Why I read it: I am beginning to evidence a little bit of a theme here. First a vampire book with no vampires in it, then a Very Popular YA vampire book, now a less-well-known YA vampire book. I can stop any time I want. Oh, okay, just one more and then I'll stop.
I bought this for the boy for Christmas 07 not because I thought he would like it, but because I fell in love with the title, and it was an excuse to bring it into the house. I'm not sure he finished reading it. He may have found it disturbing and creepy.
Tastes like chicken: The Black Company, The White Rose, Shadows Linger (actually a series I read because of the fabulous title of that last one... There's only one other book I can think fo that I read because of the title: "Rumors of Spring") And those books go back to that bio of John Hawkwood that I read a couple of years ago and totally recommend to anyone who wants a history of the basis of fantasy literature.
Stylistically, a lot of the Garth Nix stuff I've read.
Bookmark: This book had a string. Every book should have one.
What I liked: I liked the short chapters. I also liked that there was a greater story in the background, and this was like an afterword to that, or an aside. Big things might have happened sometime and somewhere with the Winter King and the Shadow Queen, and whatever Tomas had gotten up to 30 years ago. I liked that the gypsies were the good guys. The ending was good, too.
Not so much: The story began slowly, which might be why the boy didn't get into it. Also,
the local wise woman turned out to be a bad guy, which bugged me. And some of the exposition of that stuff (and other places) seemed stilted, as if the author just wanted the writing over with.
Lessons learned: Probably about how to find a good story at the corner of something else, rather than all those big, silly fantasy novels about kings and queens and the like.