Taylor's style of writing reaches a slow-building crescendo that is well-worth the long attention span and extensive effort soaking in this book needs. There's an abundance of dark, heart-wrenching scenes revolving around Karou & Akiva, there's pounding, tense action, there's light glimmers of hope, & a life far gone, & the rich, extremely detailed world that not only sucks you in, but draws you close to the hearts of these characters, all of which are very appealing to the love of high-fantasy epics present in Lord Of The Rings fans. I cannot say enough how much I love this book and its powerful interwoven stories, & surprise characters I sympathize with and love immediately. I want to read this book again and again and again. I want to soak in every little detail over and over. I can't say how much I wish I'd have reread this sooner. I was absolutely blown away.