I loved this book. It mixes historical aspects with the paranormal. I think this is the second book that I intended to read much earlier than I did and found myself wondering what took me so long.Ember is a 16 year old girl that is looking for a way to get away from the life she was born into. Her father is looking to marry her off to expand his power/control and all she wants is to get away. I really liked this character. She is tough, scrappy and smart but she still doubts herself and shows some flaws. I found myself completely invested in who she was and what was happening with her. Alistair...at first I supported him but man... he got on my nerves at the end. I am curious to see what happens with him as I don't trust him or Eira AT ALL. Things are not going to go well (even though I'm not sure what the heck is going to happen) but I have a feeling she is going to do something to stab him in the back. Based on my updates, you may see that I really disliked her...But I went off track there. Barrow...love him. It is clear he struggles with his feelings for Ember. In my opinion he is the perfect mix of strong and silent yet once he gets past his struggle, he is passionate and not afraid to tell her he loves her. Can you tell...I love the romance/happy ending.So - the characters were great! There were a lot but they all play a critical part to the progression of the story. Kael, Agnes (what's going on with her??), Lukasz, Eira, Barrow. Overall - great book and if you enjoy a story that has a bit of mystery, some paranormal aspects, a great main character and broody love interest..this is the book for you. This will stay on my favorites list and I will probably come back to this if I have to wait too long for book 2.