I think this was a good start to Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses series. I love many of her books and thought I am not a huge fan the mass market paperback format I read it in, I couldn't put it down.
In the land of Gillengaria, some people are born with special powers. Senneth is the embodiment of fire, Donnal and Kirra can shape-shift, and Cammon is a "sensitive" and can read people and their feelings. There are, however, many who think these mystics, as they are called, are evil and should be destroyed. Seriously. Senneth and her mystic companions, along with Tayse and Justin (who are King's Riders, fanatically loyal and fierce soldiers) are on a quest for the king to find out what is causing the unrest between the twelve fiefdoms of Gillengaria.
I do think I will pick up the next in the series...especially because the romance was just getting started! It didn't bother me as much at it might have otherwise because it was a sequel. But there was fast action, a really interesting plot with some good twists, and just darn good writing.