Wow, I got so caught up in this book I didn't want to put it down!
I've always been a fan of fantasies I could sink my teeth into and this one is definitely one of those! I was drawn in from the start with Malick's cocky attitude and his desire for Fen then I got caught up in how cold Fen was and the world they live in, the job they do and the creatures they are. It was unbelievably fascinating.
I loved all these characters. Malick is so arrogant, loose and doesn't outwardly care about anything. He knows when to joke but he knows when to be serious. It's quite a contradiction but he plays it so well it was hard for me not to like him even though he's kind of a slut. Then there's Fen who has to be in complete control over everything or else the insanity that is part of his nature would take over. He's quiet, filled with hatred and anger. He doesn't appreciate being mocked because of his inability to be normal. Considering he's an Untouchable, someone who hears the Ancients voices in their head, and still sane, since Untouchables generally do not have a long life due to becoming insane, it's a miracle Fen is as sane as he is. He fascinated me so much! His past, his present and the possibility of his future had me captivated. His desires and his impulses made the story fun especially since Malick brought out so much in Fen (mostly anger) and allowed Fen the opportunity to reach his desires.
Honestly, I loved this book. I devoured it and didn't want to put it down. I was crushed with the ending but I loved the conflicts within the story. It's a slow going story, you have to learn so much to be able to understand everything and everyone and why it is all important but that is what amazed me with this book. The world is unique and interesting enough it sets itself apart from other fantasy stories and has a different take on psychics, telepaths and Gods in general. Really, the world is vast but extremely fascinating, IMO.
I loved the story but I did have a few problems with it. The flashbacks annoyed me occasionally and the fact we got other peoples POVs so often aggravated me. All I wanted was more of Fen and Malick and while we do get them from other people's POVs, I wanted more of 'their' parts. Their thoughts and assumptions and conclusions. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen as often as I'd have liked and if anything that is my biggest complaint. Occasionally it was too wordy. Run on monologues were a bit too excessive even for me who usually doesn't mind. I.e. explanations within explanations within explanations that weren't necessarily needed. At least not from what I could tell.
I'm both extremely upset and strangely glad by the ending. Upset because it's left on a cliffhanger (damn those cliffhangers!!! And such a massive one too!) but glad because if it had been concluded the 'proper way' the ending would have been way too rushed and not genuine or consistent with the rest of the story. Still, I'm frustrated with how it was left!! Grrrrrrr
In the end, I adored the story. I loved the characters, the world, their angst and their conflicts. I might have been frustrated a time or two but this is definitely a fantasy series I'm anxiously awaiting to continue. I can't wait to read the next book!