**Thank you to Hodderscape for providing me with a digital review copy and finished hardback of this book in exchange for an honest review and to Kate for allowing me to be a part of this tour**
DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that since this is a sequel there are spoilers for the previous book.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Reeling from betrayal at the hands of the Whispers, Renata Convida is a girl on the run. With few options and fewer allies, she’s reluctantly joined forces with none other than Prince Castian, her most infuriating and intriguing enemy. They’re united by lofty goals: find the fabled Knife of Memory, kill the ruthless King Fernando, and bring peace to the nation. Together, Ren and Castian have a chance to save everything, if only they can set aside their complex and intense feelings for each other.
With the king’s forces on their heels at every turn, their quest across Puerto Leones and beyond leaves little room for mistakes. But the greatest danger is within Ren. The Gray, her fortress of stolen memories, has begun to crumble, threatening her grip on reality. She’ll have to control her magics–and her mind–to unlock her power and protect the Moria people once and for all.
For years, she was wielded as weapon. Now it’s her time to fight back.
WHAT ARE MY THOUGHTS?
An absolutely brilliant sequel to a duology that deserves so much more love, and definitely one of my favourite finales ever!
Illusionary jumps right back into the story where Incendiary closed off. After rescuing Castian from the Whispers, Renata has formed a reluctant alliance with him to find the Knife of Memory and to also locate Dez. Though finding out the truth has left a mess of emotions between them. Plus they’re on the run from the King’s wrath and on top of that Ren’s control of her magic, of the Gray is slipping.
At just under 350 pages this book is shorter than its predecessor, but it’s packed with more adventure and magic plus double the amount of feels!
“It is a difficult thing to get people to believe in something they cannot see. Hope is as slippery as memory.”
Once again Córdova’s beautiful writing and storytelling immediately immerses you into the world she has created. With Ren and Cas on their quest, the setting is a lot more dynamic than that of the castle in Incendiary but it is just as atmospheric, and I loved how this expanded on the world-building allowing us to venture out and discover more of the kingdom of Puerto Leones and beyond.
The pacing of the story overall has a great balance as we get more intimate time with the characters and their developing relationships interspersed among all the action of saving the kingdom. It was wonderful to see the return of some other familiar faces as well as being introduced to some fabulous new ones along the way too.
Ren is such a strong and wonderfully written character and this sequel has made me love her even more. The exploration of her powers and how all the memories shaped her identity was even more masterful than in the first book – seeing her come to terms with her trauma and following her journey to self-love and acceptance was so powerful.
“I used to think that if I destroyed the Gray, I’d have room for my own thoughts. Now I know that the strongest voices are sometimes the people we love.”
I really enjoyed seeing the relationship and history between Ren and Cas unfold. There’s A+ banter and SO MUCH ANGST but the romance doesn’t ever detract from the primary storyline or the individual development of the characters.
And somebody really didn’t hold back on the tropes! 👀😂 Fake marriage? There’s only one bed? Enemies, to reluctant allies, to wait a minute there is A LOT more going on here than I first thought…? Not that I’m complaining one bit because it was all just *chefs kiss*
This duology has such a fascinating magic system and I really loved how we discover more about it, the history of the Moria and remarkably its link to the King and his backstory! The twists and reveals of how the Kingdom of Puerto Leones came to be how it is and the story as a whole is just so satisfying.
“Destiny makes fools of men who try to force the world to change to their whims.”
And that ending… absolutely perfect but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t have me bawling my eyes out even now! 😭❤️️
The Hollow Crown duology is one that I will gladly come back to reread and I won’t ever stop recommending! GO READ IT!!!!
Illusionary is OUT NOW!
View this post on Instagram
INTERESTED IN THIS BOOK?
FULL TOUR SCHEDULE
Quintessentially Bookish / @bookish_az