This is actually one of the most creative, richly detailed and well written book with well fleshed out characters, I have read in a long, long time. It was an enriching experience in terms of world building and prose. There are very few authors out there that display this level of writing and creativity.
It also enjoys the distinction of being a female driven fantasy book where women are strong and determined fighters. While the main character is a man his story centres around two women, his sister Catarina and his one true love, Rachel, a Judge Knight.
This is a story about redemption, about love, lost and how sometimes we hurt the people we love the most because of the problems we have. While I griped with the pacing and the lack of much action I must say that the plot is very good. Catarina is also an incredibly horrible villain and I have read few of those. She is scary and devoid of empathy, she claims she loves her twin brother yet she tortures him and when he attempts to escape her she has him cripple. She is manipulative and her words are sharp, breaking Lucian open emotionally.
Lucian, the main character, is a pitiful mess of a human being, always yank around by his emotions for his sister and misplace sense of protecting her from everything. Catarina lies and manipulates Lucian into betraying Rachel, his lover, and leaving her behind in hell. She is sickly jealous of anyone who has a hold on her brothers heart and even attempts to have a child that begins travelling with him killed. Horrible is a too small a word to describe the depths of her insanity.
Rachel, Lucian's lover, is possessed by a demon who tortures her after she was abandoned by him in hell. I found her character really strong and determined, amidst all her pain and desolation she finds strength to fight the demon threatening to devour her soul. I feel one of the most remarkable of things about Rachel is her compassion and ability to partially forgive Lucian. It takes an incredibly strong person to forgive the pain of a betrayal and Rachel manages all the while keeping her dignity and not jumping with Lucian in the sack.
A surprisingly good read all around.