I liked this a lot more than I liked the Lioness Quartet. The writing is better and the subject matter is much more complex. Pierce has an annoying habit of writing out a characters subtext and telling and not showing. I swear if I had to read another sentence talking about how quiet and observant Dove was I was going to scream. We get it, Tamora! How about showing us her quiet calculation in scene. Aly is a likable heroine although she does appear a little too perfect. The plot moves along nicely although the climax could've been a lot better. It's not the best example of a YA Fantasy novel but it was fun to read and it did make me want to read the sequel.