For all the praise this book has received from various readers, it's a bit stilted for my tastes. I'll plow on a bit more, but it it doesn't grab me, out it goes, into the wild. There are only so many virgins with healing skills, evil sons, capricious maids and such one can read about without becoming entirely too jaded.
Edited to add I've abandoned Anne and her cohorts. Since there are two more books in the series, which I will also abandon, I know that the story of Anne, her love for Edward, the mystery of her birth and her general goodness can be followed in The Exiled and The UnCrowned Queen. Followed by someone other than this reader. I don't doubt the worthiness of the subject or the caliber of the writing. It's just not for me, right now. I need easy reading and happy endings to soothe my somewhat traumatized psyche from all tragedy of this summer and fall.