Friday, October 18, 2013

Review + Blog Tour: Lichgates by S.M. Boyce

Author: S.M. Boyce
Genre: New Adult/Young Adult Fantasy 
Publisher: Caffeinated Books Publishing
Number of Pages:336

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

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Stumbling into a fantasy world can take any normal human being by surprise, but when Kara lands in the middle of a war that everyone seems to think she can win for them, well, things gets a little sketchy. She goes from college girl dealing with her mother's death to walking through a magical gate that takes her to the land of  Ourea, inhabited by all sorts of creatures that would make your jaw drop in awe...or run screaming like a little girl away. After unknowingly opening the Grimoire, Kara is transformed into the Vagabond, a keeper of magic that is so powerful nobody has been able to tame it and neither can Kara at first. Being captured by an evil kingdom doesn't help matters either, but while captured she meets Braeden,  the exiled son of the king who becomes her protector in this world. Things aren't always as they seem in Ourea, however, and can she trust everyone that's trying to help her, or are they going to turn on her at the most opportune moment? Find out in Lichgates! 

For me, Kara is a great character. She is both down to earth and approachable as a character but still strong and remarkable enough to be involved in such a fantastical story. Kara is still grieving for her mother but trying to move on with her life as best she can, which to be frank is a story within itself. I think everyone has probably lost someone in their life that you can understand how Kara is feeling and how tough that can be to move past. Then you have this crazy fae world that she gets thrown into and does a hell of a job coping with that as well. She is smart enough to know she needs help but strong enough to handle the things that are thrown at her and that's a mark of a well balanced character. The only exception to that where Kara is concerned is her relationship with Braeden.

I didn't know what to think of him through most of the story. On one hand you have this man who wanted to change his life so much that he ran away at such a young age and has fought his whole life to not be the kind of person his father tried to mold him to be. At first I thought he was going to be this sort of knight in shining armor for Kara because of his moral stance. Then things start to go askew when he only wants the Grimoire for himself. and possibly only volunteered to protect her to get it. I struggled with liking him as a character but not in a bad way. I question whether or not he is truly better than the rest of his kind but it made the story interesting so I couldn't hate the concept. I wanted Braeden to be a hero and when he disappointed me at moments it made the story stand out even more. 

If I was to talk about standing out, I would be missing a chunk of information if I didn't tell you how unique this world is and how that impacts the story. Fantasy is tough when it comes to worlds. If it isn't strong or detailed enough, then fantasy can become boring and just plain long. Lichgates is neither of those things. Yes, it does take a long time to set up a world and the beginning of a book can seem to take forever to read, and this story is no different. However, the author has to tell you all about everything that goes on in an entire universe different than Earth and humans. That is not easy and there is so much detail to get into a fantasy book that I think it turns people off at the start and they can't see the great story once we get there. It took about 100 pages to really understand the world I was reading about and how characters are interacting and why they are doing the things they are doing. I encourage you to push through that set up because on the other side of all that world building is something that is truly entertaining and fascinating to read. The characters and the world are something that most can't achieve and absolutely worth it in the end.- My Opinion-Buy it!

Find the author S.M. Boyce: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog


  1. Thanks for a wonderful review. I identify with the slow buildup -- it was a cost of having such a deep and diverse world. I appreciate you sitting down and reading through the whole thing, and I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed it! I have a reviewers VIP list if you want ARCs of my novels. You can sign up here:

    If you're game, I would love it if you posted this on Amazon as well. Just followed you on Twitter so I can keep up with your other reviews.

  2. Of course, I'll be posting this on a bunch of websites once I get home from work!! Thank you for letting me read it and feel free to reach out anytime and stop by again!!