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
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 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:
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*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*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....more
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampireSydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.
But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.
When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.
112 pages into The Golden Lily, I emailed my best friend and said, "Good grief. I can't stand Sydney in this, and so far there is NOT enough Adrian or Dimitri to make it worthwhile. And her male counterpart, Brayden?? COME ON RUKIDDINGME? What a horse's ass." And I meant it wholeheartedly. However, the action, and circumstance that everyone was involved in and the evolution that is (tediously, slowly) occurring in Sydney is truly incredible. I hope that the next installment in the Bloodlines series continues to show her mental changes, and that it heads down the road she's started on. And I hope... she breaks out of this ridiculous stigma of racism that owns her mentality. If it were based on gender or race, as readers most of us would be up in arms. So, I hope she has a devastating breakthrough that brings us all to our knees....more
I loved this book. I didn't care for the ending... but cliffhangers are always fun. I really love this series, and the emotional investmentFirst Read:
I loved this book. I didn't care for the ending... but cliffhangers are always fun. I really love this series, and the emotional investment is a small price to pay for such amazing story telling.
Second Read: Salvation has its price. The words stunned Adrian for a moment, but he kept going. "You're lying. What you're describing is impossible. There's no way to save a Strigoi. When they're gone, they're gone. They're dead. Undead. Forever."
Robert's next words weren't directed at Adrian. They were spoken to me. "That which is dead doesn't always stay dead...."
After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He's out there, somewhere.
She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.
But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey—whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what—and who—matters most to her. In the end, is true love really worth the price?
Fall in love with Rose and Dimitri all over again in Spirit Bound, the eagerly awaited fifth novel in Richelle Mead's enthralling Vampire Academy series....more
Warning - This will contain spoilers, do not read if you have not read yet!
This was the third and best in the series so far, which speaks volumes, sinWarning - This will contain spoilers, do not read if you have not read yet!
This was the third and best in the series so far, which speaks volumes, since 1 & 2 were stunning. But in this story, I had my own personal moment of edification in my own life, from page 66. "More than his exterior hit me. I felt warm and safe just being with him. He brought comfort after my terrible day. So often with other people I felt a need to be center of attention, to be funny and always have something clever to say. It was a habit I needed to shake. But with him I never felt like I had to be anything more than what I already was. I didn’t have to entertain him or think up jokes or even flirt. It was enough to just be together, to be so completely comfortable in each other’s presence—we lost all sense of self-consciousness.” This is exactly how I feel about Love… the way it should have always been, and could be and I realize… I really could spend the rest of my life with Cory, if it were desired…That thought doesn’t scare me, anymore.
In this story, I am Rose Hathaway, feeling the things she's feeling about life, death, not being understood, putting everyone else before herself, and love... unabashed love, unapologetic love. The story reels you in, and sells it... to the very last page.
The battle with the Strigoi, in the caves... When Rose sees the blond Strigoi take Dimitri, and she stops and screams.... I cried for her. Seeing the man she loves, in the clutches of something so deadly. The words Dimitri spoke at the guardian meeting, "Today will be remembered as a day that changes everything." As the reader it is obvious foreshadowing, and you think, here is a day that will be remembered in Moroi and Dhamphir circles forever because this changes the pace. From the perspective of Rose, she will remember that... and that it was her encouragement that sent him into that cave that he never returned from. Her waiting, agonizing, aching, waiting to see if he emerged, not seeing his body.... I cried for her. I cried for her when she asked Mason if he was Strigoi.... I cried... and had to put down the book, because I couldn't see through the tears. THAT pain, was real pain, and I felt it. Dimitri told her in the van on the way to the mall... "someday you may have to kill a Strigoi that is someone you once knew, they won't be themselves anymore, could you do that?" ... and pushed harder, "would you want to be that?" ... "No, me either. Me either." .... A grave, somber understanding... that even in her mourning she loves HIM so much to walk away from Lissa and erupt in an explosion of emotions that she'd been sitting on.... ignored while Lissa lives and loves freely... and doesn't ever look or ask of Rose needs or wants anything... she just assumes, takes it all for granted, being a terrible friend. But Rose, still willing to lay down her life for Lissa. Then, the emotion erupts, she has to leave Lissa, and it further breaks her heart, I feel that piece of her soul die.
I would be lying, if in my heart, right this minute I do not mourn Guardian Dimitri Belikov as Rose Hathaway. I cried, and cried, and I have "Blood Promise" 35 pages read right beside me .... but I had to stop. Because Dimitri IS Strigoi, and were I her, could I do it? She believes she can and has embarked on this quest to fulfill his wish... free him of that existence. But could I do it? I don't think I could. I am still too broken hearted to move forward with this book (blood promise) ... maybe in a few hours. The pain is to real, to raw, and too fresh.
I love this series. I was told it gets better as you go.... she was right. This series is a MUST READ for anyone who can appreciate an amazing storyline with twists and turns, and none of the expected. There is romance. But it isn't nauseating or overwhelming or anything but.... natural. A logical place in the story that makes this series believable. I can see this society existing if I close my eyes. It is well written, it evolves and flows amazingly... and is worthy of more than 5 stars.
