Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1)

Rated 4.50/5 based on 7 reviews
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea. The final page will leave you breathless. More
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Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Words: 120,290
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301358571
About S.M. Boyce

S. M. Boyce is a lifelong writer with a knack for finding adventure and magic.

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Reviews

Review by: jan farnworth on June 11, 2014 :
This book is amazing it starts off with a bang and does not let go from one heartbeat stopping minute to the next. Their intrigue, danger, magic and a touch of romance everything i love in a fantasy adventure story. I so need the next book to many books to read ack. Thanks for the adventure Boyce loved it.
(review of free book)

Review by: chucklesthescot on April 30, 2014 :
Kara walks through a gateway to another world by accident and finds herself in control of a magical book that everyone wants to control. Kara has no idea how to protect herself or who to trust in a world full of magic and dangerous creatures.

I admit that fantasy novels are not my favourite genre but the story sounded interesting enough for me to give it a try. And it was a decent novel despite my reservations. The concept of the book is interesting, with a girl seeing what looks like a cabin in the woods and as soon as she goes onto the porch, she is in strange world. The characters that appear are also good-Kara is suffering from grief and can't look after herself at the start of the book but despite doing very stupid things that irritated me, she does grow as a character through the book as she learns to use the grimoire. I liked Twin and Richard. Gavin did my head in from the start, as did the Bloods, but that was probably what the author wanted so I can't really complain about that. I liked the creatures that appeared, some as friends like the wolf, and the more dangerous creatures. There was a nice mixture of mythical creatures to add to the story. The book was a good mixture of character and plot that did keep you reading it and wondering what the next twist would be. The storytelling and world-building was also well written by the author.

So why only three stars? Well there were a couple of slow bits dealing with Kara's love life that I wasn't that interested in. I prefer action to romance and I didn't really feel any chemistry between the couple as the plot developed. I didn't like the plot involving Kara's dad-I just felt that it was too convenient to have that happen to her. It didn't really sit well with me. I also felt that I didn't really connect fully with the book in the way I would have liked. I liked it enough to finish it but it just lacked that something special to really grip me and pull me into the story. This was purely down to my personal reading preferences and not any fault of the author.

If you love YA fantasy with magic and a touch of romance, I think you will probably love this book as it has a lot of good things going for it. Adult fans of fantasy and paranormal will also enjoy this book
(review of free book)

Review by: Robert Zimmermann on Oct. 21, 2013 :
The Grimoire: Lichgates is the first book in The Grimoire Trilogy. In this first book the author, S.M. Boyce, throws Kara (the main character) and the reader into an entirely new work called Ourea. To get to this world, Lichgates are necessary. They are portals linking our world to the dangerous, yet beautiful, kingdoms of Ourea. They are scattered all over both worlds and it is through one of them in the Rocky Mountains that Kara stumbles.

Upon falling into an underground library, Kara finds waiting for her an old red leather book. The book is very magical. On it is a necklace with a pendant that looks like four crescent moons configured in the shape of a four-leaf clover. This book is so magical that there are blank pages throughout, but when asked the right questions the pages flip to a sections and words appear with an answer.

This book is one of Kara’s only defenses against what lies in wait for her in Ourea. Upon opening the book, she has become the center of every kingdom’s focus; she is the Vagabond. Her purpose in this strange world is to reunite the four kingdoms in peace, fulfilling the goal of the first Vagabond who died a thousand years before.

This concept really caught me from the beginning. Like I said I was hooked from reading the first chapter alone. It takes a lot to do that with most books. Part of what kept me reading was the fact that this book doesn’t wait to get the reader into the action. There is no lead in chapters, no foreshadowing, no mercy. Kara is hiking one minute and in Ourea fighting for her life the next. Every time throughout the book it seems that there will be some time to relax (for the characters and readers alike) something happens. It’s almost impossible to put this book down. Lucky for me I was able to force the book down, which allowed me to savor every experience it held; there are many.

