I really enjoyed this book. It was slow-paced, choosing to focus on depth of characters and their development, rather than on action-packed excitement. That doesn't mean there wasn't action, adventure, or excitement on the journey - quite the opposite. The characters faced incredible struggles, battles with ancients, demons, and dragons, but the focal point of everything wasn't the fighting. Throughout the journey, you are drawn into the characters - into their lives, their emotions, their thoughts in a way a fantasy adventure rarely achieves. The ending happened quickly, as most endings tend to do. I was left both satisfied and annoyed at how things turned out. I am, however, incredibly interested in seeing how Chika's life progresses.