The Grimoire: Treason (My review)
I have nothing but praise for S.M. Boyce’s latest, Treason, the second installment of her Grimoire series. (Take note that I used the word “series” and not “trilogy,” as I’m almost certain she’ll be forced to expand it further than just three books...there’s too much story left to tell! Perhaps I just know that because I’m a writer, but mark my words...the third book will not be the end.) From start to finish, I had nothing but fun. However, it’s not the fact that the book is great reading that impresses me most, it’s that Boyce manages to write YA without adhering to ridiculous traditions that ruin many of those types of stories for me.
The main thing for me is that I like strong characters that know who they are. Let me be clear, I recognize the fact that every protagonist has a growth period, in which they’re figuring things out. However, my biggest problem with the YA genre is those ridiculous love triangles that, by now, are nothing short of cliché. I myself have never been that way. I’m the type of person who knows exactly what he wants, so perhaps that’s why I relate to characters that aren’t, for lack of a better word, “wishy-washy.” If a protagonist cannot decide on who he/she loves, and (in all aspects of life) love is what gives people a reason to fight for what they believe in, then how am I supposed to take that character seriously saving the world? It seems that many YA writers haven’t thought about this. Not that I haven’t liked certain stories containing this element, but it’s been “done to death.” At this point, I’d rather see the love triangle crap laid to rest. Thank goodness Boyce seems to instinctively understand the same thing I do, because if it had ever seemed that our beloved Kara would give herself to Gavin, I promise you I would’ve stopped reading long ago.
Speaking of Gavin, he’s an even bigger tool in this installment, arrogant and foolish as ever; spot-on reflections of what powerful men are like in the real world. Braeden is complex now, as Boyce simultaneously shows him vulnerable, confused, and yet much more vicious and honest about his nature. Twin is fleshed out more as well, and I can’t wait to see her development over the next books (yes, books!), along with a new character, Braeden’s “pet,” Iyra. Carden is just as hate-worthy as ever, but Deirdre is now (believe it or not) adorably intriguing. In this book we’re given the reasons behind her evil deeds, so I couldn’t help but sympathize with her. I think most people will feel that way. Deirdre is, in effect, a likeable villain now. It’ll be sad when she dies (I have a feeling the story is headed that way). And then there’s Kara... I won’t say much about her, lest I spoil the tale for you all. However, you should know that, by the end of the story, she reaches a very deserving level of awesomeness!
Smart, fun, and atypical of the YA genre, S.M. Boyce has delivered yet another fine tale that is such a quick read, its page count is deceiving. If I were a teacher, scoring her from a grade book, she’d receive near-perfect marks!
—Wrinklegus PoisonTongue (a.k.a. Marque Terrynamahr Strickland)