As I commented before, Elena is a wonderful main character; her initial ignorance to the Tradition and magic provides a clever way for Lackey to introduce these concepts to new readers of the series. I highly recommend reading this book as an opening to the series (not only because Lackey intended it that way, but also as a personal suggestion).
Also, I love that Alexander isn't the traditional Hero or romantic partner. He takes some refining and a lot of patience to deal with, which in my case made him more endearing over time. Lackey conducted his change brilliantly.