I cannot express how deeply, soul deep, sad I am that I couldn't finish this book. It started to so damn strong. I LOVE science fiction, and am desperate for well written interracial romance. Up until the point I had to stop this book was BOTH.Sadly, it suffered from same issue I have with a lot of erotica and erotic speculative fiction. Unsexy, and even laughable language used for the sex scene (see the creamy cores and twitching sabers shelf). Seriously, if something "creamy" is coming woman's vagina she's not turned on, she's probably got an infection. It is so unfortunate, because up until that point the sexual tension was EPIC. They have a few near-miss make out scenes that were so intense and sexy they blew off my eyebrows, but when we got to the sex everything switched into the erotica/romance novel auto-pilot and my intrest started to take a nose dive. Which is just so disappointed.I really loved both main characters. Jin was very believable as a restrained, Chinese prince. He embodies some of my favorite (Mr. Darcy) attributes in a male lead, while also staying true the romantic heroes of period films of Hong Kong cinema I've been crushing on since childhood. I especially love how Pillow transporting ancient Chinese culture into the future, posing the idea that when we travel to new places we often harken back older times for the comfort and power of tradition. That's what we have in this world. Ancient China in space, complete with intrigue, betrayal, revenge, prophecies and power struggles to sieze power over an intergalactic empire. And the unlikely woman who turn the tide and forever change Jin's life, Francesca La Rosa. A thief, orphan and mystery. She's a fun heroine. Though she does fit the tough, emotionally isolated woman warrior of most fantasy/science fiction. She's snarky, socially inept to a fault and Jin's opposite in every way. They're "enemy turned lover" cliche romance plays out really nicely. It's entertaining to watch, even though you know how it will all end. They have some hilarious and UST riddled banter. Even some hot as hell fight scenes. Both are evenly matched both in wits and physical ability. And they're both cut off from their emotions, resigned to lives without love or romantic passion. Jin set his aside for the sake of duty and Francesca for vengeance and safety.The book has the makings of an epic love story and a great read. Half of the book is so there, but after the lulz worthy sex descriptors and a giant shift in the plot that sank the momentum of the story like a lead ballon I gave up. I still think that a lot of fans of fantasy and period Asian films will enjoy this book. I just couldn't get back in after being pulled out.