Okay it's official I won't be able to finish this. I ended up skimming it I just couldn't read through the whole thing. This is the second book by Howell that was painful to read. Although the plot in this was better then the last, there are so so many plot holes (the size of craters) convoluted villains (another evil psychotic stepsister) and a bunch of random one-too-many-to-count secondary, third characters. It's hard to keep track with who is who. And I'm sorry but WHO manages to take care of ten children (some with no names or faces) with no help?? That to me is the most ridiculous of all things in this book. It's a shame cause the plot set up was interesting and the cover and title looked good (although I felt the title had nothing to do with the story whatsoever). The hero in this was more of a secondary character instead of lead. I had high hopes with this author after the first book I read of her's but now I'm thinking I'll pass.