Well, well. I actually really enjoyed following Amrita through her journey. There was insta-love--but forgivable because both interests had a past with her before the book started. However, it made it feel rushed and inauthentic instead of like a love built on ages. Don't misunderstand, though! No love triangles.
I adored her friendship with Thala. And actually, Thala was my absolute favorite. She wasn't jaded by her circumstances and was incredibly more steadfast than Amrita. And we were worried about her and her outcome.
Other than that, the characters were there to color Amrita's story, and though Khorana wanted us to love them as deeply as we are told Amrita loves them, we don't. Telling and not showing happens through out most of the book.
But the world-building descriptions. It was like I could reach through the pages and touch the walls of the caves or feel the sand beneath my own feet.
Through it all, the tale is that evil people don't become evil overnight and they are not born that way. The only way good can win is if we do whatever we can to bring compassion and sacrifice to the table. For that alone, it is as beautiful as its cover and deserves the solid four stars I've given it.
It's fast, it's easy, and it is sweet with an ending that makes it complete. Pick it up to escape the world for a bit this coming weekend.