I tried reading this book at some point last year, but didn't get more than five or six chapters in. It wasn't necessarily a bad book or anything, I just wasn't in the mood for it. So when I picked it up again, I started from the beginning, rather than picking up from where i left off. The second time I read much more and absolutely fell in love with the book.
This fantasy novel has some of the most beautiful and vivid landscaping I have seen in a long time. The world building was incredible and I loved the characters. The characters are each distinct in their own personalities whether they are likeable or not, each one is full of life and captivating in their own unique ways. The writing goes through ups and downs, bringing out different emotions from the vivid descriptions of the landscape to the inner turmoil of its love triangle.
The love triangle did get rather annoying as the main character, Lia was constantly unable to decide between the two boys, the price or the assassin, of course she has no idea which is which. (Though I will admit I did cheat on this one and read the last few pages so I knew which was which). There were parts of the plot that did drag and become a little tedious towards the middle. Despite the things I found annoying about the love triangle, the characters are so well constructed it was easy to over look and want to know what's going to happen (even if it was slow and dragging in the plot).
The world building is richly developed, its own mythology and languages and religion are so clearly defined its easy to loose yourself in. Lia herself is one of the most memorable heroines I have come across in a long time. Starting off as a spoiled princess selfishly running away from her wedding day (a political match made by her father) she has tremendous character growth as she sheds her princess identify and finds life and work in a small sleepy seaside village with the help of her best friend Pauline. She really was pretty amazing in how she handles everything that's thrown at her. Even if she does get annoying in regards to the love triangle. Her strength and loyalty to Pauline and her the people who help her on her journey made her even more endearing.
While the plot certainly had its problems, and it did take a long time to get through, i still really loved it.