This is a young adult fantasy novel that is geared for the upper end of that age category. With a handful of violent scenes and budding relationship between two of our main characters, it may be a tad bit much for the younger crowd. That being said, it was incredibly well written with very few points that I wasn't fond of - and nothing that I flat out didn't like.
A few times the author wasn't as clear as she could have been about who was speaking or performing some action and I had to go back a few sentences to try and figure it out. This seemed to happen mostly when she was writing from Aren's point of view - so perhaps I just didn't pick up on his voice well enough.
I loved the character of Rowan. Her fierce curiosity that often got her lectured on what topics were appropriate for her to read and learn about, her seemingly fearless nature, and her quick thinking were all traits that anyone would find themselves drawn to. But at the same time, she wasn't perfect. She trusted too easily and found it difficult to make the hard decisions on her own (such as if she should get married). The way she matured and grew throughout the journey was amazing. I didn't even realize how much she had changed until near the end. She was a completely different and more confident person that she was at the beginning, and I liked her even more.
Aren is a person everyone in Darmid fears - he has magic and that means he's bad. The people of Darmid really don't look any farther than that. Aren was a small problem for me. He was so hung up on what he was doing and why that I got just a little tired of his internal dialog. It was an important part of the story, and much of it gave me some good insight into why he was doing things, but I heard it one too many times is all.
Rowan's journey was incredibly exciting. It was a grand adventure and she got to see and experience so many new things. It was everything she had ever dreamed about - but terrifying at the same time. I loved the creatures they came across - Ruby especially was very fun. I will be keeping an eye out for book two (sometime 2015 I believe) so that I can see how Rowan's journey continues.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*