Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.
This book has been getting a lot of buzz, so I went into it with fairly high expectations. It mostly delivered on those expectations. I liked it a lot.
Imperial Russia is one of my personal favorite settings, I love alternative history, and I love stories with magic. I devoured this nearly 400 page book in about three hours - I didn't want to stop reading - moving from shady spot to shady spot around my yard. It was the perfect book for a heat wave, with lots of snow and ice and other enchantment.
The downside, because there is always a downside, is the fact that the author couldn't stop herself from including a damned love triangle, or as I like to call it, a DLT. YA authors can't seem to resist the urge to do this, it almost universally irritates the crap out of me, and this was one of those times. The ending was a bit of a bummer, but it made sense with the story, and wasn't a cop out. That's all I'll say about that.
This is the start of a series, and I liked enough that I'll go on with the series.
I considered counting this book for the historical fiction slot, but decided to go with "new to me author," since I'm not sure about "alt history" being legit historical fiction.