After hearing a lot of stellar reviews of this one, I decided to give it a try. At first, I couldn't get into the story. As a fantasy book, the reader needed to adjust to the setting and conflict of Lumatere and the surrounding land in Skulendore. I also had trouble connecting to Finnikin in the beginning, who just seemed distrustful and a bit arrogant. Once I kept on reading though, whoa did it pick up. My character by far is Evanjaline; I loved her wit and how she challenges the other characters with her hope and on their beliefs (seriously, Finnikin, women can be superior too). All the characters soon grew on me, and I liked the interactions between all of them. Marchetta also writes with different POVs, which she did very well. Hearing from Froi's point of view was surprisingly funny to me, with how he noted that everyone around him was "just pretending [that everything was okay]. I also teared up terribly during the parts with Trevanion and Beatriss. They seemed to have the truest love before, and to see it broken was horrible, but I respect how they both need time to heal. "I only gave it 4 stars for the slow beginning, but otherwise, I definitely recommend this one!