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
Kara rubbed her temples and leaned on the submerged library’s stone desk, her eyes unfocused as she stared at the letter she could now magically read. She didn’t try to tell herself to calm down, to chill out, or to breathe. Her only thought was of how royally she’d screwed herself over by walking through that gazebo or lichgate or whatever it was.
She had walked through a door in a mountain. A ten-by-ten dirt closet had swallowed her phone. Her pack and stun gun had probably already been eaten by a bear. She had heard whispers while alone in a massive, underground library and opened a secret book called the Grimoire, which was apparently pretty important. She’d discovered a hidden pocket of Earth called Ourea.
In an effort to stay calm, she took deep breaths. It didn’t work. Each breath became a panicked gasp as she tried to figure out what was going on. Only, she couldn’t figure out what was going on. That’s why she was panicking.
It was a vicious cycle.
The flick, flick, flick of the Grimoire’s turning pages stole her focus. The last page lingered in the air as it fell to reveal a small block of red text on the otherwise empty beige paper.
I wish I could have caused no pain or fear, but such isn’t a reality of life. A treasure has been awoken within you—you are now a vagabond of Ourea.
She groaned. “Yeah, thanks, I gathered that much. So what happens now?”
The pages flipped to another image of the hooded figure, but this time he wore a thick leather band wrapped around his wrist. Spidery red text adorned the paper beside him. Something was off about the drawing, and she leaned in for a closer look. It took her a second to realize the clover pendant in her hand was also drawn into his wrist guard.
The last blood-red rays of the day poured through the skylight. She sighed. Her dad’s search party would head out any minute, scanning the ditches for her body. Oh, he was going to love this story.
She resigned herself to the impending lecture and leaned in to read the red text besides the drawing.
This is the Vagabond as he was in life. He wrote the observations of his travels here, creating me over his lifetime. The trials he faced were treacherous, and you will fare the same. The life of a vagabond isn’t an easy one.
I was made to open only for the gifted and the strong. Be patient in the times to come and trust yourself, for you are worthy of the power here.
Though it may sometimes seem as if life is decided for us, remember that in all actions before this, you made the choices which brought you here. You alone decide where to go next. There is always choice.
“Freaking awesome.” She rubbed her eyes. Apparently, it was her fault she’d been dragged by a root down a dirt closet.
She fiddled with her locket and looked down once again at the tiny clover amulet. Its diamond wasn’t blue anymore, though it did shimmer. She slid it over her head with a quiet sigh, and the clover dangled just above her collarbone.
“Look, I just want to get home. How do I get out of here?”
The pages flipped toward the back, where a sketch of the library consumed the page and more spidery red text described how to open a secret door in one of the shelves. She lifted the book and carried it with her as she looked for the way out. At least using the Grimoire was easy enough. That had to be some small compensation for the unrestrained hell it had already brought upon her.
Kara scanned the shelves for a few minutes, browsing through titles like The History of Isen Guilds, Earaks are Evil, and even such treasures as All Anyone Will Ever Need to Know about Beer before she finally found The Ways of Peace, the green cover mentioned in the Grimoire’s instructions. It was the last on its shelf to survive the gale from earlier, as the rest of its neighbors littered the floor. She took care not to step on them as she reached for the green book and pulled, rolling it back on a hinge. The crack of splitting rock broke across the room.
A rumble quaked through the library. More books fell. Two shelves pulled inward on the opposite wall, opening like doors and missing the edges of the desk by inches. Beyond the confines of her book-lined prison was a dark cavern, its roof riddled with holes that leaked in the twilight and dripping lines of rainwater. The broken remnants of a white castle tower lay against the side of the cave, most of its bricks crushed to dust.
But Kara had a visitor.
A brunette looked up from where she knelt on the floor. The fading light caught the glint of a golden cross in her hand as flowing curls coursed over her loose white tunic. The stranger paused, watching the library with narrow eyes, but quickly stood and sneered.
Kara forced herself to swallow the rising sting of fear in her throat. She should’ve just stayed in the stupid library.
First thoughts after...
Wow, what a cliff hanger!!!
How distracted did I get?
Lichgates is a uniqe and interesting fantasy world. I've never read a story close to this. The story is slow to start but builds as it goes. Kara, a human thrown into an unknown world to her is tough and sticks to her guns throughout the story. She meets many unique "friends" as she goes. I feel she trusts to easily but we will see as the other books progress. Braeden....hottie mctottie or monster? I'll go with hottie mctottie but I'm not sure I trust him. Lighgates is a good YA Fantasy/Horror story that is great for your tbr pile.
I give Lichgates........