Definitely kept me reading. I really liked the glimpse into the early years of the assassin in her Emperor's Edge series (he's a relatively minor character in this book, but still...). Lots of good action. A lot of death with morbid description, which doesn't bother me, but I would shy away from this one if you have trouble with such details. The romance went just a bit further than I really like, but nowhere... shall we say, "over-descriptive"? It's not a kids book and I would not let my kids read it, but for myself, I really enjoyed it.