4/5 stars. First of all this book is artfully written. It is grim, descriptive and compelling. The story is many layered and skilfully revealed and I really liked that element of the story telling. That said I found this book difficult to finish and I was torn between 3 or 4 stars for that reason (for me 3 is good and 4 is excellent). In the end I believe it deserves 4 because the story was that good and the writing so strong that it left me asking questions of myself as much as the tale. Like why didn’t I enjoy it more?
I think the answer is one of personal taste. For me, I like to be engaged with the characters I am reading, good or bad and I wasn’t. I had no strong feelings for any of the main protagonists. I didn’t really care for any of them and really it was only the narrative that kept me reading on. That too though gave me some cause and I feel really bad for saying it because it was so wonderfully evocative, but I found the descriptive narrative almost overwhelming in places. It left nothing to my imagination because it was so skilfully painted in my mind.
Make no mistake. Jesse Nolan Bailey in my view is a fantastic writer. But maybe this particular book is just not quite my flavour. I think however, that many readers will thoroughly enjoy this story, especially if they are a fan of dark fantasy. It just wasn’t for me.