What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? I bought the book when it first came out, read it once, and promptly lost it (ie lent it out and never got it back) and yet it still haunts me. The building tension between Nepenthe and the text she is translating, the young queen who just wants to be a little girl (she is only 14! too young for adult responsibility, my heart cries!) who must suddenly become a woman, and the doomed, terrifying love between the conqueror and his sorcerer. This is a beyond-five-star book.