The first thing I want to mention about the book is this - thank you for letting me know that yes, my Kindle actually DOES get pictures. For the longest time, my Kindle refused to load up pictures properly. They worked just fine in this book, and it gave me immeasurable relief to know that in certain situations, I will in fact be able to get pictures on the Kindle.
Now, on to the book itself. I was incredibly confused for the first fourth of the book or so. You've got to read the notes that start each chapter to understand what a shelt is, or what a certain breed of shelt is, or what the difference between a panaun and a nanaun is. All of this is explained via notes from various books from the world the actual book is set in. Things got much easier to understand once the book notes set everything up, but the story itself won't do that for you. You HAVE to read the opening notes in each chapter to be able to piece together what is going on in this world.
Once I finally managed to put together what exactly was going on, the story became much smoother and easier to read, and I actually enjoyed it. I did have to go back and reread the beginning, though, to see if I missed anything by not knowing what a shavier faun was. (They're part pegasus, by the way. You wouldn't know that from the name itself. I thought they were just half goat-people when I started reading.) Some of the notes just explain the politics of the world, but the information about shelts should probably have been given to the reader before the plot takes off. It would have made things a lot easier to follow.
The characters were all very fun. I loved the relationship between Gerard and Silveo. Every scene they share together is just magical. The detail put into the world itself was also nice - not just the history, religion, and politics of the world, but the geography is sculpted and described in such a way that the world feels complete.
Apparently there's an audiobook version, but I'm not a fan of audiobooks in general. It's one thing to sit and read for four hours on end. It's another to just listen to other people read to you for that long. I just wouldn't be able to do it.
At any rate, I definitely enjoyed the book, and am moving on to the second in the series.