Review by Stacy Palm/
I was first drawn to this book because I was familiar with the author's prior work, and also being intrigued by the concept of a strong female lead that wasn't inherently good. I was not disappointed by this book, and in fact, enjoyed it much more than I initially thought I would. I am really captivated by the idea of a book not ending happily. I also enjoy being pulled into a story that mainly surrounds characters who are not always supposed to be likable. The only thing that kept this from being a 5-star book is that I thought more of the characters should have been further down their path of evil.
This story has a lot of political intrigue that I feel has a wealth of opportunity for the author to expand upon in the next novel. He did an excellent job of introducing us to this world and the political structure, but didn't overwhelm the reader with mundane information that wasn't directly related to our characters. The story beginnings with death and takes a child from her mother and leaves her broken and alone. As she grows we learn more about the world and travel with her to a place where she expects to find the skills needed to provide vengeance to the ones who wronged her family.
I truly enjoyed the main character, and I enjoyed the cast of characters that surrounded her. My one complaint is that for what these characters were doing they should have been more callous, but I also understand that you can't write a book in which every character is despised. There were a few characters I wish we would have become more intimate with during their moments. Some of the teachers were magnificently molded. I hope that this story continues down the current path and we end up with a profound series that makes people think, rather than have everything tied into a package with a pretty bow and a happily ever after.
Overall, this book was well written and expertly told. I did not guess the ending and was rather surprised by where this book took me as a reader. I should not have waiting so long to read this.