This book must be one of those books that since it's part of a series people seem to forget how bad the first book is. It's like childbirth, you love your kid so much you don't remember how horrible birthing it was. I was so confused through most of the book. If I hadn't peeked at some reviews with spoilers I would have quit reading. Well, if my brother hadn't said over and over how good this series is I would have quit reading. I actually had to stop several times and re-read parts of the beginning of the book trying to understand who is who. So let me help you out...
Cymrian- The boy who calls himself Sam, grandson of Anwyn the half-dragon daughter, lord Steven's son is named after him, known later as Ashe
Gwylliam- The king that predicted the disaster and made everyone leave Serendair, husband to Anwyn
Achmed- Named Achmed the Snake by Rhapsody, previously known as The Brother
Rhapsody- Emily, Cymrian's soul mate who he traveled through time to meet... I don't know why the heck the author wanted to make us wait to find out who she was, I was so aggrivated trying to figure out why the little part at the beginning happened that I ended up having to read reviews to find out who she was. If it wasn't for knowing that I would have quit reading.
Since the book started with their story I thought that it was about Emily and Cymrian. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I hadn't been waiting for them to reunite. Other than that I liked Grunthor the most of all the characters. Achmed is cool too. Jo doesn't seem to have a real place in the book other than to show how lonely and overbearing Rhapsody is.
I'm assuming that the next book will be great, that now that most everything makes sense and the storyline is solid it will be awesome. As I said, I'm sure people look back at the series as a whole and love it. I just wish it wouldn't have given me such a headache in the first place.