For most of the book, I didn't feel like this was a story but just sort of a window into a larger story. We came in the middle - the question was, we were going to leave before the end?
But I think in the end the main protagonist was Zachary. He was the one who came into the story with the most issues that got resolved in the end. And he got his HEA.
The character I am sort of most concerned about at the end is Wesley. But I think he is most well-grounded of everyone. I think whatever happens, he will end being okay, although it may be a rough ride to get there.
I liked the Consolation Prize. It sounded really sad, but a great read.
As for the two that I am sure most people think about...
I have read a lot of slavery books lately. I am on record as saying I like the ones where the sweet little submissive with the abusive master finally finds true true love. The tricky part is how they get away from the first one.
I've seen them given away, seem them sold, seen one even lost in a wager. I've seen death play a part - either through natural causes or one where she drove a wooden stake through her master's heart. But I had never seen what Eleanor did.
Eleanor just walked away. I think that probably the hardest.
As for Søren, I look at him as 3 things - Priest, Lover, and Master.
Priest - He seemed pretty good at it. Everyone in his parrish seemed to like him.
Lover - I don't believe he was ever going to give up the Priesthood for Elle. If he was, he could have done when she was 18. He certainly could have done when she 20. He could have done when she was 27 - If he really meant it, he would have done it, not just offered it.
Master - I could kind of take 2 of the 3. I'm not Catholic although I am actually very close to some people who are. I could let the Lover thing slide. But even as a non-Catholic I find his participation in the 8th Circle beyond the pale. It would be one thing for him to have a secret relationship with a young girl. I just can't resolve this part.
What can I say about the ending? I kind of think Nora would have better off driving a wooden stake through Søren's heart.
But I am not sure he has one.