Lichgates by S. M. Boyce is a fantasy novel following a young woman Kara as she stumbles upon a lichgate that is disguised as a gazebo. This gate takes her into another realm, where she becomes a person of great power known as the Vagabond. The races of this world all seek to utilize her powers for their own desires, is there anyone she can trust? Will she ever be able to complete the task that the first Vagabond set out to complete, but failed?
This is another book that I was not too sure about, but the cover and blurb really caught my interest. The story started off slow, but then really picked up in about the middle portion. There is a lot of storyline happening in the novel. There is the story of Kara as she familiarizes herself around Ourea and comes to terms with her new role as the Vagabond. Then there is the Vagabond's story of trying to convince Kara to complete his task and unite the nations, and other secret tasks he refuses to tell Kara. And there is also the story of Braeden who is trying to escape his heritage and become someone new.
The story is somewhat well written, but progresses slowly. It isn't enough to take away from the storyline, but it does make the reader wonder when the "action" will begin. Once it does begin then it is difficult to put the novel down. The characters are likable enough. Kara at first comes across as self centered and hypocritical as she tells others the need to talk about themselves so she can trust them, but refuses to talk about her own past. There are things about her past that she needs to come to terms with before she can be the person that Ourea needs. Braeden on the other hand is likable in the fact that he wants to be something other than what he was created to be. He wants to be a better person and do good in the world rather than the evil his people creates. The war within himself adds tension to the story just as much as the tension created with his feelings for Kara.
This novel was a good set up for future novels in the series, and I do plan on reading those as well. Once you start a series how can you not finish it and find out what happens to the characters? I look forward to seeing what else SM Boyce can come up with for readers. My recommendation is for those who enjoy young adult fantasy novels to check this one out. My rating would be a 3 out of 5 stars.