I always have loved stories, especially fantasy stories, that take place in some sort of school. Whether it is for magic, or vampires, or sword-fighting, as long as it takes place in a school, it's for me. So it was no surprise that I knew instantly I was going to like this one. Okay...you got me...it was initially because of the title, but can you blame me? It's absolutely stunning.
At first, I had no idea it was about a school. Note to self: READ THE BLURB! Usually with every book I read, I will. But in this case I did not. However, I am kind of glad that I didn't. It brought more of an element of surprise to the story, and made me feel like one of the characters that were brought to the school with little or no inclination of what was going on.
Schools in stories, if done right, can show how imaginative the author truly is. Because you have to think about the general layout of the school, classes, different cliques of students if applicable, and if possible, you have to remember all of this throughout a series of novels. You must stretch your knowledge of the world you are creating. So kudos to this particular author for succeeding in this so wonderfully.
I loved the characters in the story. The main ones, the not so main ones, the bad ones, the good ones...all of them. They have such resilience of character, the good ones at least, and they are so willing to fight and protect one another.
As I reached the end of the novel, I actually felt that this could definitely be standalone. But when I read that a second book would be coming out, I immediately started anticipating what could possibly be next.
While I am a stickler for an exciting story, one that flows easily and leaves no room for boring and stagnant plods through the plot, I sometimes felt that this story went a bit quick for its own good, and maybe could have done with some good plodding in a few parts. However, the ending made up for it and then some. Definitely cannot wait until the second installment.