I loved many elements of this book. First off the setting made me want to visit Ourea. I know this is impossible (not only because it’s not a real place) because if I went there, I’d most likely die (more on that soon.) Ourea is like the worlds of most fantastical stories. It has it’s beautiful landscapes, luxurious castles, and even a dreary kingdom no one wants to acknowledge. It’s landscapes include forests, a kingdom nestled on top of a vertigo inducing multi mile high cliff, and even a kingdom found in a magical dome on the bottom of an ocean guarded by sharks. And it’s not just the places themselves that I fell in love with, it’s the way Boyce’s words describe them. I can’t do it justice in my own words, you’ll have to take my word for it or read the book. Her words paint a picture of every aspect allowing the reader to soak in the images.

The setting wasn’t the only exciting part of the book. There are also the various creatures of the land. To mention a few there are griffins, dragons, something Kara says is similar to a squirrel, and one of my favorites a flaer named Rowthe. I liked him a lot because he’s a huge dog like creature. Of course he has a unique ability, but I’m going to let you find that one out, it’s just really cool.

The characters Kara encounters are very hard to figure out. This helps the story be what is it more than anything else. The Grimoire from the beginning warns Kara that she can’t trust anyone in Ourea. A lot of the times it seems like the characters can be figured out and trusted, but then there’s either a subtle or drastic hint to the contrary. As a reader I was always jumping to conclusions about a character only to change my opinion soon after. I’m still waiting for a character to make a turn for the worse, but we’ll see if that happens.

Kara’s journey takes the reader all over Ourea and she meets a variety of good and evil. She even has encounters with the evil King, Blood Carden. He is the father of Kara’s companion Braeden. I guess I should have mention him by now. Carden is the ruler of the Stele, the banished kingdom who reeks havoc on Ourea even through a banishment. Braeden, his son, escaped from his father’s kingdom twelve years earlier and has been hiding elsewhere ever since. But the ever present questions in my mind was whether or not he was one to be trusted. When would the evil in his blood consume him, if at all? For most of the book I kept liking and trusting him, but wanted to keep an eye on him for Kara’s sake (not that I could have helped here, that’s just silly she’s in a book.) There is also a growing connection between Kara and the mysterious Braeden which leads to some complications in the relationship of him as protector and one of her few friends.

To wrap this up, The Grimoire: Lichgates is on my top five favorite books I have read this year and possibly in recent years. I keep reading great books so this list should be extended to at least ten. I loved the story, I loved the setting, I loved everything about this book. The only problem that I had with it is that I didn’t have the next book to read. I only hope that the day comes when I can read book two, then book three, sooner than it will.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ashley Casselman on May 11, 2013 :
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.
(review of free book)

Review by: Books4Tomorrow Reviews on April 27, 2013 :
Lichgates captivated me from the start and took me on a fantastic journey into incredible worlds with wonderful, if sometimes scary, creatures and people. If you see a flash of blue from the corner of your eye and feel a kicking sensation in your gut, know that you might have just passed from the world as you know it into the extremely different world of Ourea. This is what happens to Kara just before her life changes forever. Still grieving for her recently deceased mother and worried about her father, Kara is unprepared for the storm of action, suspense, frightening experiences and highly dangerous responsibility that is about to enter her life. Along with Braeden, heir to the Stelian throne, she embarks on a complicated mission as the new vagabond.

I found the author's world building to be easily the strongest feature of this book. What an imagination! Although she includes known mythical creatures like griffons, dragons, and centaurs, she also adds a vast selection of her own unique creations. Two headed dogs that can serve as weapons as well as transport, and a creature that can pass through solid walls with riders on its back, are just some of these magnificent beings living in the kingdoms of Ourea.

