McIntosh has some talent, and the story kept me wanting to read it, but parts of the plot, characterizations and writing were so clunky and clumsy that I kept wanting to quit. I don't plan to read the rest of this series, but if she's still writing in five years, I may come back to this author and see how she's improved.
This book has an ending that will, most likely, make you want to read the next book in the series. At least, that's what happened to me, though up to that point, I'd thought I was done with this author, having grown tired of depth-less characters (most everyone is either pure good or pure evil) and very average writing (much repetitive phrasing and a limited vocabulary). Were it not for the torture and sex (the latter not vividly depicted), the writing should qualify it as a young-adult novel.
I'm definitely not in a rush to read 'Blood and Memory' (i.e. 'The Quickening, Book 2), but I can see where I may pick it up at some future point when I've nothing better to read or merely want something simple and effortless.
It starts off as a good fantasy book however, it took a turn I don't usually enjoy in my books so I did not finish it (of course I can't tell you what that turn was as it's part of the twists and turns of the book). However, the little I read was a good book and promises to continue to be a good book with characters you can enjoy and cheer for or boo and hiss at. It's the first in a series and I only have this one, not the others which I believe the second is already out so if you enjoy this one, you can immediately get the second book.