Illusionary (Hollow Crown #2) by Zoraida Córdova

Author: Zoraida Córdova

Publisher: Hachette Book Group Canada

Pages: 345

Source: Hachette Book Group Canada (Physical Copy)

Released: May, 11, 2021

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo Canada | Book Depository

Rating: 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In Zoraida Córdova’s thrilling sequel to Incendiary, Renata embarks on a dangerous journey 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. –Goodreads

Thank you so much Hachette Book Group Canada for, providing me with a physical copy of Illusionary. Thank you for giving me the chance to read and review this book. 

Illusionary, in my books, surpassed its predecessor (Incendiary). It is my favourite of the two books in the duology. Córdova does a great job of mesmerizing readers into her fantasy world. After the first chapter, I was immediately hooked and invested in the plot. I am also in love with this author’s writing style. Córdova’s writing style is both beautiful and feels somewhat poetic. 

I read through this book quite quickly. The first and last half of this novel was enjoyable. I felt this duology had a nice ending. The book left room for a possible spin-off series. The plot picks up right where it left off after the events of Incendiary. I was happy to see more of Castian in this novel. Leo will forever be my favourite character from this series. 

I’m a big fan of this duology’s story concept and magic system. I like the idea of overthrowing an evil/unjust monarchy. Any storyline that includes enemies to lovers romance has me hooked. I thought the ending to this series was well done. I would have liked to see this series as a trilogy instead of a duology. I would have liked to see some character relationships be more fleshed out (Ex: Castian x Des x Ren). I also would have liked a greater (longer) battle scene at the end. 

I felt the pacing flowed nicely throughout Illusionary. The events of the book kept me hooked from beginning to end. I enjoyed seeing the characters travel all over Puerto Leones. Córdova brought this world to life with her gorgeous writing style and the inclusion of all the different customs/traditions and foods. The world-building was beautifully fleshed out. 

Overall, I felt Illusionary was a great wrap to a series that included beautiful world-building, gorgeous writing and a plot that readers can easily get lost into while reading this book. I loved the magic system, the various characters, and the enemies to lovers romance. I wanted a bit more character development and expansion on certain characters’ relationships. I also would have liked to see a more drawn-out battle at the end. Besides those personal critiques, I’m super excited to see what Córdova comes out with next in the literary world. Illusionary was a great end to the Hollow Crown Duology. 

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