This book, written for Young Adults, had this Old Adult completely in thrall. I enjoy fantasy fiction and this, with its magicians, dragons, crystals, had the lot. It was imaginative, the story moved along at a good pace and I was drawn in from the beginning. There was some lovely use of language in here too and the characters were exceptionally well drawn. I found them believable. Good people can be saccharine if not allowed to have some flaws but these were great characters, warts and all.
I love a book whose author's passion for the story pulls me in. I can't abide blandness. This tale explored many deep emotions, anger, fear, suspicion, jealousy, love, hope, despair and loyalty. It pulled no punches in regard to its younger readers. I enjoyed every minute of this book and was sorry when it ended.