Laurie Forest does a nice job of world building and this story as a whole is engaging. I found our protagonist, Elloren Gardner, annoying at moments. However, I appreciated that Elloren is flawed and her story to be a believable one. She grew up sheltered. Having grown up in a somewhat small town myself, I can understand how being put in a new situation and a new place requires coping skills that you may not have at the age of 17. I enjoyed other characters a bit more than Elloren. I tended to favor her brothers and university professors along with the Lupine characters.
I did find some of the themes and story lines a bit much at times. Very few pages go by that don’t have characters talking about and/or mistreating various people/characters because of their backgrounds and races. The novel also is thick with discussion of purity and what purity means to different characters. Not a lot of points for subtlety, but it didn’t prevent me from enjoying most of the story in the end.