Official Rating: 5/5
“When Kara Magari uncovers a secret door in the middle of the forest, she discovers (and trips through) a portal to a hidden world full of terrifying things: Ourea. She just wants to go home, but the natives have other plans for her. She clashes with immortal shapeshifters, is carried off by a dragon, nearly dies on several occasions, and somehow becomes the master of an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire. Every time she thinks she’s safe, her new “friends” show their true colors. Kara needs an ally, or she might not survive Ourea’s monsters. 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 stranded girl, there’s something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire. Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.”
S.M. Boyce pleasantly surprised me with this book’s heroine and hero, Kara and Braeden. Lichgates was full of magic, a hint of love, betrayal, murder, evil, a surprisingly subtle love triangle, mystery, magical other-worldly creatures, suspense, and excellent writing that drew me into the world of Ourea. The plot went at a steady pace, with an antagonist to the point where it’s clear who is the enemy, but you still wonder along with Kara who is an ally. Not once was anything coincidentally placed for our heroine and hero. Kara and Braeden made mistakes and difficult sacrifices, learned hard lessons, carried heavy responsibilities, and walked a journey that led them to be their own heroes and not just a hero for others. As the story unfolded, I could feel the Kara and Braeden wrestle with the battles going on inside them, whether it was guilt or sadness or anger, I felt and understood their emotions. I loved how Kara was freaking out at the new turn of events and yet she still went with the flow. She didn’t allow anyone to control her and thought for herself rather than blindly following anyone. The rest of the characters all had a place in the story, even if it was just to move the plot along, it was done with style.