I don't read a lot of Epic Fantasy. It's not that I don't enjoy it. I'm an impatient reader. I want action within the first few chapters. A proper epic fantasy requires quite a bit of set up. It takes a truly amazing author to keep my attention through 100 pages of set up. Canavan had my full attention at page 1 and kept it through the entire book.
The world building was phenomenal. No matter what part of the city the characters were in, I felt like I was there with them. I could clearly picture the rickety homes in the slums and the grandness of the guild. I could feel the damp of the underground tunnels. And the characters were brilliant. Sonea is one is one of the strongest and most likable characters I've met this year. If I had to deal half the things thrown at her, I would have been a blubbering mess of tears and snot hiding in a corner somewhere. She thought about the decisions she had to make. She didn't run into danger thinking she could over come anything. She knew she couldn't out run everyone, but she's be damned if she's go without a fight. She had just the right amounts of fear and braveness.
This is one of my favorite reads for 2013. I'm really glad I already have the next book in this series. I can't wait to find out what happens next. I highly recommend this if your looking for something similar to Harry Potter without all the teenage dramatics.