This is by another great author. S.M. Boyce, or @thesmboyce on Twitter.
Premise: When hiking in the Rocky Mountains, Kara Magari steps through a magical portal that takes her to the hidden world of Ourea. She becomes the master of the Grimoire, a book that will answer any question she asks of it. Now, as the Vagabond, Kara must unite Ourea while everyone in it seeks to use her to their own ends or kill her if they can't.
Worldbuilding: First let me say that as a child I always daydreamed of traveling to another world and having adventures there. Not only does this book do that but it does it well, so it holds a special place in my heart. Not only that but Boyce twists the old myths of muses and demons into new races. Ourea is a beautiful vibrant world I enjoyed exploring throughout the story.
Characters: I grew to love both Kara and Braeden as the story progressed. Kara is strong of heart despite her past scars. I loved her intelligence and snark, even though that got her in trouble a lot. Braeden has scars of his own that he tries to overcome. He hides it well with his charm though. He had some of the best lines in the book. Even the villains were well rounded. They were not evil just because. Each had their own goals and reasons.
Story: Wow. Adventure, intrigue, and a little bit of romance. This story has it all and it is just beginning. This trilogy has the beginnings of an epic.
Pacing: It started a little slow, but soon picked up. By the last 100 pages I could not put the book down.
The first few chapters dragged a little for me but not enough for me to stop reading. They soon gained momentum.
Overall: Get this book. This is the Neverending Story for a new generation.
Check out Lichgates at S.M. Boyce's page here: