YA Epic Fantasy
Title: Treason (Grimoire Trilogy #2)
Author: S. M. Boyce
Date Published: 10/27/12
Ourea has always been a deadly place. The lichgates tying the hidden world to Earth keep its creatures at bay—for now.
Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect the one person she has left, she strikes a deal that goes against everything she believes in. But things don’t go as planned.
Braeden Drakonin can no longer run from who—and what—he is. He has to face the facts. He’s a prince. He’s a murderer. He’s a wanted man. And after a betrayal that leaves him heartbroken, he’s out for blood.
To survive, both Kara and Braeden must become the evil each has grown to hate.
Treason, Book two of the Grimoire Trilogy by S. M. Boyce
Excerpt from chapter one
Kara pushed herself to her feet. “We should probably make our way back to the mansion, Braeden.”
“Nope,” he said.
“What do you mean, ‘no’?”
“You wanted to learn to fight. We haven’t trained today. We need to spar.”
She groaned. They’d been sparring. She’d healed dozens of bruises and even a broken finger, all evidence to the fact she was barely able to react in time to a sword coming at her face, much less a magical technique. She just wasn’t a very good fighter.
He laughed. “You’ll never get better if you don’t practice. Come on.”
He drew his sword.
Her stomach twisted. “Right here? Seriously? On a ledge? Those are rapids!”
“Yes. Today, it’s all about controlling your opponent’s movement and fighting in difficult terrain. Since you aren’t strong in this environment, drive me back up the stairs and to the forest, where you have more room to move. Also, you should never be without a sword.”
“But I don’t have one!”
“That was my point.”
“Shouldn’t I practice one lesson at a time?”
In answer, he swung his sword at her arm. She pressed her back against the cave wall, ducking the blow seconds before the blade cut the air. Goose bumps crawled up her neck.
Braeden laughed. “The best way to learn is baptism by fire. Let’s go!”
Kara ducked another swing and looked around, but she had no tactical advantage. Braeden blocked her way to the stairs. She couldn’t run past him or—she glanced over the ledge at the tumbling river below. Nope, she was not jumping into that. Her only escape was a nearby hole in a ledge that ran above her like a catwalk. If she could—
Braeden shifted his weight onto the balls of his feet, apparently ready to lunge and end this whole bout before it began.
No time to think. Just go.
Kara sprinted away, toward the gap. Braeden followed, and Kara jumped for the ledge seconds before he lunged. She grabbed the walkway, the splinters of rock digging into her arms as her momentum lifted her legs out of Braeden’s passing reach.
His fingers brushed her ankle, sending a shiver up her leg. She resisted the impulse to smile at the tingling sensation his touch left behind. It made her think of his hand on her back, of their kiss—
“Clever!” he said.
She pulled herself onto the ledge and wished she had a witty response, but she’d learned that lesson the hard way during an earlier match. She had distracted herself by talking, instead of distracting him like she’d hoped. Braeden had tripped her and knocked her clean onto her back. Dialogue was yet another weapon, one that required practice. Let the better fighters banter. Lesser fighters focus.
Kara got to her feet and raced along the upper pathway toward the waterfall, her satchel bouncing against her back while she ran as fast as she could. Braeden would be faster, but she had to try.
The ledge curved around a bend in the cave. Her feet pounded against the rock, sending shards of cave wall sprinkling to the ground below. The walkway likely hadn’t seen action like this in its lifetime. She hoped it wouldn’t crumble.
Braeden’s steps echoed from under her as the edge of the catwalk came into view. It would end about ten feet before the stairs, so she picked up her pace. She couldn’t slow down, or Braeden would catch her.
Five feet away, now.
Kara kept her eyes where she wanted to go, just as Braeden had taught her the last time they’d sparred. She’d tried to jump from a tree and wound up in a bramble bush.
Instinct and a dozen failed attempts in prior matches told her to tuck her head, to curl onto her shoulder and let the momentum propel her forward.
Rocks dug into her neck and shoulder before pushing against her back, but nothing stung. She rolled back onto her feet and took off again, not daring to look back for Braeden. She would probably trip if she did.
She grinned, adrenaline numbing her fingertips as she ran. She had no earthly idea how she would do it again, but to hell with it. She’d finally rolled!
Kara followed the path as it curved and disappeared behind the waterfall. The water misted along her neck, blocking all light as she passed behind it. She let her feet find the stairs as she bolted up two at a time. Braeden’s light breaths came from somewhere in the darkness behind her.
Green sunlight illuminated the top of the stairs, the light blocked by a thick canopy of trees. Brown blurs came into view—bark. There would be a root right when she rounded the last stair, so she had to be careful not to—
Kara’s foot hooked on the root anyway.
She shot forward and skidded along the dirt path. Sticks left gouges in her arms. Her cheek stung. She wiped her hand over her face, but that just made the stinging worse. Blood stained her fingers when she pulled away.
A sword glinted in Kara’s peripheral vision. She sprung to her feet. Braeden stood a short way off, without a scratch on him. He grinned.
“Falling was an interesting choice,” he said.
“Cute.” Kara rolled her eyes and brushed dust off her clothes.
First and foremost, let me just say that to read book two before reading book one would be a terrible mistake. You will miss out on so much! So, read them in order. :)
I love this series. First, because of the originality. It's great to read books that are similar and to compare and contrast them, but it's even better to read books that are unlike anything you have had the pleasure to read.
Second, because of the characters. The romance that heats up between Kara and Braeden just brings a smile to my face. I love their banter and how they get along with each other to a point. The characters in this book also show a great deal of character development. It really made the book seem like it was progressing that much better. It didn't allow for dull areas in the story and you didn't feel like the characters were stuck in place spinning their wheels.
Book 2 in this series is even better than the first and just makes me want the third book that much more! A must read!
My Rating: 4 Stars!
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About the Author:
S. M. Boyce writes fantasy and paranormal fiction. Boyce is a sarcastic twit, but she still has friends because some people seem to like that. She’s currently working on the YA epic fantasy series the Grimoire Trilogy. Lichgates, the first in the series, is already available. Treason (book 2) releases October 27. Feel free to connect with her online or check out her blog.