I like the first person POV of "Jessex" I like this boy, he's wise beyond his years, and it's being told from his perspective many years after the fact, like a memoir of his growing pains.
The characters are a little hard to follow, but mostly it's due to the bizarre names. Ones I dare not try to spell or pronounce, and there are a lot of characters and they tend to get blended together. A few stand out, and those you really like.
We've met Kirith Kirin, and he's older than old, we're talking tens of thousands of years, but he's immortal, "One of the Twelve" (Only eleven actually living, they can "Die" just not naturally.)
Imagine a Bishounen forever? Humina, Humina. The way he is described you picture 23, tall, dark, handsome, broody, witty, he's not wasted those years, his intellect is sharp, but is still youthfully fallible.
And he's almost immediately "Smitten" with young Jessex, much to the chagrin of the Priest and Jessex's Uncle, Not in the way you THINK, it's only because Jessex is still considered a Child.
So it's just improper for Kirith to be ALONE with him unchaperoned. *GRIN* Tounges do tend to wag after all.
He's not officially an adult until he's sixteen.
He JUST turned 15 and gained the right in "Training to handle his own Drink and have it watered or not on his own fancy".
Jessex partakes a bit too much that first time.. (Don't we all?)
There's more than age in this tension between them (Jessex and Kirith) that I will NOT extrapolate on, lest no one else reads the book.
But suffice to say, it is another I highly recommend even if it does require considerable thought processes to fully comprehend all the rich detail.
It's packed with lengthy descriptions of mood, environment, and war politics.
I usually loathe Male writers when they set the scene for war. I get bored with all the weapons and strategy, the endless pages of battle and fighting etc....
(Sort of like DragonBall Z and Yu Yu Hakusho. The Former I could never get into, I hate all the fighting, the latter I just skipped on x2 play all the really long fight sequences 'til we got back to the main story line.)
That is definitely a "Guy" thing. But This author knows how to hold back some and not spoon feed us EVERY lingering detail down to the last drop of gore. Thank goodness.
He gives you a well rounded scope and picture without totally bogging you down with needless detail.
Rich in Detail.. YES!
But Rich in all the RIGHT KIND of detail. It's wonderfully visual in setting, less visual in character make up. I'm 200+ pages in and still do not know what Jessex LOOKS LIKE. No description. No hair color, no eye color, no build, nothing.
He's sort of this vague image in your mind, I'd like and HOPE we get to know what this boy looks like to the author before the book is finished. Everyone else has been described so far, but then it is in first person POV and most people don't describe themselves in narratives.
Cest la vie....