This book is the first in the trilogy and it hooks you from the get go. The story itself in compelling but it is the characters that really draw you in most especially the lead.
I have read so many books over the years and have come to realize that the characters that I have truly felt a connection with as those who are so terribly fallible – their flaws somehow make them more real and more endearing.
The character Nastasya is abrasive, can’t seem to keep smarting off (defense mechanism) when faced with difficult choices and despite being quite beautiful has terrible fashion sense and rarely cares about her appearance.
All this goes hand in hand with her awareness of the lack within herself and the struggle to come back from the emotional abyss is what tethers you to the story. You follow her through the choice to change and grow, watch her fall and cheer when she tries again even in the face of loss.
Her battle to reconcile her past with her present and to learn to live in the world each day at a time even though the long years of immortality had been slowly leaching her of emotion draws you in desperately hoping that she will prevail.
When she struggles to engage on an emotional level, to risk loss and the pain of it so that she can live in the present you hold your breath and wish. Perfection in a character is boring and Nastasya may be many many things but perfect she is not. In the end that’s why you love her and the others around her and hate their enemies right alongside with them.