Sagara does a good job of melding weird strong powers with human frailty. She has taken a tired old plotline--20 something with Mysterious Powers and a Destiny and turned it on its head. Some of the actions the various characters take can be a bit mellodramatic at times--especially at the beginning--but there is something about the main character Kaylin and her relations with the various other races that keeps the plot moving. And the twist 3/4 of the way through the book was actually surprising--and lent an unexpected depth to the storyline. If you like female protagonists, character driven plotlines and well-articulated alien races, (as I do) then you will find it a pleasant (and fairly quick) read.
This is the first book in this series by Michelle Sagara (aka Michelle West or Michelle Sagara West). Kaylin is a Hawk - one of the arms of the law in her world. She has an unusual ability for healing and also unusual tattoos on her arms which suddenly appeared on her when she was a child. No one can explain them. She is an orphan from the outer city (a very poor and dangerous area). When she was young she escaped this place by petitioning to be a Hawk. There is a reason she left, a really disturbing event that Kaylin wants to forget; but while Kaylin wants to leave her past behind, it follows her : suddenly children are being killed and found with tattoos on them similar to Kaylin's, and everyone wants to know why. Because Kaylin believes in justice and enforcing the law, she must get involved in solving these murders and dredge up her past. A very engrossing police procedural mixed with fantasy and very interesting characters. Probably one of the most interesting things is the different races and cultures in Kaylin's world and how they all interact with one another.