Lichgates by S.M. Boyce
Publisher: Immortal Ink Publishing
Release Date: January 2011
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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.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought the character development and world building was excellent. Ourea is an intense and fascinating land. Each of the kingdoms that Kara visited was distinct and unique in its own way. Hillside has protected Braeden for years from his past, but holds its own secrets. Losse is a magical underwater world, and Kirelm is a traditional world, where men are warriors and women embody beauty.
I loved Braeden. I fell for him the moment he called Kara, Miss Kara. I think he will always protect Kara. His intentions were not noble at first, but I think he would always put her first. I don't know if I trust him entirely. His weakness to his father is obviously his greatest downfall, but it will be something he will struggle with. He thinks in order to protect Ourea from his people is to destroy the Stelian race. I don't think a massive genocide of one race in his world is the answer. I think this is something he will be struggling to come to terms with throughout the series. Kara's right in which it is not up to us to decide who deserves to live or die. He does want peace, but peace must come from compromise, not bloodshed.
"Life requires balance. Though a dandelion is never as stunning as an orchid, we would never appreciate a flower's beauty without also appreciating a weed's simplicity. Therefore we must accept that there is evil if we are to understand what it means to be good."
Kara I truly liked. She was a sarcastic and quick witted, which is my favourite kind of heroine. She's just a regular girl who got sucked into another world and told she was the one everyone has been waiting a millennium for. She will have a long, lonely road ahead of her, but she can trust and rely on Braeden. There are a few characters that can go either way in helping or betraying her along the way, the Muses, Twin, Heir Aurora, etc. She will need to learn who to trust in order to succeed.
"If this world didn't want her, she would try to save it anyway: for her dad, for her mom, and because being the Vagabound was all she had left."
I wish I had a Xlijnuhl. Flick sounds adorable. A miniature fox with massive ears, zebra stripes, random magical powers, and hatches from an egg! I think every girl should have one of those.
I think I will definitely be reading the next book very soon.