoilers! But hidden below synopsis.
"Dagger Brotherhood series continues as a vampire warrior crosses the line between life and death…into a world of dark dreams and darker desires.
Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment has been a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance, unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, isolated netherworld—Tohr turns to the angel Lassiter to save his former mate. The only way to rescue her is for Tohr to love another. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vie for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past and a hot, passion-filled future. But can his heart let go and set all of them free?"
Lover Reborn follows the life of Tohrment, after the death of his Shellan, Wellsie. It has been more than a year since she and their unborn son were murdered, and he learns that she in fact has not moved into the Fade as he believed, and is stuck in the In-Between. Lassiter, angel who has fallen from grace with the maker has been tasked with getting Tohr back on track, but doesn't tell Tohr right away the condition Wellsie is in.
It also tracks a little bit of the marriage of John and Xhex, and her Mahmen, No'One. No'One is a rape survivor, that Xhex was a product of. Upon birthing her babe, many years ago, she had taken Tohrment's daggers and slain herself. She too did not go into the Fade, nor did she go into Dhunhd. She was sent back, and never knew why.
Full circle, back to Tohrment who saved her, and then couldn't save her from her own hand. She has spent years punishing herself, being the victim, until months after she has fallen head over heels in love with Tohr, and the evening after her needing period ended... and he came in screaming honesty at her that she just wasn't ready to hear.
Turns out, everyone is in their own sort of In-Between in this book. I was actually surprised at the depth of emotion in some places. Each of the brothers has their issues, but dealing with the death of a spouse AND recovering your life and learning to let go and love again - Well Done, Ward, Well Done. I like how it was laid out and explained, and we got to see inside the heads of No'One, Tohrment, Lassiter, Xhex, John, and even Xcor. I found it to be very interesting.
There were so many... moments in this book, like the first time there was any sort of intimacy between Tohr and No'One and the words & kindness he had for her; genuine understanding... I loved the way it was done. Ward always writes these as a roller coaster of emotion, but sometimes the sex can overwhelm the story, not this time. It is a perfect balance amongst all. You can see yourself inside the mansion, see Fritz walking down the hall, listen to Lassiter yell at Maury, and feel the winds of change blowing with Xcor and his Band of Bastards. Then, you are at Wellsie's fade ceremony, and listening to Phury recite these beautiful words, and you feel yourself openly weeping with the brothers and their Shellans. You feel them share in his pain when they slice their arms, to drip into the pitcher. You feel your heart shatter into countless pieces, when Tohrment is branded, and screams her name, and you may even have to put the book down when John is branded twice, for the loss of his adopted Mahmen and the brother he never knew - and the screams, from Tohrment, on behalf of his mute adopted son - that lasted longer than his own. The emotion is so real and so raw, that you can't possibly not be sucked into it, every last syllable.
I was thrilled in the last few pages of the book, when Qhuinn FINALLY made eye contact with Blay, and didn't look away, and let all the emotions play across his face... It's about time. Seriously. And worthy of more than honorable mention is Lassiter, in his redemption on No'One - for all the right reasons, and his decision to go back to earth where he could do more good (and watch Maury...) ...and once again, full circle, brings Big Macs.
5 stars, and I can't wait for the next installment.(less)