This is a wonderful start to a new series. The world building is detailed and incredible. Sometimes it was hard for my feeble imagination to understand despite the details but it is amazingly well developed to set up the world in which the characters live. We also had an extremely hateful villan(s) and it's apparent more is to come in that department. True evil.
Kai is an extremely likable character. A good guy deep down despite all that the world has thrown at him. The details of what he went through growing up is difficult to read. He's got walls up a mile thick but you can understand why. He's sarcastic and doesn't want people to know he cares - yet, it's clear. He does the right thing again and again. He has friends and colleagues who see him for what he is and will be there for him. You can't help but love grump Dempsey - it's apparent he cares about this kid even if he would never say so. Janos and Dalia also defend him. I can only hope that Kai continues to build in strength to deal with the villanry that is clearly yet to come. What they could do to him would be hard to read.
Ryder is...sigh worthy. He's that strong and noble prince. He's willing to blur lines for the greater good but not much. Being the romance girl I am, I was really hoping given the length of this book that we would see a relationship between Kai and Ryder develop more by end. There was some flirting and it's clear this is a huge spark there but I want them to get a bit more down and dirty. Am hoping there is some serious ground made in the next book. Please, please tell me that is what will happen. I cannot go down the road of a hook up between Kai and one of the many women who appear to want him whether it's Alexa, Dalia or someone else. Can't do it. I doubt Kai and Ryder will have an easy road but let them at least always be working toward each other without others coming in between as lovers. Kai is likely to be fighting all the way but hopefully Ryder is under his skin enough for doors to his heart to open. Let them be epic - even if it takes awhile - that I could handle. I know, I know, this series is not meant to just please me. :)
Anxious to read book 2.