WOW, I absolutely inhaled this book!! The writing was seamless. The world was devine. The middle did drag a bit but royal politics and in-depth character development can tend to lend itself to this type of dilemma. I decided not to penalise the rating too harshly because of this though I did waiver back and forth between 4 & 4.5 star...BUT seeing as how the sluggishness was coupled with some great writing... a grand and unique premise (especially for a topic so fervently explored)... a plot that had me constantly questioning everything I had presupposed along the way...I couldn't help but bump up the rating sooooo a well deserved 4.5 stars it is.
Now onto the dual POVs. Imo the very distinctive POVs played perfectly off one another, a frequently attempted endeavour that many stories fail to accomplish. The backdrop seemed both masterfully crafted as well as meticulously researched creating an undeniably authentic atmosphere. The characters were breathtakingly, "humanly"flawed. Nahri, our heroine, was a little annoying at times but ultimately her loyalty and overall potential was endearing. I can definitely see camps for favored male characters being formed down the road. Who was my favorite you ask?!? Well I won't go into too much detail but I will say that though Dara seems like the perfect companion/protector, I couldn't help but root for sweet naive Ali. Speaking of camps, it's probably obvious from my previous admission BUT fair warning: there was a most salacious love triangle percolating (though very minimally acted upon) which happened to be the impetus for much of the drama SO if that's not your thing...you've been warned.
I couldn't help but obsessively check Chapter and Location progress. This is usually a bad sign in my world BUT here it was for all the right reasons. I watched the pages fly by wishing to stall the inevitable and THAT hasn't happened to me in a long while....sad, I know, but true.
Anyhow, ultimately many MANY questions went unanswered, leaving me with a nagging hunger for the next book, STAT. So hurry up please, I NEED answers!!!