4.25-4.5 (explanation to follow)The way the ending was resolved seemed kind of meh to me, but other than that, it was amazing.Mayle's writing in this series - but especially the first book and this one - are amazingly deeply complex and extremely visceral. The way she works the characterization of the Fae is frankly amazing and balances out the inhuman with the human in such a way that while you get a sense of the alien nature of the Fae, it also seems somewhat relatable. Kind of like Carroll's pseudo-language in Jaberwocky. It's got that same warped quality that doesn't really make sense if you try to understand it, but if you just sit and absorb it, let it flow over and through you, the meaning somehow becomes clear. The ending, though, seemed like a cop-out to me. I was disappointed there was a such a return to...normal humanity? Something like that...I feel like Mayle could have somehow implied a sort of HFN type thing and worked in the Fae nature she established more and better.I mean seriously. "I'm Daniel and Daniel is me. (...But I'm more Daniel.)" I feel like it would make more sense if Veska were more...Veska. But with certain human influences. Instead, it felt like the other way around - Daniel, but with certain Veska influences. I mean, I get that to a certain degree, they are the same person so they have mostly the same thought processes or w/e, but the Fae vs. human nature thing seemed to have been downplayed. With the last couple of scenes, Mayle made the whole Fae thing a lot more...commonplace. More like every other contemporary fantasy/urban fantasy tale, I guess. The ones where the Fae are more like the Greek gods were -- human-ish, but with extra, and with 'sup powers.Anyways, I was disappointed because I was actually pretty fascinated with the Fae that Mayle had created.And then disappointed when it seemed subsequently subverted. *sobs. I loved the visceral, creepy, complex, idk if I should be creeped out, admiring, impressed, or scared out of my mind stuff (pretend all that's hyphenated).So yeah. I'll stick with 5 stars for the amazing characterization of Fae nature, but overall it's probably closer to a 4.5 or 4.25 really.11/12/2012 ETAOkay, upon rereading, the "Call me Daniel" thing wasn't so much a gimmick as I had originally thought. There is some more depth of meaning to it that, while it bothers me because it seems almost like a denial of self from Veska, still captures an essence that Mayle had conjured. Actually, after further consideration, that seems like the most even of power exchanges possible because there is some measure of sacrifice or something on both sides. Hmm...that's not quite what I mean. I think what I had initially assumed was the "call me Daniel" thing was an acquiescence, a return to his original somewhat subservient state, which bothered me after his awakening. It's more than that, though. It's more a conscious concession than a forced return. It's interesting and bears more consideration.