The best part of this book is the cover art, which is gorgeous. I could hardly tear myself away from lovingly stroking the cover in order to actually read it. Once I did, however, I found myself extremely disappointed.This book felt like an author's early work to me. If I had read it without an author attached I would have assumed it was someone's first novel. The pacing was clunky, and all the historical flashbacks in the first third or so was awkwardly done and took away from the here-and-now action of the plot, and I think would have worked better as a prologue. There were some good ideas here, and I do so love stories that involve this sort of mental bond, but I found myself bored throughout nearly the entire book up until the climax.I think a lot of what contributed to my dissatisfaction with this book is that the antagonists rarely showed up. The primary antagonist, Fthoom, makes appearances precisely three times in a book that spans a time period of more than four years. The secondary antagonists, the monstrous creatures encroaching on the kingdom's borders, are never actually seen in scene. Sylvi just hears about the attacks and worries about family members who are out actually battling them. So overall instead of having rising action, peaks, falling action, etc., this book more or less existed on a plateau as far as action goes, and that made it not very exciting to read.I probably won't read the sequel when it comes out.