I loved it. The world was imaginative and awesome, and the clans and families realistic, characters believable and strong. I like how the characters g...moreI loved it. The world was imaginative and awesome, and the clans and families realistic, characters believable and strong. I like how the characters grow and develop their world views throughout the course of this book, not only Sasha, but (semi SPOILER) Damon and Sofy and Jaryd and Daryd as well.
Sasha wasn't my favorite character, but surprisingly reading the book through her as the main character did not bother me very much, for although she was childish and infuriatingly blind and selfish at times, her heart was true, and I could understand her.
However, I really liked Sofy because of her stubbornness. It seems that strength runs in the family, and Sasha wasn't the only girl to inherit it. But Sasha herself seems to be a bit biased against the female gender as she never has much faith in Sofy, and I enjoyed it every time Sofy showed Sasha how wrong she was and how strong and determined she could be, despite all adverse circumstances. In fact, I think that Sofy may be stronger than Sasha (certainly more levelheaded), although it's hard to tell because their characters are different, because Sasha could have never accepted the Larosa marriage because she thought it was the right thing to do. Sofy did. She is a very unselfish girl.
I liked Daryd and Rysha as well for their strengths, hidden depths that served them when the situation forced it. Rysha reminds me of a smaller quieter version of Sofy, but no less intense or to be underestimated. I worry about Daryd, though, because he was forced to grow up, too fast, and he took on more of the burden than his sister. I hope he does not turn bitter, and keeps his eyes open still to the possibilities.
Damon I respected for admitting he's wrong, and being strong enough to act upon it, even though it was against his father and older brother and everything around him he has known all his life. That is not easy.
Teriyan was a character I found very interesting. For him to be so driven and cunning when on the surface he seems so.... joking and relaxed. He has depths, and I admire at how he keeps them hidden.
I really enjoyed Kessligh and Torvaal's character, both "good" men with larger than life figures, but I appreciated the fact that the author allowed them flaws. Kessligh for not always understanding Sasha, but being an impressive teacher and what she needed. Torvaal for failing Sasha, but supporting the kingdom. Ultimately he was just, and did the right thing. I respect him for that, and wonder at his thoughts to Koenyg's actions, wonder if he will view it as betrayal, as he perhaps should, or just as over ambition, and perhaps underestimate his son. I fear that he may be killed by his heir, in time. I was really entertained, though, when Torvaal finally recognized his daughter's strengths, and saw her for the formidable opponent she is. I wonder, perhaps, if he isn't a little bit proud of her? He should be.
None of the characters were perfect, and therein lies the beauty. I sort of hope, though, that Errollyn does stay with Sasha, because the serrin very much intrigues me and he especially.
I liked how in the story, good and bad things happened in equal parts to both the good and bad characters in the book. Things need a balance, and the book had it.