Loved this series! I have read it 3 times through, and I still haven't had enough of it.
STORY: Not wanting to give too much away; the story in a nutshell is about an orphan girl and her effect on a family cursed by the chinese zodiac. Romantic. Comedy, Drama. Doesn't sound all that great, but the characters and how they interract are what make the story great. The author has a wonderfull way of introducing background stories and other information so that it isn't just a long rant to get you up to speed, and some plot twists that are truly gripping.
ART: The art changes over time, which is expected considering how long it is. At first the art was rough, because it was new and there were a lot of details being put in. I loved this. After the first 6 books you really notice how the art is cleaned up and loses some details. I liked this art as well, but was a little dissapointed with how the art was evolving. (if the changes stopped here I would have been happy and the rating for art would have gone up) By the 15th book, her art changes drastically, it is much cleaner, yet totally different, the characters look bland and homely, and I woud not believe the artist was the same at this point. Many of the characters look so different that If you hadn't been watching the evolution you wouldn't be able to match the characters with the first novel. By the last book, some of the characters are less attractive, which is unfortunate since that was one of their defining characteristics. Being a person who gets irritated by bad art and drops stories when the art is intollerable, the story made up for the shortcommings. that being said, I would have dropped this story early on if the art had been like this at first. (note that I started another of her series done after FRUBA and I dropped it fast)
CHARACTERS: No matter how great or stupid the plot, the characters are what make the story in my opinion. Each character has his/her own unique characteristics, and more than one dimention. There are even some minor characters we find out more about.Character development is done rather well throughout the whole series.