A fascinating take on vampires in an elaborately constructed dark fantasy, that left me feeling bored and unconnected at times.What I liked: Excellent and elaborate construction of the world and the characters that inhabit it. Free-flowing writing style that's easy to read. Lovely velvety darkness of style.What I didn't like: I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters at any point, so I never felt overwhelmingly invested in what happened to them. Plenty of plot tension, but little emotional tension. Even at their most dramatic, the characters felt a little cold. The writing style was a little overwrought. Not in a purple-prose kind of way, but it seemed like the author danced around the edges instead of cutting cleanly through to the heart of the story. Scenes dragged on too long, and many conversations went round and round without any real resolution. I also had a little issue with the lyches' hermaphrodism. It seemed like a detail that was added for its own sake, and didn't have the impact on the plot or characters that I felt like it should have had.Overall I liked this book. Based on the strength of this one, I'll check out future offerings from the author. There's no question that Etzweiler knows how to write. But I hope that next time, the author can put a little more work into hooking me into the characters.