I had the privilege of reading this book before it was contracted. The second read through was just as enjoyable and rewarding as the first time. Coffelt crafts a wonderful story of courage and love set in a chilling reality where one crazed woman controls all those who can work magic. Well, almost all.
Justus is a strong hero. Even in his sullen moods you can't help but like him. He lives by his convictions and is doing quite well for himself until the unexpected happens. He falls in love. And with the most dangerous woman possible. Sable is running from the Imperium, but she's never free of their watchful eye. She is the prize worth waiting for, and once crazy Tiarra gets her she'll be the weapon to bring down all who resist the Imperium's control.
I love all the characters in this story. Bert the impertinent teen who has to learn the hard way, the sweet couple who take care of everyone, even the two hunters struggling to break free of Tiarra's grasp.
Without giving any spoilers, I just have to say that I loved the subtle difference between the original ending and the published ending. The clues have all been dropped and I'm just waiting for Coffelt to write the next book. I love how Justus' inner struggle is more of the focal point at the end as well. I can't wait for the next in the series!