Upon picking up this novel I wasn't quite certain what to expect - as much as I enjoy the genre, I tend to handle fantasy stories at a dubious arms-length. As with any story that introduces you to a brand new world of the author's creation, the beginning takes some brainpower to work through. Once you get yourself a grip on the new places, factions and people, you can effectively begin to participate in the adventure. (Here I would have included my only complaint: that the book did not include a map. However Ms. Bresnick has included one on her website! Hooray!)
But like mom always said, you have to finish your supper before you can have your dessert. When this story winds up, it is unstoppable! The drama is appropriately poignant and the emotional turmoils (even of an immortal man) are entirely relatable. One thing Ms. Bresnick is assuredly skilled at is making you care very deeply for her characters, however flawed they may be. I was pleased to see that even as a new author; no hero or villain is portrayed in caricature, the dialogue is vibrant and not cliche, and the story remains unpredictable with just enough similarity to other fantasy adventures to keep you comfortable in the genre. The sarcastic quips between Tev and Lerien are priceless, and not hokey in the least. I just adored it.
For a first novel, Ms. Bresnick couldn't have done a more impressive job. I cannot wait to see where her experience takes her in future works!