Wow. 3.5, really, if I could give half stars, for the following reasons:
1) Needs more editing. Some errors, not too bad, and too many sections that are just solid walls of text. These could have been broken down into more palatable paragraphs for a smoother read.
2) Too much “new world” thrown at the reader with no background. Nalka is? Apparently some kind of painful sex withdrawal? Women can’t give birth without the father holding them? There is a lot of stuff thrown at us, and while it is in fact a coherent world, some more background would be welcome. Maybe this is to come in later books.
3) The beginning is horrible. I wasn’t interested at all. I wasn’t sure where the story was going, or who it was about. I very nearly didn’t continue, because it didn’t catch my interest.
However, once you settle in, and the main characters are brought out, this is a wonderful story. It is well told, the characters are believable and nicely developed. I only wish the author hadn’t needed that “ramp-up” period; the lengthy introduction might have been better served explaining some of this world.
In the end, though, a very worthwhile read.