I'm really not sure what I think of this book. The writing is a little too sparse and simplistic. Which would work if the author had a way with words. She doesn't. The romance is almost a non event and the main characters are a little too unblemished. Can we please have a hero that naturally learns by making mistakes and doesn't have innate uber powers?On the other hand this has the potential to really shine and I do see glimmers here and there. I like that the entire world isn't magical and that magic is rarer occurrence. I like that we get some of the perspective from the female lead, Kaede, although a more obvious shift would be appreciated. I also like the alternate universe of Japan.Bigger authors have had best sellers with less substance than this volume. As I already have the rest of the series I'll give the rest a chance.