On the subject of complicated families, one of the story’s big strengths is its characters, and in particular the intricate interwoven relationships they possess. The main character, Cassandra, narrates her memories of her father, an outlaw and revolutionary of sorts. Forced to live on the lam, his relationship with her has always been strained by the realities of life on the run. As the story progresses new characters are added to Cassandra’s world, each with its own unique ties to the other characters in the story. The result is a family saga with a rich emotional life.
The worldbuilding is a great. It’s a wild west oil rush feel, only the oil has magical powers. It acts as gunpowder and a powerful healing agent, only it’s highly addictive. There are a number of other uses and interesting aspects of the world that dovetail well with other elements in the novel.
The story flowed very well. It was compelling and well-paced. The prose is ornate and emotional and it has moments of high emotion. I loved this book and I’d highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to the second installment in the duology, Glass Rhapsody, which is out in a week or so.