I am not in general a fan of YA books...but I really loved this. It was a great book, it wasn't as intricate and heavy as some fantasy series making it almost seem like fantasy-lite, but this also made it a very easy read, as it wasn't bogged down by lots of complicated new politics and magic. But this didn't make it any less interesting and I really liked the main character of Yelena, and her sometimes-mentor-sometimes-friend-or-more Valek, an infamous assassin, and the man who poisoned her.
The story in this draws you straight in and although I thought it was obvious what was happening I was still completely absorbed in the plot. The world was also quite intriguing, Ixia is under a military dictatorship almost, everyone has a uniform and is assigned a life time job once their skills have been assesed, but although there are obvious problems with that kind of society I found myself reluctantly liking the Commander much as Yelena does.
There was a little bit of romance, which I really enjoyed, watching their relationship change from almost enemy to lovers was as enjoyable as the main story. As it's a YA book, and not a romance, all sex is fade to black or done with vague eupemisms, which is fine I was just glad they finally got together. I also liked Janto and Ari, Yelena's self defense teachers, they added some humour to the books.
This book was great it had some fantastic characters and ideas, and it kept me glued to the pages and I cannot wait to find out what happens next.