3.5-4 stars (maybe 4.5?)Again, absorbing... I'll have to come back and type more of an actual review.... Lots to love and lots not to love in this book.The Tohr-Wellsie-No'One/Autumn-Lassiter - Well, it's about time that we get past all of this. I realize it's probably easier for a reader to do so than for Tohr and even John. I can't even imagine what it must be like to get over the death - to let go of - someone you loved for so long with all of your heart and soul. To have your spouse and your unborn child taken away so cruelly and so unexpectedly from you. When this book starts, it's been 15 months plus since Wellsie was shot by Mr O (David O). And what struck me most of all is that there hasn't been a Fade ceremony for Wellsie - yet. So when Lassiter says that Wellsie's stuck in the In Between, it makes perfect sense to me; more than the letting go that Tohr needs to do, not having a ceremony to send her to the Fade easily equates to her not being there yet. (Although, admittedly, I'm not up on their ceremonies and faith.)It was almost as cruel for Tohr to know that Wellsie wasn't where she needed to be, and mostly because of him. How can you force someone to move on with their life? But I really appreciated when he realized that Wellsie would have found a way to move on without him. That cemented it. And in many ways, it seemed that he had already moved on, he just wasn't willing to admit it to himself, which is often half the battle.When we finally take part in the ceremony... wow! Brutal! Heartbreaking! I wondered what would happen to her name on his back; that's not easy to get rid of. And it still seems harsh that for any shellan coming afterwards, that the 1st shellan's name is still there. I'd hoped/expected for some sort of magic eraser kinda thing - you know - gone but maybe not really gone?No'One/Autumn - this was quite a journey. I wanted to dislike her, but I found that I couldn't quite do that. And her little "twist" was a bit of a surprise, since I was so caught up in the here-and-now, I'd forgotten a detail or two about how she came to be where she was. She was definitely stuck and punishing herself - that's part of what was so irritating about her; and yet with her backward reflections of how she was before her own kidnapping, I could see how she would try to make herself a servant - less - to make up for some of that. It will be interesting to see if we see or hear much from her again, or if she'll fade into the background as is typical of the women after "their story" is told. And Autumn featured probably as much or more than many of the others within their own books - certainly Cormia! It's a bit strange, in a way, though, for Xhex's mom and John's adopted dad to be together. Guess we'll see.Qhuinn-Layla-Blay-Saxton - Honestly? I'm a little tired of the unrequited love thing here, too. It's such a shame, because in so many ways, IMO, Saxton is better for Blay. But you can't tell your heart who to love; and it usually follows that when the other person gets his act together (as Qhuinn has done), that it's too late. Or it seems like it. I'll be sad to see Saxton kicked to the curb, as he's got to be, in order for Qhuinn and Blay to be together, as it seems as they will be in the next book. I kind of hope that Saxton will fight for Blay, but I doubt he will. Physically, it would be suicide against Qhuinn; emotionally, it would tear everyone apart.I like the new-and-improved Qhuinn, though. It was a relief not to see/hear his constant sexual escapades. Talk about overcompensating! And yet, his story really is so deeply embedded in the rejection he's faced his entire life. Just as I want to get really angry at him, the author reminds me of all that he's suffered because of his two different colored eyes. All that insecurity... all that rejection... all that longing to be normal or even better... I was really hoping that we'd see Qhuinn get inducted into the Brotherhood at the end of this book, but I guess that's being saved for the next. And the really ironic and tough thing is that we, the readers, know what poor Saxton's spending so much time and effort on - finding the way for Wrath to change the law and allow Qhuinn into the Brotherhood. I'm really hoping that in the process, Saxton finds a way for John to be inducted, too; but it would be good for Qhuinn to have something first - something just for him.Layla - Guess the opposites attract thing is in full-bloom here. I expected her to fall for Throe, not for Xcor. In a way, I'm hoping that we don't have to stomach a full turnabout personality thing with Xcor, so that he suddenly becomes a good guy; he might be part good guy at heart, but he's not ready to ever admit that. And it's tough to see the BoB ever being willing to become part of the Brotherhood or the BDB allowing it to happen. So, stalemate and death are the only true options. How can Xcor not suffer the consequences of his actions and ambitions. I had to laugh when Xcor finally got his "audience" with most of the Council, only to learn how much of a headache trying to rule by democracy really is. He can't show his hand just yet, so he can't kill them all. As much as I'm not a fan of Assail, he was right on the money about this one; he seems to be another possible Rehvenge in the making... although also likely an enemy, not a frenemy. Layla having a young... well, I guess we knew that was coming after Qhuinn's vision. And she could do worse than by Qhuinn, although, again, it doesn't look as if they'll be anything more than good friends. Kinda sad in a way; it's not easy to raise kids anyway, much less in a very convoluted family unit. Qhuinn-Blay-Layla? How can anyone be satisfied and not jealous somehow of that triangle? Especially with a child in the innocent middle? At one time, I could have accepted a menage marriage kind of relationship; now, it wouldn't work, since neither guy is in love with Layla. And she deserves something better than that. I've always felt for her, which is why I hoped that Qhuinn would open himself up all the way to her and really love her. I suppose this is better, but....Lessers/Omega - Well, this seems like a given and still a bust. No sign of the Omega. No sign of the next Fore-Lesser. And most of it blah blah blah. Just thrown out there. An army of lessers without a clue.Payne - Mentioned probably three times in the book, by name only. Even Manny had more "screen time", but then, he's a doctor. It seems as if Payne's joined the guys in fighting. Which is kind of ironic, with the whole thing that goes down between Xhex and John. Guess it matters that perhaps Payne and Manny aren't officially wed? Or is it that Manny's not a Brother? 'Cuz why would the Brothers accept Payne's fighting without always looking to Manny, and why would Manny be OK with it? I'd think they'd have a similar problem to what Xhex & John faced. Which is why it's convenient to only mention Payne and not to really address it. And really sad for readers who got hooked on her and wanted to see more of her after her book.V & Jane - I'm still ticked that no mention of a real ceremony/wedding between them. It's just not fair. And again, Jane almost has more "screen time", but only because she's a healer. I like Jane and all, but I want to see her with V! They're so good together. These two are still working through their issues from the previous book. In fact, I want to see MORE of each of the couples in these books... not just the Brothers. YES, I get that the series is based on the Brothers; but all the hullabaloo about the mating/marking thing and how a hellren is nothing without his shellan... and yet, they're so easily ignored. I don't need them to be in every scene. I'll settle for crumbs, like I get of Beth and Wrath, since she's at least seen every now and again helping Wrath. And the crumb of Marissa and Butch wasn't nearly enough, but it was something. I guess I figured since Payne was a cross between Brother and female vampire/deity, we might see/hear more of her; she should be a bit easier to write. Oh well... I'll try to be patient.Tough to wait for 2013 for the next book. But them's the breaks!