It wasn't a bad read. It has suspense and secrets. There is magic all over the place. The are battles aplenty. Yet there are some problems with this book for me. First, I'm not that much of a fan of fantasy and this novel isn't written well enough to change this. At times I was just bored. To compound this, I didn't feel satisfied at the end. If you know me, you will know that I hate books that leave issues unresolved. I want to leave my characters doing well. If I am going to read a sequel, I need to love them so much that I will be compelled to read more if only to find out how they are doing. (Some examples include Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching novels and Catherynne M. Valente's September.)
I'm content to have read this one if only to say to students that I have tried the series.