I rather enjoyed this book. It drew me in from the beginning, and there was little I could do but go along for the ride.
Skaia is a slave boy that refuses to accept that as his fate. While he submits, he always finds little ways to rebel. The author was very talented at capturing my heart, putting it through the ringer, and starting all over again.
This is a very candid story - and I didn't see warnings in the summary (other than a mention of slavery), so here they are. There is slavery. There is beating/violence. There is rape. There is an almost complete trampling of a person's sense of self. I have read a fair amount of stories that include the above, and at times I still found this one hard to take. I believe that is the case because of the author's skill in putting you inside Skaia's life. Where you may read similar situations described in other books, you don't aleays 'live' it quite as much.
Still, there were instances in which I was left wanting more from this book. I struggled with the rating on this, because I felt like the book list a lit of steam toward the end - maybe the ending just felt too normal after all that preceded it, but it felt like a tiny bit of a letdown. Not because of where the storyline went, but because it failed to maintain my interest quite as much. This may be because the book seemed to climax in the middle, leaving is with a ling cool-down period. Then again, it would be difficult for such a long book to be riveting throughout. Regardless, I decided on four stars because I enjoyed most of the book quite a lot. I hope to see more from this author.