The truly bad guys, the Stelians, who seem to be into destruction, torture and control; and the soul stealing Isen make Ourea an unpleasant and extremely dangerous place to live in. The Yakona kingdoms, the Hillsidians, Ayavelians, Kirelms, and Lossians have their own problems and selfish goals. All this combined make the vagabond's mission to bring peace to the realm a very difficult one. The only beings who seem to be able to really assist her are the drenowith, shape shifting muses with some awesome powers. The question is: will they?
Kara has this to say about this torn and dangerous world:
"I'm starting to wonder if there's anything in Ourea worth saving."

The author does character development throughout the story and, at least the two main characters, Kara and Braeaden, show growth in their personalities by the end of this book. I highly recommend Lichgates to readers who want to go on a fantastic journey of beautiful but dangerous worlds. This is a thrilling five star read which you don't want to miss! (Ellen Fritz)
(review of free book)

Review by: cheryl mackey on Dec. 31, 2012 :
Lichgates (Book 1 of the Grimoire trilogy)

by S.M. Boyce

Note: I am reviewing my own Kindle copy that I bought.



Lichgates is a YA Fantasy novel that breathlessly and easily folds the reader into the world of Ourea and its dark secrets. Human Kara Magari has unwittingly become the Vagabond after becoming trapped in a sunken library and opening a mysterious red book called the Grimoire. It's pages reveal only what is needed and when, and now Kara must continue the previous Vagabond's journeys to reunite the splintered kingdoms within Ourea. Unfortunately, her first step into Ourea lands her in hot water and she is captured by the most feared kingdom alongside a mysterious man, Braeden. Braeden's secrets are even darker than most in Ourea, but his strength of honor and his drive for freedom from his secrets make for an amazing partnership with Kara. Help is found in unexpected places, as is danger and deceit. Love and lies go hand in hand.

I won't go into more details...this has to be read to give it full justice! This is the kind of fantasy, mixed with contemporary, that gives our imaginations freedom while grounding us. It makes it believable on every level.







Positive: The depth of the characters, all of them, not just the main characters...is astonishing and does not slog down the story but helps it move forward and bring Ourea to life. I began to care about the characters right away, and was driven to finish the book in one sitting. The narrative is thoughtful and deep, and like the characters, does not bog down the plot at all, but is tastefully woven in with the action.


Negative: Um, it ended? (I had to buy the sequel and read that in one sitting too. Book 3 isn't available yet *cries*)





Rating: 5 stars of 5
(review of free book)

Review by: cheryl mackey on Dec. 31, 2012 : (no rating)
Lichgates (Book 1 of the Grimoire trilogy)

by S.M. Boyce

Note: I am reviewing my own Kindle copy that I bought.



Lichgates is a YA Fantasy novel that breathlessly and easily folds the reader into the world of Ourea and its dark secrets. Human Kara Magari has unwittingly become the Vagabond after becoming trapped in a sunken library and opening a mysterious red book called the Grimoire. It's pages reveal only what is needed and when, and now Kara must continue the previous Vagabond's journeys to reunite the splintered kingdoms within Ourea. Unfortunately, her first step into Ourea lands her in hot water and she is captured by the most feared kingdom alongside a mysterious man, Braeden. Braeden's secrets are even darker than most in Ourea, but his strength of honor and his drive for freedom from his secrets make for an amazing partnership with Kara. Help is found in unexpected places, as is danger and deceit. Love and lies go hand in hand.

I won't go into more details...this has to be read to give it full justice! This is the kind of fantasy, mixed with contemporary, that gives our imaginations freedom while grounding us. It makes it believable on every level.







Positive: The depth of the characters, all of them, not just the main characters...is astonishing and does not slog down the story but helps it move forward and bring Ourea to life. I began to care about the characters right away, and was driven to finish the book in one sitting. The narrative is thoughtful and deep, and like the characters, does not bog down the plot at all, but is tastefully woven in with the action.


Negative: Um, it ended? (I had to buy the sequel and read that in one sitting too. Book 3 isn't available yet *cries*)





Rating: 5 stars of 5
(review of free book)

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