I loved it!
The characters have depth and you, as the reader, feel their tragedy and their triumph. Calvin handles the range of emotions equally well - love and fury, happiness and distress.
I find the world interesting in that Calvin has built her story around old laws and conservative intransigence. “Everybody knows” this will be bad, but the law says… Then what will the protagonists do – come out of hiding and find who they really are!
That is truly the core of the story – who are you behind your façade. At least in my opinion – that is where I found the tension. It is a journey on which we follow the main character, Andrew. At each step he learns something new he faces the question of do I share this? Does it become part of my public appearance, or do I keep it hidden.
The one nit I have with the story is that Calvin gets repetitive on the central interaction between Andrew and his brother Alexander. In my opinion there could be fewer reminders that Andrew sees himself as Alexander’s protector. But, like I said, this is a minor nit in an excellent story. The pace is excellent, the writing is crisp, the result is quite enjoyable.
Very much looking forward to Guardian, the next book in the Caein Legacy series.
Me as a critic (be careful! the harshness will be well concealed!)