Cover Image: Illusionary

Illusionary

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Member Reviews

Loved this book! I really enjoyed the slow progression of Cas and Ren’s relationship, and how Ren was able to overcome her Moria issues. However, I do think the pacing was off because meeting the pirates and overcoming the king felt too fast in comparison to the rest of the book, as well as the epilogue.
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After binging the duology in less than a week, I cannot for the life of me figure out why these books are not garnering more attention in book circles?! 

Setting: a Spanish/Latin-inspired land where the Fajardo family has quickly colonized and conquered all its neighboring and rival nations. Under the guise of bringing the island under one ruler for safety and prosperity, a cruel regime makes its mark by eradicating the Moria population of Memoria. 

The Moria are a people blessed with elemental magics and powers that the Fajardo family will stop at nothing to destroy---especially the Robari, people blessed (or cursed) with the magical ability to rob you of your memories. 
Much of the first book, Illusionary, deals with identity and seeking the truth of self. While Illusionary is focused on loving and accepting yourself, no matter what destiny or identity those around you have prescribed for you. 

If Incendiary was all about Ren's journey to figure out who she is and *what* she is, then Illusionary is the ultimate quest for acceptance and valuing one's self once you've figured who and what you really are. 

Ren's journey is harrowing and riddled with so much exhaustion, confusion, heartbreak, and yearning for something different than this path that has been carved for her by those who only see her as a weapon, and not a person. 

10/10 highly recommend it. 
The pacing is masterful, the twists and turns unexpected, the enemies-to-lover trope is well done (even though I HATE TO ADMIT IT!!!) and the characters are just unforgettable.
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Good fantasy story to get sucked into. I didn't feel lost without having read the first in the series though undoubtedly it would have helped. Lovely character development.
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This was a perfect conclusion to the Hollow Crown duology. There was more action and more romance in this book than there was in the first. I enjoyed the layout of this more than the first. Instead of leading up to a big finale, there was more action and twists and turns spread throughout the book. There is also more explanation on how the magic works in this society. We see Renata develop her magic and learn to control it. This emotional, fast-paced book had me flying through the pages. I am looking forward to reading more of Zoraida Cordova's writing.
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I LOVED this book!! I was excited to dive back into the world of Moria and journey with Renata Convida and Prince Castian to find the Knife of Memory. I enjoyed watching Ren and Cas's feelings develop for each other, deeper knowledge of the Moria magics and even learning more about the king and his ties to Moria. Ren learning to master The Gray and how to combine her magic all the while trying to save a kingdom is definitely a great roller coaster ride. Hollow Crown series is a must read!
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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. This review will be posted on my Goodreads, Blog and Instagram by May 12, 2021. I will also be publishing this review on Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble and Indigo Canada. 

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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In Illusionary, Renata is with Prince Castian, her enemy, on a quest to find a magical weapon. I loved this series so much. Not only because I thoroughly enjoy the writing but because the world is based on an old Spain setting. We don't see many high fantasy novels with worlds that speak to us LatinX or Hispanic readers specifically. Córdova's style is lovely, and I could almost smell the salt in the air in some of their descriptions. I thought the tension between Ren and Cas was great - every time they got close to each other, I could immediately feel my heart rate increase. It was delicious. The end came together quickly, but it still tied up all the loose ends I wanted it to. The epilogue wasn't necessary, but I'm glad it was there. I love it when you get a glimpse into the future and know that, while nothing is perfect, the characters do continue to live their lives. All YA audiences will probably enjoy this series, however, it may be more of a 14-15+ rather than a 12+.
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“I don’t care if we’re in the middle of the sea or on one of the thousand isles of Luzou. Hate me, love me, have me. Wherever you are, that’s my kingdom, Nati, and you are my queen."

Illusionary picks up from where Incendiary left off, remember that cliffhanger?

