Yet there is always an exception.
I bought the novel Lichgates (Book One in the Grimoire Trilogy) about two weeks ago. All I knew at the time was the brief synopsis given on Amazon, and that I liked the author, S.M Boyce very much.
Here is the tale, and I warn you now, I cannot do it justice in one measly paragraph:
“Kara Magari is just a regular girl on a hike. One day she chooses to take the way less traveled by (not always the best idea Mr. Frost) and stumbles through a Lichgate. What is a Lichgate you may ask? It is a portal, wormhole, trapdoor in this world, leading straight through to another one. The world of Ourea. She finds herself in a library, and curiosity prods her to investigate the one book that will change her life forever. The Grimoire. The note attached seals her fate.
“From the moment you read these words, you will be hunted.”
Kara begins the journey through Ourea. Quickly meeting Braeden Drakonin, a Blood Prince to an Evil King. Braeden is looking for a way out, a true escape from his father’s grasp since he has been lying and hiding since he was twelve years old. “
My immediate thought, ‘here we go, another forbidden romance’.
I’ve never been happier to be wrong in my life!
Kara is strong. She has been through a lot but is never a wilting flower. She accepts her new role, but not so readily a completely new destiny. People get hurt, people die, and sometimes the bad guys get the upper hand. Instead of a romance novel, we get a love story. An honest to God, love story played out in every facet possible. Kara and Braeden struggle with having lost the people they loved most in their worlds. At its core, Lichgates is about loving your Kingdom, your home, your family, your people, your ways, and figuring out how to love yourself when you feel broken beyond repair.
This book is very fairytale-esque but not of the Disney kind. It is fast paced, a constant adventure which is exceptionally rare for a first novel. Hell, it’s rare for any novel at all! It splinters into so much detail that I wouldn’t truly know where to begin describing the trials the characters must go through.
Together Kara and Braeden take a heroic journey. The story is an epic tale woven intricately and exceeding all expectation. I was instantly transported to my childhood bedroom. Reminded of the first time I ever read of the Great Aslan and his land of Narnia. The moment when I was nine and decided, I would cure my fear of water, for one day I would be The Lady of the Lake, and know Arthur and his Knights.
This story is rare, and I found myself feeling blessed to have gotten to read it. I truly believe it will be considered a ‘Classic’ in years to come. I have no trouble imagining my daughter one day wanting to be Kara, keeper of the Grimoire, as I once yearned to be Viviane of the Lake. To know there are writers out there still capable of producing such legends, simply makes me believe in the magic that books fundamentally are.
I tip my hat to Boyce, and I beg her to hurry up with the second installment!
I hope there are Unicorns.
Get your copy here!