Okay, so I am familiar with the Ashlyn Forge's first book in the Toys and Soldiers series, and I thought after reading that one that the world she created was really cool. But after this one, I cannot wait for future works. Now, just to clarify, this book is not a continuation of the first one, but the perspective and story of a whole new set of characters. With the occasional appearance from Liam of the first book, In Liam's Wake.
In the beginning of this story, we first meet up with one our main characters, Johann, and learn a bit about him and his family, and then gradually we are introduced to the main secondary character, Tannenbaum. Their beginning interactions were quite funny and endearing. Since Tannenbaum cannot really interact with Johann vocally, due to a terrible act when he was younger, he does more with actions and drawings and origami than anything to get his points across. At times, I was laughing with how wonderfully sweet Tannenbaum seemed.
Throughout the rest of the book, after all the interactions, when Tannenbaum and Johann become close, you find that they are more connected than they think. That Tannenbaum is the reason behind certain aspects of Johann's life being what they are...
There is a lot of growth in this story. Johann begins an insecure man, looking for the easy way out of his problems, but finds a strength in him that he never realized could exist. Tannenbaum begins broken, but finds the one thing that can heal his long-time wounds.
I absolutely loved this book. Loved, loved, loved it. It made smile and laugh and scream in frustration. It made me FEEL! And I personally believe that only the best books can do that.