4.5/5 Stars I greatly enjoyed S.M. Boyce's first book in her Grimoire Trilogy, Lichgates, and was super excited to dive into the sequel,Treason. And this book proves to be a fantastic sequel that matches its predecessor in awesomeness.Treason picks up right where Lichgates ends, and it is very necessary to read the first book to understand what' going on in this sequel. Kara, our young heroine and the new Vagabond, and Braeden, her handsome and fierce friend and love interest, find themselves confronting stinging betrayals, their feelings for one another, and becoming the things they fear most to protect each other. With the help of the magical and powerful Grimoire, and a few allies, these two set out to destroy the evil Carden and bring peace to their home of Ourea.S.M. Boyce continues to impress and enthrall me with her strong writing, superb world-building and character development, and captivating storytelling. She returns to the world of Ourea and her Grimoire Trilogy with a sequel that may be even better than the first.Everything I enjoyed and admired about Lichgates- its lush, rich world-building, layered and likable characters, suspenseful action, enticing romance, and fantastical elements- is present and better than ever in Treason. Boyce's writing talent is unquestionable and she has definitely made her mark on the fantasy genre. And she brings refreshing imagination and innovation to the world of fantasy, yet, at the same time, her work feels classic and contains all the things that fantasy lovers crave: adventure, excitement, magic, danger, bewitching worlds and people.Ourea continues to fascinate and be a dazzling mix of enchanting and forbidding, lovely and dark, magical and real, thrilling and serene. Boyce's carries her superb world-building over from Lichgates and deftly expands it in Treason. This is a complexly crafted world, with wonderful historical, political, and cultural layers, that feels real and believable even in all its fantastical-ness. In Treason we get an even better and deeper look into the political aspect of this world and its leaders, but don't think for a second that this equates with being boring. Aptly titled, Treason is full of twisty betrayals and shocking revelations. Infused with exciting adventure, fast-paced and thrilling action and fighting scenes, and heart-pounding and heart-breaking romantic entanglements. There is no room or time for boring in Treason! Like me, readers will find themselves easily pulled into the story and swept away until the very end.A great sequel must feature a great deal of character development and growth, and Treason certainly does. Both Kara and Braeden continue to be very likable and relatable, and best of all, they continue to grow and evolve as characters. I love that Boyce has made sure to make these two whole and layered characters on their own, as individuals. These are two characters who make for an awesome and charming pair, but who feel complete on their own and whose development isn't dependent on the other's. This is such a refreshing and empowering thing to find when so many books feature characters, especially heroines, who are rarely able to stand on their own has fully developed characters without a love interest.Of course, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the sparks and electricity between these two, because I do! The romance between Kara and Braeden is definitely enticing and sweet, but it also feels very real and natural. I appreciate the way Boyce hasn't rushed this romance.I love a great villain, and Treason has more than one, which is awesome. But what I really love is the fact that pretty much all of the characters have the potential to do villainous things, and even those characters who have constantly lied, done horrible things, and betrayed people, are endlessly fascinating (I'm looking at you Gavin, you weasely S.O.B)I did not see the end of this book coming, but I love how it sets things up for the final book and what it does for both Kara and Braeden's character development.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Treason pulled me in quickly and left me dying for book three. This is a fantastic sequel in what is shaping up to be a phenomenal fantasy series!