Ever since I read Incendiary, I have been telling everyone that this duology deserves more hype! If Incendiary was a journey of discovery, then Illusionary was about growth and adventure. Renata's struggles with her identity and her power was very much apparent from the first book and was continued in Illusionary. Although her development came a little late in the book which made me worried in the beginning.

When the main character is forced to partner with the villain of the story, you just know that tension will be brewing and dear, there’s some real tension. Illusionary gave us more snippets of Renata’s past which provided answers and confirmation to some questions formulated from reading the first book. I’ve always loved Renata, Castian and Leo but this is where I fell head over heels in love with Castian, I’ve always known there’s something more to him than just being the Matahermano. And as for Leo, we get to see more of him in Illusionary which I consider one of the best gifts Zoraida Cordova could have given us. I also loved the introduction of the new characters. And, if there are characters that I loved, there are also characters that I hated. And when I say hated, I mean really hated. You know those characters who just don’t learn? They made my blood boil.

As much as I love reading about the developing feelings between the main characters, I am glad that Illusionary didn’t focus on just the romance and still had the plot as the main focus. Other than revenge, quest and self discovery, one of the indirect subjects of Illusionary was also about dealing with mental health which I appreciate. The epilogue was a little too cheesy for my taste but worked well as a balm for my heart.

Illusionary was a thrilling conclusion to the Hollow Crown duology although I must say I loved Incendiary a little more than the sequel because I’m not a fan of love triangles especially between brothers. Regardless, I still enjoyed this and is now one of my favorite duologies!

Some of my favorite tropes in Illusionary:
- Fake marriage
- There’s only one bed trope
- Friends to enemies to lovers
- Slow burn
- Chosen one

Thank you so much to Hachette Book Group Canada and Netgalley for providing me an E-ARC to review!
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I loved Incendiary and I loved this sequel even more! It has enemies-to-lovers, fake marriage, one bed, and pirates! It also explores the magic and the history more and introduces some awesome new characters. I'm sad the duology is over, but I think this has a good conclusion. This book gave me a lot of feelings and I can't wait to have the finished copy!
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When I moved away from my home state I thought I would come home and visit often, I haven’t. That isn’t because I don’t love Little Rhode or the people there, but because when I returned I found it and I had changed, it wasn’t the same. When Renata returns to the places and people in her life she realizes not all of them feel the same, that she can not return because of the changes in herself and the world. When she left Dez to follow his brother Cas she never imagined her life becoming what it would. That she would be sailing the seas looking for The Knife of Memory to try to defeat the king and save her world. As Renata finally finds herself and tries to free her mind from The Grey she learns who she truly is and why that matters. I LOVE Zoraida Corsica’s books and the second one in this duology did not disappoint!
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This is the finale to a duology that began with Incendiary. I read Incendiary over a year ago, and while I didn’t recall much about it other than the general gist of the plot and main characters,  I remembered enjoying it enough to be interested in reading the sequel. My memory lapse caused problems from the get-go however, because many secondary characters were reintroduced in the first chapter and I could not recall who they were or what their place in the story was. A little subtly inserted background information would have abated my confusion. 

The author knows how to craft a well-written narrative, and although it rehashes some very familiar YA fantasy tropes (love triangle! Bad boy isn’t really bad, he’s just misunderstood! The villain is so evil just because he can be!) I found the world building and many of the characters compelling. The problem for me was the plot. The further the story went the more convoluted and muddled it became. A main element of the story is Renata’s journey of discovery and acceptance about her past, present, and future. The question of “Who are you?” becomes dominant but is never answered. In a way this makes sense because she’s a teenager, and a more apt theme would’ve been “Who do you want to become ?” Things start coming together much too quickly and in ways that don’t really add up. The big climax is rather anti-climatic, and I found the ending confusing. Overall, I felt like this had the potential to explore much more than it actually did.
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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC!

