It is hard to know where to begin in describing this book as it has some many different pieces, a survival story, a love story, a myth, told from many different perspectives. It is getting rave reviews and the writing is lyrical, the story line original and complex but also appealing. Who can resist a sweet old dog who has been badly treated or two kittens just learning how very cruel the world can be. Then there's the 1,000 year old snake with her memories of love and loss, her desire for revenge, and the monster beneath the water, hunted by the twisted old man, Gar-Face. It took me a while to get into this book but ultimately I was caught up in the story whose ending is ambiguous. But I think that you have to give it to a very special reader in order to have it be fully appreciated, or even finished.