At the beginning of the story, the narrator is a five-year-old child and I was impressed at how the author captured the tone and syntax perfectly. I felt as if I were listening to a child relate the tale of being bullied by her uncle and cousins, being called bad blood and cursed. The innocent honesty shone through. As the story progresses and the narrator, our heroine ‘Eff’ (which we eventually find out stands for Francine) matures and so does the tone and style of her narration. The plain honesty and inner dialogue are still there, but the language matures and so does the character’s insight. The people around Eff are well-fleshed and well-written. Some are more simple than others, just as in real life. The assumption of everyone using and having magic (except the Rationalists), incorporating it into daily life and everything around them, is not a fresh idea, but well-done in this story and well blended into the history of the story world. The foreshadowing of further developments in the series looks promising. I am a fan of Wrede’s work anyway. I can’t wait to see what Eff, William, and Lan get up to next.