The skilled fighting ability of the elves resembles our own Special Forces soldiers. They kill with dispatch and have little remorse for the deaths of their enemies. This novel is not for the faint of heart. The author makes the characters three-dimensional, with strengths, weaknesses, and quirks of personality. At times, I thought there was a little too much fussing about clothes and hair by the warriors when their lives were constantly imperiled. A small issue, which does not detract from the novel.
Anastasia's crisp and clean writing provides necessary details of the actions and events, as well as the thoughts and feelings of her characters, without resorting to the excessive use of adjectives. This style facilitates the fast pace and doesn't force the reader to reread previous pages to figure out what is happening.
The wizard Takurix plays a pivotal part in the novel, even though "his hour on the stage" was not long. The author's use of a spell to enable the wizard to go back in time and see what really happened when his wife was killed, as opposed to what he thought he saw, was well done.
My main problem with the novel was the lack of a background, or explanation, of how the current state of affairs came to be. The reader doesn't know why the elves fight humans and dwarves, or why the fairies are their allies. This is critical because we are introduced to a war that began at least ten years earlier. At the start of the novel, I wondered if I was reading a second in a series of novels, rather than the first. I think the author has an opportunity to address this issue in the next novel, which I look forward to reading. The novel wraps up enough details to reach a satisfactory conclusion. It leaves many questions unanswered, leading the reader to the next novel in the series.