One of those books I wish I could give ten stars to. Admittedly, this is pretty much my ideal book: a complex, engrossing fantasy world, with two wonderful leads, vivid secondary characters, and plenty of sex. It’s unafraid of going to some pretty dark places, but I found nothing gratuitous at all, and the author’s overall attitude was affirming not cynical. I thought Abbot dealt fairly with the brutal complexities of her world: the abuses taking place in the land are grotesque; consequently, these characters must get their hands very, very dirty in their quest to restore justice. Some are more honest about the price than others--and more cognizant of the dangers of using others as tools. In the end, that honesty about the true costs is the only thing that can halt the slide to tyranny--that, and love.
Needless to say, I am dying for a sequel to this. I can’t stand the idea that this is the last we’ve seen of this world, and of Michael and Stefn in particular.
PS. A special word of praise for the cover art--it's gorgeous.
[For a more extended discussion of the non-con elements here see the review I posted on my blog, http://liliafordromance.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-write-rape-scene-or-review-of.html]