This book felt a lot shorter than it looked. There wasn't much plot introduced - the story was more focused on building characters, setting up the world, and explaining motivations.
The book starts with Ilan narrating the events that brought her to where she is now...which is the end of the book. It makes me wonder if each book is just going to be a sort of diary, recounting only one part of her journey rather than the entire story being told retrospectively.
The story was...okay. Not much of the plot is explained. Ilna can use magic (but almost never does in this book), some guy purged the land of magic users, and Ilna managed to escape and got taken in by bandits. That's about it.
Character and scene descriptions are done well, as well as Ilna's back story. That's all I can really say the book has going for it, though.
All of the characters are horrible people. In a story where the main character is an anti-hero, or raised by villains, you have to have some way for your readers to connect to the main character. Take, for instance, David Dalglish's Shadowdance trilogy. Haern, the main character, is absolutely an anti-hero...his father raised him to be a perfect killing machine, so when he decides to rebel and start a war against his father, that's the only way he knows how to do it. You can understand why Haern is the way he is, and feel sorry that such a young boy was brought into that world.
Ilna doesn't really have that excuse. While she was raised by bandits, they don't kill men of the cloth...they avoid killing when at all possible. While that's not really a matter of the group having morals (they avoid killing to avoid drawing attention to themselves), but it's still better than how most bandit groups would be set up. So she was raised with at least a hint of morals. But the only time you really see that is when she saves the priest her age - and even that she constantly turns to, "I saved your life, you should be grateful to me, I could have left you to die!" whenever he so much as disagrees with her. Otherwise, all she does is start fight after fight with everyone.
Having dead parents will only get you so much sympathy.
To be fair, her character starts to change in the last few chapters of the book, but after everything else she's done it comes off as too little, too late.