I don't even know where to start this book review because Zoraida Cordova murdered me with this beautiful and intense story. First thing I want to say is that, this book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021 and I was not disappointed!I knew this book was going to hurt me in the best way after I finished the first book in the series, Incendiary, but I was not expecting so much character development and me getting so attached to the main characters especially Castian! 

If you have read the first book, you know we are following Renata (Ren), a Moria, magic users in this world, and more specifically she is a Robari, which is an extremely rare power that allows her to steal memories from others. In Illusionary, she is now on the run from the King who is hunting all Moria and on top of that, she does not have the support system from the rebel spies known as the Whispers anymore. 

Ren and her closest allies have to work quickly in order to save the world from the King. If you are looking for a fantasy book with a unique work system, interesting characters, and beautiful world building, check out Illusionary in May.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC in exchange for the review. 4/5 Stars. 

I remember reading Incendiary and almost DNFing it, but I ended up loving it. This was the same for Illusionary. I still LOVE the magic system. Ren healing from her trauma was BEAUTIFUL and the growth ALL of the characters demonstrated made this worth reading, and it ended the story lines well. 

Saying that, I felt the ending was just RUSHED -- especially with the addition of the epilogue. I was like...this seems very unrealistic but I'll take it. The writing was beautiful though, and Cordova writes AMAZING worlds. I wish I could visit all the places she describes. 

Also (as you all MUST want to know...ROMANCE) so <spoiler> yes there is romance between Cas and Ren and it kept me going throughout the novel. The slow burn was REAL again but it was SO WORTH it. </spoiler>
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Illusionary was beyond my expectations for the second in a doulogy.  Picking up right where Incendiary left off, Renata is trying to figure out what needs to be done to save the world she loves and has to do so with the man she hates the most. This is a roller coaster and a beautiful ride. I loved the banter, the hate, the love,  the pirates! There are so many fantastic pieces to this story and it is filled with layers that pull on all the emotions. The characters are both well written and well developed. I really enjoyed the first book, but this second one is the one I will be reading again and again. I will continue to think about Nati, Cas, Leo, Dez and the rest of these characters.  I cannot wait to see what this author comes up with next! Thank you negalley for this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This was a wonderful sequel to the first book, filled with adventure, pirates, magic, and a love story. The relationship between Castian and Renata was very well developed and the tension between them just flew off the page. I loved seeing Renata's character development. It's such a nice treat to have relationships, character development, and adventure given equal space.
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What a fantastic story! I couldn't put it down. Action-packed while still not sacrificing character development.
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#Illusionary #NetGalley #Edelweiss

Illusionary is the second book in the Hollow Crown series. The first book is wonderful and the second does not disappoint. It is not a filler book. It pulls you into the story right again from the start. Fans of the first will be over- joyed at the continuation.
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This book was fabulous.
It opens where Incendiary left off- Ren and Cas trying to save the kingdom. They embark on a journey to find a mythical weapon with the hope of ending King Fernando's rule.
We get to see more of the world here and get to meet some great new characters. Who doesn't love pirates? Readers also learn a lot more of the history of the Moira and Puerto Leones.
Action packed and full of adventure, this is the perfect conclusion to the story.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an early copy for review
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This book instantly hooked me in with its amazing and captivating narrative. Where Incendiary focused on court intrigue and building up the character's emotions, Illusionary delivered in bringing that tension between the two characters.

One of the book's highlights is seeing how Renata works through her trauma and insecurities. In Incendiary, we have a girl consumed by fear of what and who she is. But in Illusionary we go on a journey with her as she comes to accept herself and what she is able to do.

Prince Castian and Leo were my favorite cinnamon rolls ever. I adored every single thing they did. Leo is a friend everyone should aspire to have and his colorful self brought life to every page. And Prince Castian is simply the best. I loved how we got to know the true Castian in this book.

Overall, Zoraida's masterful writing, attention to detail, strong characters, and intense emotions brought forth an epic conclusion to a fantastic duology!

ALL THE STARS!
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