It took me a long time to get into this book, but once I did, I really started to enjoy it. The main reason that it took so long to get into is that there are sections of the book that are told in 2nd person. It’s an unusual perspective, and I didn’t think it really added much to the story, so I’m not sure why it was there. The only real reason that I can think of for using that perspective is because of the last chapter, where something is revealed that could be pertinent in the later books.
Speaking of later books, this was definitely the first of a series. There’s a lot of setup, but no satisfying resolutions. The story is very good, but by the end, there are just a bunch of questions and no real answers. That wasn’t a big problem, but it would have been nice to get a little more out of the first installment.
Where this book really shines is in the characters. Every single one has depth and complexity. Some are mysterious, some are very straightforward. They all have distinct personalities, and as the different story threads start to come together, the characters become even more complex and interesting.
The magic system is different, but familiar. More than anything else, it reminded me of earth bending from the tv series Avatar: The Last Airbender. What makes the system even more special is that those who can use magic are not in power. That’s very different from most fantasy novels.
The only real problem I had with the book was that it lost momentum near the end. I had figured out a few things before they were revealed. That, along with the slow start made for an inconsistent level of engagement. The book was still good. Parts were very good, but it peaked in the middle rather than rising to a climax. The worst part about that loss of momentum is that I’m not sure it engaged me enough throughout for me to want to read the sequels.