Ok, first the recommendation, then specifics. I have several criteria for recommending books, and they're pretty simple. Did I resent anything that pulled me away from reading the book...like work, eating, sleeping? In this case, yes I did. Did I think about the book and its characters when I wasn't actually reading it? Again, yes I did. Was I sorry when it ended? Yes, very much!
This is a series, of which I am glad because I am quite ready for Book 2, thank you very much. Verze-Reeher is a skillful world builder: she doesn't show all her cards, but rather unveils each piece of her created universe in its time. There are enough pieces to complexify the plot very nicely. The characters are interesting, but we don't know much about them. That would be a quibble; but I suspect, once again, the author will reveal what she in good time. I particularly want to know more about Amy Collins, having had enough of a glimpse into a troubled past, to want more information. She's edgier than the other heroes of the book (her friends). She's a little darker, more cynical, less trusting; she seems like someone who has learned to transcend her troubles to make her stronger. She is going to be a very satisfying heroine of this adventure, I believe.
Some standard elements of fantasy are here, but Verze-Reeher makes them her own, weaving through the plot a lovely sly humor that is a nice touch.
I want to know what happens next. That's the response every writers looks for. I anticipate the next book and I recommend this one!

Nancy