I liked this quite a lot. I think the plot has a wide scope with interesting and well thought-out characters.
Cleo drove me a little nuts for the first portion of the book. She was young and immature and a lot whiny. I was hoping that her growth would be quicker than most books and I am glad that I wasn't disappointed.
I think I was supposed to feel some sympathy for Magnus but I just couldn't summon any. Lucia, at first, I liked. But as it became obvious that she would only do as told, even with limitless power, she began to annoy me. The whole relationship between Magnus and Lucia was tiresome. But ultimately necessary to the story. A book is made as much by a good villain as by a strong hero. I think these two, along with their father, will prove to me a powerful enemy to the others as the books progress.
Jonas I absolutely loved. He was loyal and cunning and relatable. In his shoes his actions were understandable, even as they related to Cleo. He went from the uncontrollable rage that would lead to his demise to formulating a plan to not only achieve vengeance but also better his country. I think his goals were admirable even as they were so large. I liked that he didn’t lose sight of himself completely and remained wary as things progressed. Especially at the end, when he realized that he needs Cleo even if he still hates her. He is putting his priorities in order and has quickly become my favorite.
Emilia, though, I was not sad to read the story of her life throughout this book. She was the loving sister willing to do what was necessary to fulfill her duty. It was a little boring and predictable. She never really captured my attention. Her only purpose for me was to show the growth of Cleo, she never stood out as a full character, just a side note.
Theon, well, Theon was as predictable as they come but well written. I think some of these characters were a little see-though. I could tell the path his story would take from the first meeting and wasn’t surprised by it at all.
I do like this book. More for the groundwork that has been laid for the future of the series than for any particular aspect of this one novel. I think there is enough history and scope here to create a very rich series. I look forward to the remaining books.