Ourea has always been a deadly place. The lichgates tying the hidden world to Earth keep its creatures at bay—for now.
Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect 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.
What I liked about the series: I enjoyed the unique world that Boyce creates. Her world was full of interesting creatures and landscapes. I also liked her awesome way into a fantasy world through these portals called lichgates. According to Wikipedia, lichgates are “roofed porch-like structure over a gate, often built of wood. They usually consist of four or six upright wooden posts in a rectangular shape. On top of this are a number of beams to hold a pitched roof covered in thatch or wooden or clay tiles. They can have decorative carvings and in later times were erected as memorials. They sometimes have recessed seats on either side of the gate itself.” I like that she uses these real world devices for her characters to travel back and forth between our world and Ourea. I also enjoyed all the strange creatures in Ourea, I really want a tele-transporting pet, a Xlijnughl (pronounced Zyl-LEYN-guhl), because that would be awesome! Kara and Braeden have a lot of adventures, together and separate, and what they get to do is really cool. It was also interesting to try and figure what new exciting thing they would get to do or see. I didn’t see the twist coming, so that was a nice surprise. I read both Lichgates and Treason and I felt there was improvement of storytelling between the first and second book, so that was a cool journey to witness. I thought the most interesting relationship in this series is Braeden and his father. I found Braeden to be a complex character as he struggled to deal with his inherited sadistic side and what he learned from his adoptive parents on how to be nurturing and caring.
What I didn’t like about the series: In reading Jim Butcher’s Furies of Calderon and both books in Boyce’s Grimoire Saga, I came to understand why the sword and sorcery fiction is not my thing. While Kara and Braeden’s adventures were really cool, I felt that some of their more emotional scenes were cut short. Kara especially would cut short her emotions, whether they were romantic emotions toward Braeden or anger towards the people who were trying to hurt her. In the end, I felt Kara is a spirited but ultimately frustrating heroine as she often let other people control her. There seems to be very little processing of emotions and relationships in sword and sorcery fiction. I’m a relationship person, I enjoy watching how people interact with each other. I think I gave this genre a fair shot with some cool books, and it just isn’t my preferred genre of reading.
Final Thoughts: For me, whenever a character is driven forward to experience something, I ask, “Why this experience?” The answer seems to be in sword and sorcery fiction: Because it is an experience. I find that a dissatisfying answer. There should be a reason for someone to endure something, a lesson should be learned and then come into play later, an emotion should be dealt with and a solution or understanding result, there should be a reason for it all. While some of the prior learning did become necessary later, I felt a lot of what Kara endured was for really no reason other than it would be cool if she learned this type of magic. Which would be totally fine if that was the type of book I preferred reading. Apparently in my old age I’ve become more emotionally driven.
My Blurb: If you enjoy the sword and sorcery fiction where cool creatures and magic are an everyday occurrence and characters go on epic journys of sword and magic fighting you will enjoy reading S.M. Boyce’s Treason, an interesting fantasy world that has tele-transporting pets.
I received a copy of Treason and Lichgate from Book and Blog Services in exchange for an honest review.