I couldn't put it down, literally, infuriating my family by reading until 7am. Just about everything I loved about [b:Cethe|7186426|Cethe|Becca Abbott|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327994741s/7186426.jpg|7721916] is here as well: fantastic world-building, two great leads, hot sex, lots of religious and political intrigue.
More Warning than Spoiler: Readers should be aware that this book is if anything more brutal than Cethe, with multiple rapes, torture, slavery etc. It's quite well-done in my opinion but very intense. Abbot definitely doesn't shy away from writing disturbing scenes.
Though I definitely feel the book deserves 5 stars since it is so much more gripping and imaginative than 90% of the books I read, I did feel frustrated by the ending. It's not bad, but you're left with feeling that at least three more novels could and should be written about this world. I had almost this exact reaction to Cethe, which is one of my favorite books, but the problem was worse in [b:Reifu Rising|8039386|Reifu Rising|Becca Abbott|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1329086354s/8039386.jpg|12663421]. In general this book feels less finished than [b:Cethe|7186426|Cethe|Becca Abbott|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327994741s/7186426.jpg|7721916], which is fair enough since it is available free online. On the other hand, it is definitely a story worth finishing and polishing up. Abbot has this great way of giving you hints of the complex culture and history that have brought about the world her books are set in--in part with the brilliant "quotes" from supposed historical texts that preface each chapter--but in Reifu I felt there was more key information missing. Perhaps on rereading the hints will coalesce into something clearer, but I am not very confident.
Bottom line: the author has created another amazing world with characters I became very attached to, and then left the story feeling unfinished. Both deserve sequels and Abbot's fans can only hope that someday she'll decide to put us out of our misery.