This was a really strong fantasy story with an intriguing premise and an easy plot line to follow.
I was initially wary of this book, thinking that it might be too complex for me to read simply. However, Opocensky did a fantastic job of creating a world that was believable while being intricately designed. One chapter was dedicated to world-making, but this was midway through the book and told in a character's voice which made it easy to understand. Cory was being introduced to magic alongside us, meaning he had the same questions that we did as we read.
I especially loved the elves and the nymphs. Their backstories were really intriguing and I loved hearing their histories and I thought the author did a fantastic job of making them inventive and unique but also believable.
There were a few unresolved threads at the end, but I could make my own assumptions and these weren't enough to really bother me. Overall, the ending was satisfying--a type that's becoming a bit more rare but that didn't bother me as many do these days. A few of the scenes near the end made me a little uncomfortable, but they didn't detract from the book.
I loved the characters and the way they interacted. There were many different personality types that had conflicts and friendships and many places in between. Max was one of my favourites to watch grow and develop.
Cory was just lovely. His relationship with Claude was my absolute favourite, but he had his flaws too that made him someone I could very much relate to.
The ending killed the potential for a follow-up book, but I really enjoyed this and though I probably won't read it again, I recommend it to younger readers or readers who love fantasy and well crafted worlds.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.