Book Blitz: Illusion by S.M. Boyce (The Grimoire Saga #4)

Author: S.M. Boyce  
Publication date: November 4th 2014 
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Blurb Description: The final chapter in the war for Ourea ends with blood.
Kara Magari is an icon. A hero. The people love her. The royalty tolerates her. She has everything—an army, allies, and a close circle of chosen family. They believe she will end the war, and they shouldn’t. She’s as scared as they are. She just can’t show it.
The war she accidentally started ends with a final battle that will either save or enslave her people. She will do anything to win—until she learns the cost of victory.
Braeden Drakonin is afraid of what he’ll become when he takes over his father’s kingdom—that much authority can change a man. But his father has already tried to kill him more than once, and it’s time to end his reign. Braeden’s armies are ready. His strategy is foolproof. His generals are waiting for the order to attack. It’s only in the final seconds before the battle begins that he realizes he missed one crucial detail—the traitor.

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

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#1 - Deidre’s Recruits

Dozens of boots stomped up the stairs. Floorboards creaked. A rumble of voices slipped beneath the door. She took a deep breath—time for the fun to begin.
The handle turned, and the door swung inward. Andor paused on the threshold, eyes on her the moment he peered into the room. He closed his eyes and sucked in a breath, squaring his shoulders in either annoyance or preparation.
She smiled. “About time.”
“Leave. I won’t be taking you up on your offer.”
She pouted. “Pity. I was quite hoping you and I could get to know each other better.”
His Adam’s apple quivered. She smiled wider. Sucker.
He walked in and closed the door. “Deidre, I know you. You very well may be a little demon, even if the rest of us aren’t. I mean what I said before—I don’t trust you.”
“That’s what will make you so fun,” she countered.
He frowned, eyes narrowing. He stared at her with a gaze that almost stole the smile from her face. It bored into her, sending a flurry of nerves through her chest as he waited for her to crack beneath his gaze. She held on, despite his scrutiny. She’d successfully killed Niccoli this time. She absorbed a Blood. She would bring Niccoli’s remaining guild to its knees. Andor—of all isen—couldn’t shake her.
He inched closer, his boots thumping against the floor. Each slow step chipped away at her smile. He knelt on the mattress and leaned in, setting a hand on either side of her head. His fingers stretched against the wooden headboard in her periphery, cracking with his movements, but she never broke eye contact.
He inched closer until the world blurred around him and she could see only his eyes. He was turning this on her, calling her bluff. Maybe he knew her seductions were always a tease, that she never followed through. Perhaps he even figured she imagined Michael on the face of any man who invaded her space, who got too close.
Focus, Deidre.
“What are you up to?” His hot breath rolled over her cheeks and tickled her neck.
She grinned, letting the joy of her plan wash through her. “It’s quite elaborate.”
“You’ve always been a fool, woman. This will be no different.”
“Oh, but it will.”

#2 - War Games

Kara raced down a dark hallway, Braeden a foot or two ahead of her. The walls’ white stones whizzed by in her periphery. Their boots thudded along the stone floor, their footsteps echoing. Torches flew past, one every dozen feet or so, the fires blurring as she ran and leaving orange streaks on her vision. Open windows filled the spaces between sconces, dark portals to the night outside. Flick clung to her shoulder, tail wrapped around the back of her neck for balance. His fur itched her throat, but she pressed onward.
Kara let out a slow breath. For a training exercise, this was all too real.
A fireball blew past an open window a few feet behind them, crashing into the stones. A tremor shook the floor. Black pebbles splintered off and flew past her head, their ends orange. She flinched, but pressed forward. The Ayavelian fort through which they ran took the brunt of the assault, its stone core surviving the fire from the Kirelms above. Through the open windows, glimpses of the chaos outside blipped in and out of view: fire raging along the wooden fences; a dozen more fireballs raining from the sky, their tails red streaks in the black night. A chorus of battle cries and clanging swords rang from the ground. A shrill scream rang above the uproar.
Kara’s white vest crinkled as she ran, rubbing her skin as her arms pumped back and forth. If someone tore it off, she would be out of the game—effectively “dead.” She eyed Braeden’s vest—red to signify him as a royal. If his was torn off, he would be just as “dead” and would have to sit out—and her team would lose the game. While all red vests needed protection, Braeden carried the burden of killing Carden. The war ended when they killed his father, but if both Stelian royals died in this final battle, it would mean the genocide of the Stelian race. In fact, only the Lossian race had a surviving Heir. If any other Blood participating in the war died, their people would die with them.
No pressure.

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