It only gets better, I'm told. I can't wait to see. But for now, I am in mourning with Rose, for Dimitri, and my respect for that stops me from reading... at least for a few hours.
Addendum: After the second reading of this book, I feel nothing short of extreme passion, and love, and heartache, much more intense than the first reading, and I did not think that was possible. But it is, and I cried my eyes out, my heart broke for Dimitri, it broke for Rose.... it even broke for Adrian, and his kind heart. But the PAIN Rose must be feeling.... and to know what's coming for Dimitri, is just, unbearably painful....more
**spoiler alert** I liked the ending the best, honestly. Back on page 201, I made a note stating, "I don't care for how it switches narratives chapter**spoiler alert** I liked the ending the best, honestly. Back on page 201, I made a note stating, "I don't care for how it switches narratives chapter to chapter, although I see the point. I hope it goes forward soon, instead of constantly backwards. It is reminiscent of a prequel, even though it is not." I still feel that way. It was neat, if you're into this sort of thing, to go backwards through all those lives, although I don't feel it was necessary, it was more like filler. I don't see where Luce learned anything that she didn't already know, she was just being selfish and bratty and having her version of a fit, stepping through announcer after announcer and trusting the ENTIRELY OBVIOUS AND ALL TOO CONVENIENT gargoyle that just so happened to be Satan *cough* Honestly. And Daniel falling for the same thing?? COME ON!!! I feel that passion was not as good as it could have been, or should have been, it was a whole lot of filler. The last few pages were great. Why not have reversed it? Had no more than 3 chapters of background, then the realization of what Satan was trying to do, and then the "coming together of the fallen" to be an actual story? I was gravely disappointed, and I hope Rapture is much better. I read this book in 3.5 hours....more
A must own must read series that is as breath taking as is heart and shattering to the worlds. A few of my favorite quotes:
"He tasted like snowflakesA must own must read series that is as breath taking as is heart and shattering to the worlds. A few of my favorite quotes:
"He tasted like snowflakes and wine, like winter, Will, and London." -Tessa Gray; p.540
"Most people are lucky to have even one great love in their life, you have found two." -Magnus Bane; p.562
"When two people are at one in their innermost hearts, they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze." -Inscription on the back of Jem's bridal necklace to Tessa once, and 130 years later... Still. P.564
"Bie zhao ji, bie zhao ji..." (Don't worry don't worry.) -Tessa, to Jem ... After all those years. P.567
I say this about so many books, but I LOVE this book. It was an easy and a fast read, especially since this is the second time around. The charactersI say this about so many books, but I LOVE this book. It was an easy and a fast read, especially since this is the second time around. The characters are impossible not to visualize and the storyline keeps you guessing, "Who is telling the truth, really?" Until the very end of the book. Now, onto book 2, "Crescendo."...more
Synopsis: Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out ofSynopsis: Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.
Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.
Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.
Crescendo is book 2 of Becca Fitzpatrick's "Hush, Hush" series. This was my second time reading the book, and I enjoyed it immensely more than I did the first time - and the first time I really liked it. For some reason everything sank in more this time.
*** ***** ****** ******* ********* ********** Spoilers beyond this point! Read at your own discretion!
********** ********* ******* ****** ***** ***
Nora is 17, has lost her father to a brutal murder, and is given every reason to believe that her love - Patch - is the "black hand" that killed her father. She doesn't want to believe it, and her heart is torn apart at the thought.
Confusion, and anger and jealousy cloud her heart and mind to the point she begins to lose all sense of reason. She finds herself in perilous danger time and time again, and this time, barely makes it out alive.
The surprises just keep coming. Her best friend fell hard for Rixon, Patch's best friend. Nora tells Patch she loves him - then breaks up with him the next day because he couldn't return the sentiment, and finds herself shattered emotionally and wanting nothing more than to cling to Patch for dear life. Circumstance after circumstance fall into play that make her question what was ever real, and what wasn't. She thinks she's lost Patch to Marcie Millar. Vee has Rixon. She has no one. Feeling more alone and on the fringe of life, everything starts falling apart. Throw in Scotty the Potty and the Black Hand as wild cards in this tragic game of life, and Nora is in a tail spin.
Someone is trying to kill her. Persistently. She is more alone than she's ever been, with no one to trust, no one to turn to, and no vehicle. The police thinks she is crazy, and she fired her guardian angel in a fit of anger that she didn't really mean, and now, it's just her, and someone who is trying to kill her. When it comes to a wrap, and the would be murderer is revealed, it further saddens her, and complicates her life, although she survives, he is sent to hell, and Patch is forced to do something that forever compromises their lives, and their love.
When she discovers who her father's murderer truly is, and that her father wasn't her father at all, but instead is also the father of her life long enemy Marcie Millar - her world begins to crumble around the edges. Her dad, the man she thought was her father, died to try to protect her and the man that held this secret. Now, this man, who her dad died for, her biological father, comes calling on Nora to seemingly seek vengeance for the death of Chauncey. Is it possible he meant more to her than his own daughter? She who shares his own mark.... Only book 3 will tell us.
It's well written and fast paced, easy to follow, and a great read. There are several parts childish, and several parts churlish, and it takes a broad spectrum view of the storyline to look past them....more