First things first. One thing i know after reading this book is the desperate need to have more ginger heroes.
I mean look at them bumps. LOOK AT THEM!!!
The story was unique, with a hard theme of war and suffering, intertwined with the severity of duty and obligation viewed trough two young minds. The story had enough realism to separate it from being a basic young adult fantasy, yet kept the elements of young romance.
The fantasy was layered with magic and mysticism in a way that didn't overpower the story. I liked it.
Finnikin is a wonderful male hero, strong, kind and caring. And wonderfully ginger. It was refreshing to take a step back from the tall dark and handsome, or the icy blondes we are accustomed to.
I liked the worldbuilding a lot, the descriptions of people of Lumatere, with their characteristics was a good touch.