Illusionary (Hollow Crown, #2)

Illusionary (Hollow Crown, #2)
Age Range
Release Date
May 11, 2021
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In this thrilling adventure, our magical heroine embarks on a dangerous journey in order to bring justice to the kingdom—perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Sarah J. Maas. 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.

Editor review

1 review
riveting and satisfying sequel
Overall rating
Writing Style
ILLUSIONARY is a beautifully written sequel in a strong YA fantasy duology. The book begins after the first ended, with Renata and Castian on the run from both the king and his armies and the rebels with their forces. They are following the paths of Castian's brother and Ren's former paramour, Dez, who seems to be alluding them at every turn. They then plan to begin their quest for a magical artifact that could end the wars once and for all.

As they travel together, they must learn more about each other and their powers if they have any hope of survival. That is, if they can confront their truths and embrace themselves for who they are - all while trying to save their people and willing to sacrifice themselves in the process.

What I loved: The pacing in this book is fast with the story moving forward quickly - it is a riveting read from start to finish. The world building is expanded, and the reader learns more about the world, magic, and mythology throughout their journey. The characters are again compelling, with Ren leading the charge. She is someone who has felt the pain of being used and forgotten throughout her life, and she is wary of others for that reason. She must begin to embrace her worth and decide what she is willing to accept - and sacrifice - along the way. Her character growth in this book is furthered, and her inner turmoil drives the story forward. Castian was another intriguing character, and he was perfect for Ren. The reader really begins to meet and understand him in this sequel, as his role was not as prominent in the first book. The other two characters with whom they travel were also really compelling and easy to love.

The themes here around sacrifice, love, pain, and the importance of embracing and valuing oneself were also really intriguing, and there was a lot to examine in this story. This sequel was all the better for it, and it was easy to get lost in these characters and this world. I also really appreciated the ending that helps to tie up all loose ends. This was a really engaging and satisfying conclusion to a great duology.

Final verdict: Riveting, compelling, and atmospheric, ILLUSIONARY is the powerful conclusion to a consuming YA fantasy duology. Highly recommend for fans of FABLE, RED QUEEN, and ASH PRINCESS.
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