While the plot is incredibly slow and the book could have been better had it been at least 100 pages shorter, the writing here is beautiful and the world-building is flawless. The civilizations and their customs ring true, and are more reminiscent of ancient South American cultures than the standard pre-industrial European-type villages so popular in fantasy works. I will say that all the talk of installing gems in teeth made me wince, though! The heroine showed plenty of grit in her actions, but I felt that her personality seemed flat. I was more involved with the secondary characters than with Hathin herself. Ultimately the walking-speed plot made this book tough to trudge through, but I'm intrigued enough that I will probably read the author's earlier work.
Recommend to: Fantasy readers age 12-15 who like long reads and have plenty of patience, readers who like well-built worlds with PLENTY of detail, Harry Potter fans, anyone sick of the angst and overly-dramatized romance in YA fiction today
Don't recommend to: Readers who prefer page-turners, anyone who's just had or needs dental work