This story reads like a 3rd or 4th draft. It's almost there, but not quite finished.
The basics of the characters have been developed, but they still felt rather shallow. Like cardboard cut outs instead of real people. I could see the potential, but it wasn't fully explored.
The concept of children begging and scrapping for junk felt like a good fit with the story, but I really couldn't move past Iola's annoying personality. I kept seeing something like this every time she was begging in the market place. So annoying!
I am all for building the world and immersing the reader into it, but about 75% of this 324 page book felt like it was set aside for exploring the day-to-day minutiae, that really could have been summed up in a few days of exploration, not months. It started to get to this point...
One of the saving graces of this book is that there's plenty of these little guys running/flying around...
I adore dragons, and I thought the dragon-sight was a unique and interesting concept. I would have appreciated more on that, as long as it wasn't involving Iola.
The whole story reads as a Young Adult read, the characters are young teens and the tone and feel of the book all sit squarely inside that genre, with the exception of the interesting, but strange 'ritual prostitution' (thanks for that wording KJ!) that goes on in the temples.
Overall, I didn't love any of the characters, though I'd have to say Thorat came into his own a little towards the end. Dorna was prickly and hard to like, and Myril just seemed a bit too much of a crutch that was used when a plot hole needed to be filled.
I am curious to know what happens next, but I'm not in a mad rush. I'm sure I'll get around to picking up the next book sometime.
**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**