Top positive review
One person found this helpful
on October 5, 2013
Man, oh man, did I like this book!
What a refreshing change from much of the YA I've read over the past few years - and, surprisingly, it's not because the main character is gay. While that was a welcome novelty and deftly handled, allowing it to develop naturally and ripple throughout the story, it wasn't the basis of the story. The emotions the pair felt for one another weren't the driving force of the action. Instead, their emotions were something they had to fight against in order to achieve their goals. Nicely handled.
The characters overall were well-drawn and interesting, their motives complex and more varied than one book can fully reveal. I suspect that almost all of them have more layers to be pealed away in the series' subsequent books, which is a nice change of pace from many series that have a tendency to reveal all their secrets in the first book and then the writers struggle to come up with more layers the further the series goes.
The main character Braden was a real treat. He has a enticing voice that is easy to follow and casts a spell on the reader from the first chapter. His journey from boy to man is so subtly explored that it's easy for it to sneak up on you, but when it's time to make the hard decisions at the end of the book, you realize just how far he's come.
I did find the two boys' parents to be painted with a broad brush rather than with fine details. I got a better sense of them from what people said about them than actually observing them. So far I'm not sure they live up to the horrible reputations they have. Now this could be intentional and, like the other characters, more may be revealed as the series progresses. I'm hoping so.
I also found some of the descriptions during the magic sequences a bit confusing, especially early on in the book. I do think they improved quite a bit as the book progressed, though I did still find myself having to stop and go back and reread sections to be sure I completely understood what had just occurred.
These are minor points though in what was a thoroughly enjoyable book. Well worth the read and worth the series that follows.