Review – Illusionary (Hollow Crown #2) by Zoraida Cordova

I read book 1 last year and really enjoyed it. My review for Incendiary can be found here. When I saw the second book on NetGalley, I didn’t even hesitate 🙂

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you.


by Zoraida Cordova

The most wanted rebel returns in Zoraida Córdova’s gripping conclusion to the Hollow Crown duology.

For years, she was wielded as a weapon. 
Now it’s her time to fight back.

Reeling from betrayal at the hands of the Whispers, Renata has few options and fewer allies. Reluctantly, she agrees to join forces with Prince Castian, her most infuriating and intriguing enemy. Their goals: find the fabled Knife of Memory, kill the ruthless King Fernando, and bring peace to the nation.

Together, Renata and Castian have a chance to save everything, if only they can set aside their complex and intense feelings for each other. Renata’s heart may still beat for Dez, but as the danger of their quest increases, so does her attraction to Castian.

With the king’s forces on their heels at every turn, there is little room for mistakes. A dark, twisted history lies behind the elusive weapon, and the fate of the kingdom is held in the balance. Still, the greatest danger is within Renata – the Gray, her fortress of stolen memories, has begun to crumble, threatening her grip on reality. She’ll have to control her magics, her mind, and her heart to unlock her power and protect the Moria people once and for all.

In this thrilling conclusion to the Hollow Crown duology, Zoraida Córdova weaves an epic finale brimming with adventure, romance, and justice.

  • the romance
  • satisfying ending

I wasn’t entirely sold that this might be the end of this duology. I couldn’t quite see how it would end in less than 400 pages with all those loose threads dangling. But it came together. It really did. I’m very satisfied with how it ended.

The story follows Castian and Renata and starts a few weeks or months after the first book as they hunt for allies and magical objects.

The story followed a logical path and not once did I question why they did something. I bought all the twists and turns.

The world was already built in the first book but this still had some stuff to make the world richer like history and more magical stuff.

We also visit some new places that make the world feel bigger.

The magic is the same as in the first book. It doesn’t change much in here but we get a few additions and Ren’s magic issue gets a solution/explanation. It was good to see her ability evolve a bit and become something greater.

Ren is the memory stealing the main character. She is fierce and strong and a softie at heart. I like her as the main character and a badass woman. She isn’t my favourite character but she is up there with them.

Castian is the bloodied prince with a very big secret revealed at the end of the first book. He is strong and willing to fight for his future kingdom but also for Ren and their history. Again I liked this character and his interest in Ren was clear from day 1 but I still enjoyed the unravelling of that subplot.

Leo is the queer sidekick and spy who joins their journey. he is a breath of fresh air between the two stubborn characters and acts as an ear for full hearts.

Yes but all in Leo. Nothing negative thought.

The writing was really good and the story weaves something intricate between the character, magic and the plot itself. It was complex but ended in a neath path.

I had no issues with the writing and no stumbling over sentences or paragraphs.

I enjoyed this series a lot and loved the ending though it dragged just a tad. But I still enjoyed knowing everything 🙂

I will check out this authors future work and maybe even dip into her backlist at some point.

Have you read this? What did you think?

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