Shanna and Aaron are best friends who like nothing more than being in each other’s company. The relationship between the two was wonderful to read about. They seemed to be at ease when they were with each other and relied on each other completely. There was no competition to outdo each other, nor was there a feeling of superiority in Aaron, even though he knew so much more than Shanna and was a sorcerer’s apprentice. Their carefree life is soon turned upside down when an elemental attack on their home leaves it devastated and throws them on two separate paths, with both running away from the attackers.
The mystery of why the city is attacked, by whom, and what they are after is closely guarded by the author until much later in the story. The attack on the city has been perfectly choreographed by the author. The devastation was portrayed in such a stark manner that I could feel it happening. Each part of it is clearly thought out and it sets off, both Shanna and Aaron on their separate quests. This is also a moment in which both characters get developed immensely. The way in which they escape, the things they do to help others in need and their reactions to the tragedy define how they will react to situations they will face later in the book. This part is what helped me understand the characters and their motivations at the end of the book, when the time comes to make the tough decisions.