I may be being too generous giving this book 3 stars but after learning that this was the authors first published book, i think it was a fair enough effort. He obviously learned from this and worked on the issues before attempting Mistborn.
The setting and magical system was great and earned the book the 3 stars, but the storyline was weak at times and the flow of events was not natural. The relationships between characters could have been improved. I didn't find myself particularly attached to any one character. I liked Sarene but at times she didnt make sense. It was like the author was trying to make her be too many different people at once and as a result, few particular characteristics really shone through.
It was fairly predictable as well. I don't think any plot twist took me by surprise so that was a disappointment. Some parts weren't properly explained, especially towards the end.
I think some action or suspenseful scenes would have been a good addition to the book. It was too slow paced.
Overall, a great first novel but i would have probably given it a 2 or 2.5 if this was from a more experienced author. 3 stars