Book Review

Book Review: Illusionary (Hollow Crown #2) by Zoraida Córdova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 11th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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. 


Ah yes, the illusive duology that didn’t make me want to throw the second book across the room. Would recommend purely based off of the previous sentence alone.

If you’re looking for a bit more information though, here we go!

I enjoyed all of the action and political intrigue that was involved. Things went a lot more in depth with the villain and their true motives. Instead of seeming like a wicked dude with no layers, you start to understand where the hatred comes from. He got the ending necessary for the story so I’m glad that bow was tied up nicely.

Realllllly loved where the romance went to here. This became a tad bit of a love triangle, but not in your face and not full of eye rolls. it was a nice, natural progression and I am team CASTIAN all the way. It was the definition of swooning and I love a broody prince y’all. I will say I didn’t think there was enough closure between Ren and Dez? She kind of jumped ship when he literally jumped ship and I thought there was more unresolved between them. Oh well.

This duo is gritty and complex. It’s steeped in a deep history built into the world and the lore of a magic knife and those with magic wanting to feel safe and belong somewhere. The chosen one trope plays beautifully strong here with Ren knowing her worth.

Plus, an extended epilogue that gives you all the feels and the full endings I was looking for!!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Violence: murder, physical altercations, magical weaponry, loss of loved ones

Instagram || Goodreads

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