This is an adult epic fantasy that grabs you from the first page and holds your interest beyond the ending (thank goodness there is a sequel!). Mr. Blake creates a world that while holding to traditional fantasy elements (swords, castles, dark forests, and magic) is unique in its problems and the predicaments of the main characters. I won’t say there weren’t times I didn’t want to shake the lead character, Khirro, and tell him to open his eyes and get a backbone, but he does grow as the story progresses. I have great hopes for the second book! The story has its love and sad moments. Characters are lost along the way that you don’t want to see go, which is one reason I’d call this an adult epic fantasy rather than YA. I would also have loved to see a map, but Mr. Blake does a great job painting the visuals to the world. I was never lost, merely curious to know more about the layout of the world. This is really just a beautifully crafted epic fantasy. Fans of the genre will be very happy - especially that it is a trilogy!