I do not normally like the urban fantasy genre (I know Amazon says Epic Fantasy, but this feels like urban fantasy to me, and I tend stick to my guns about genres). And before some of you say, "But you've reviewed and loved urban fantasy before!" I need to clarify that statement. It takes a very strong storyline and amazingly written characters for me to absolutely fall in love with this particular genre. For me, fantasy is a way of getting away from reality, and urban fantasy sometimes bothers me because of the fact that it starts out or is based in reality. Or at least the reality we know of.
Now I do have to say that this story does have a very good direction when it comes to what is going to happen throughout the book. The author obviously knows where her characters need to go and whether or not there will be detours along the way. That said, however, this book partially portrayed what I do not like about urban fantasy. Albeit I didn't mind some of the reminders of where Chandrea came from, the mirror thing was actually pretty cool, but when she kept talking about electricity and was freaking out about being in a "back-woods society" without modern medicine and amenities, it kind of annoyed me. I mean, I wasn't thinking at all that she would just immediately accept being in another world -- on the contrary, I am glad she didn't -- but her brooding kind of made me want to stop reading.
However, I am quite glad I did not. Actually it was a little more than halfway through the book when the dragons came into play that I actually started getting into the story more. Dragons fascinate me, so if an urban fantasy author can slip one or two, or even more than that, into their story, that definitely captures my interest.
All in all, I love that there are multiple points of view: that of the antagonist Queen Leilah, her "son" Ayden, Chandrea herself, and the various people that are either out to get her or help her in her given quest to save the world she was born in. Even though sometimes the points of view felt a bit muddled to me, or at least their placements in the story, it was a great way to keep track of the various characters and their particular loyalties. I also wish some things had been put in the story, such as Jeida meeting with the Dark Fairy before they began their trek into the wilderness to set the trap of the gold fog. I do wish my attention would have been grabbed from the very beginning, but I did like this first one enough that if given the opportunity to read the second one I probably would.