This was my first time reading anything by Sigmund Brouwer, so I wasn't sure what to expect - one can never tell with historical fantasy, anyway.
But I have to say, while the plot was great, the execution felt very slow-paced and everything seemed to drag by so slowly. Looking back, now that I've read it, and summarizing the plot points, by rights it should have been a fast-paced, action-packed book. But, for whatever strange reason, it wasn't. I can't explain why, but it just failed to hook me and make me believe in the adventure and the mission. The main character's thoughts and emotions felt distant, leaving me feeling like an outsider and confused about his motivations and thought processes, and never really engaging me.
It also got rather confusing - two-thirds of the way through the book brand-new, major characters were still being introduced, bringing layers of the plot and the plots-behind-the-plot with them. That in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing - I've read many books in which key characters get introduced late in the story - but in this book it just didn't work, for whatever reason. I suspect it was because so much of the aforementioned plot-behind-the-plot was left vague and shadowy, and never really fully explained.
And the ending was just a bit too easy. Everything just sort of fell into place just right with a few half-hearted complications, and ta-da, we win!
Definitely not my favorite read of the summer. If the other books in the series were to fall across my path, I don't know that I would necessarily avoid them, but I don't see myself going to great efforts to seek them out.
I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for my review.