Well, I liked it. Specifically, I thought the first half (up until the beginning of the romance) to be really strong. After the romance begins, well- it devolves into something contrived, as if the writer realized she needed to go out and run some errands and began pushing things forward, heedless of its earlier pace. For some reason, The second half reminded me of a Miyazaki anime, bursting with magical moments and too much sentiment. I thought a lot of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, a top five favorite book of mine, a masterpiece, which the story reminded me of in its best chapters.