I hope the second one is better, because this one wasn't that great. The bad things first: It really annoyed me how much beauty was an important element to Kelsey and how ugly and plain she says/thinks she is. It was constant and it was very weird too, considering she was raised in a far away home in the middle of the woods with only her foster parents as company. How did she know she was plain or ugly if she had ever seen anyone else? It makes no sense. Also, how come her guards travel with her back to the castle, in secret, hiding from the assassins that want to kill Kelsey and yet every night they light a fire, they get drunk out of their wits and leave her tent unattended? Another bad thing is that I listened to this as an audiobook and on important scenes the narrator started to yell and that was quite unpleasant. It is possible to convey action or emotions without yelling, and I really wish the narrator understood that.
But leaving that aside, I liked most of the other things. I did appreciate the story and the world that was presented to us. I liked that we don't have many answers as to what happened before the Crossing of how come things came to be this way. Maybe it will be explained in other books or maybe not, but either way, it's good not to have everything clear all the time. I liked how Kelsey starts to feel more comfortable in her role as Queen and how she discovers what she can do. I even liked that she has a crush, because after all, this is a nineteen year old girl and it's only natural to find someone you like, especially after being isolated all your life. Also, I do think there were too many unnecessary descriptions but it didn't bother me that much because since I listened to this as an audiobook it wasn't tedious. The narrator also did great men's voices, so that was good.
I have the feeling the series gets better as it advances, so I'll go on to the next one. Three stars.