This is the first book in the Glass Thorns series and OF COURSE it ends with a cliffhanger and a bunch of unanswered questions! Classic Rawn, that. :)
Touchstone is set in an interesting world, peopled by different mythical races and racial mixes - I honestly don't think there was a 'pureblooded' anything in the whole book. And that's kinda fascinating when you stop to think about it. It's a medieval type setting with castles and archdukes and fairs and guilds and all that good stuff. And travelling troupes of players that present their pieces using magic! And it feels like everyone has at least a wee bit of magic from the mundane to the spectacular.
In Touchstone, we get the story of the forming of the theatrical troupe of four young men that ... now that I've finished it.... somewhat parallels the story of The Beatles. Well, now that I'm sitting here writing this... it's far more than somewhat. *LOL* We have characters coming from poverty and broken homes.... we have youngster excess .. rocking the boat/status quo... lots of booze, yes... we have drugs, yes... we have the threat of a woman destroying what the four have created. We have the manager that comes in and guides the young men along their career path, taking care of logistical problems and concerns and their earnings and all that.. we have groupies! There's the local bar where the troupe gets their start. Oh yeah, now that I pause and actually think about it, SO MANY similarities!
The main characters, Cade and Mieka are very much John and Paul-like. The brain and the soul respectively. And not only do they seem totally made for each other in their art, it seems to me that there's a helluva lot of UST between them. In fact, I spent the first half of the book wondering if by chance Mieka was really a girl or even transgender, which I suppose he could still be, but I don't think so. I just now want Cade and Mieka to declare their love for each other and get it on. *LOL*
So yeah... if you're into what could very well be Beatles AU fanfic done incredibly well... this could be for you. :) I know I'll have to pick up the second book now.