Original review at: http://twlibreviews.com/2011/08/review-the-gifting-by-anne-brooke/What I like about the The Gifting by Anne Brooke is the imagery of the Kingdom of Air where the ravens resided and protected Simon. It was the ultimate test. It brings Simon hope, for he had been forbidden his history and what he was. It was also a place of renewal where Simon dares to step to the plate and grant something precious to the Boy, the only person in this story I could redeem Simon for his past actions.I could not fully invest into the characters, Johan, Isabella and particularly Simon. He admits he’s a coward, which I don’t have any issues with this trait. But Simon is also a murderer and that is not okay. There seems something lacking in these people. A heart, an emotional landscape, I felt a distance in trying to get to know these people. All three characters are flawed. Yet, I couldn’t find positive traits that would endear them to me, except for Simon’s care for the Boy.As Johan must’ve felt, we grudgingly go through a series of tests with Simon to determine his worthiness. The mind-executioner is on their trail and causes a great deal of conflict as Johan, Isabella, and Simon travel back to Gathandria.It wasn’t until I reached the Kingdom of Air scenes that I began to get involved in the story. At this point, I’m more than halfway through The Gifting.Written in 3rd person, multiple viewpoints from Johan, Simon, Isabella, and Annyeke. I felt the structure weakened the story due to slow pacing, too much telling reducing the tension, repetition of wordings and phrases, and not enough external actions. The war is fought through the minds of the people. It’s a hard concept, not easily vision without the effect of a physical fight that we can feel and touch through the wordings.As one of the best mind-dwellers, Johan acted unbelievably naive when it came to his sister, Isabella.The ending, however, was very satisfying.